I love dance. I’m not a dancer, but I wish I could dance. A new dance TV show? I’m on it. I just love watching dance and admiring how incredibly talented they are, physically and also through their ability to express. It was through a random Youtube recommendation that I found Scout Forsythe, a ballerina for the American Ballet Theatre, doing almost ‘day in the life’ content for channels such as Glamour and Allure. To say I loved these videos is an understatement.
One video that left me in awe of just how much goes into their training was ‘Every Exercise Pro Ballerina Scout Forsythe Does In A Day’ on Glamour’s Youtube channel. Scout Forsythe gives an insight into how she maintains her mental and physical health during lockdown. When I first watched this, I thought “does she have time to do anything else?”, then one key point she mentioned was that her body is her job, so she has to do this all the time.
So of course, one boring lockdown day, I, a non-dancer, decided “I have time, why don’t I give it a go?”. Here’s how I got on.
Quick disclaimer: I did these exercises in a slightly different order than her, and I also substituted surfing and cycling for a long walk. I would also recommend watching the original video before reading/watching my post!
Exercise 1: Morning Stretches
It wasn’t until I stretched in the morning that I realised how stiff my body feels! A couple neck rolls, side stretches and leg stretches (I normally can touch my toes, but I couldn’t first thing in the morning, but I guess that’s natural) really made a world of difference. It made me feel ready for the day ahead and more energised in general. Would definitely include this as part of my routine.
Exercise 2: Walk (Substitute For Surfing And Cycling)
As it gets dark early now, I prefer to do any walks fairly early in the day. Obviously I can’t surf living in London and I don’t own a bike, so I thought a long walk was the next best option. I personally love going on walks, so this was super relaxing. It was a sunny winter day and the clouds were beautiful (if you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know how much I love watching the sky and taking pictures of it). I ended up walking 4.5k in total: walking around has to be one of my favourite exercises, especially during lockdown. It’s the perfect way to explore your area and/or nature whilst getting some relaxing cardio in. It’s my goal for the year to keep going on regular walks.
Exercise 3: Kundalini Yoga
I’m new to yoga as of the past year, but I’d never actually heard of kundalini yoga before this video. I found this one video on Youtube for beginners by BrettLarkin Yoga. The experience was…interesting. I’m not going to say I’m opposed to ever trying again, but this video unfortunately wasn’t for me. Scout talks about the breathing exercises helping her dancing due to it helping with the endurance of her breath and breath awareness. This was exciting to me as I have asthma and thought this would be helpful. The video honestly just wasn’t my favourite and I don’t think I’ll be incorporating this into my routine anytime soon. Maybe I’ll try the videos she used in the future sometime if I can find them. Personally, I’d rate this a 4/10.
Exercise 4: Pilates
In true Scout Forsythe style, I used a Blogilates video for the Pilates section of her exercise. I like Cassey Ho and some of her videos are KILLER, but having back problems, some of these exercises weren’t exactly suited for me. I personally love Pilates – I try to incorporate it into my workout schedule at least once a week, so I’ll definitely be doing more of it – it’s amazing for strengthening and toning your body. There are plenty of great Pilates videos out there on Youtube and Instagram, if you want to give it a go (let me know if you’d like to see my favourite channels sometime!)
Exercise 5: Stretching
Most probably my favourite part: I can’t go without stretching before or after a workout (and you shouldn’t either!). I personally know what stretches work for me and what keeps my body feeling ready to go again the next day, so I done those stretches for a while. It feels really good just to spend time working out those kinks in your body and taking time for yourself – one of my goals is to try and stretch every day, even if I don’t work out. Scout also used a tennis ball to massage her body, but I couldn’t find one whilst I was doing it, so I just took more time stretching.
Exercise 6: Ballet Class
Obviously, I can’t do a ballet class. The closest exercise I could think of is a barre workout, for which I used this Heather Robertson video. I’ve only done barre a few times, but every time I’ve done it I LOVED it (maybe because it makes me feel like a proper dancer!). It’s definitely a style of exercise I’d like to continue doing more often. For an alternative, Madfit has a couple Youtube videos called ‘dancer sculpt’, which I also really love. What’s great about dancer-style workouts is that it gets you to work muscles you don’t normally work, which challenges you further. Definitely want to do more of these in the future (but please stretch properly before and after, otherwise you’ll hurt yourself!)
Exercise 7: Vinyasa Yoga/Stretching
This is the best kind of yoga for me: I started practicing yoga at the beginning of the first UK lockdown, using videos like those from Yoga with Adriene. What I found when I was practicing every day or every other day is that my upper body strength, breath work and balance improved dramatically and in a very short space of time. Although I don’t practice as often now, I try to squeeze yoga into my routines at least once a week. Yoga is perfect especially for those days when you don’t feel like doing a sweaty HIIT workout and you feel like going with the flow and relaxing (although it’s not always a walk in the park!). Doing yoga/stretching yourself out after a workout seemed like the perfect end to a lengthy day of exercise, so I would definitely do it again.
It’s a LOT. For my every day life, it’s probably not ideal. Did I have fun? Absolutely! But I spent the majority of my day working out and it wouldn’t have left me a lot of time to do other things if I had to. Again, it’s a ballerina’s job to keep herself active and it was really interesting to see how each exercise helped her in different ways to improve her overall performance. The majority of these exercises I would absolutely do more often and especially when it comes to barre and just taking a walk, I’m now more motivated to do it more often throughout the week as I’ve been reminded how fun it is! I definitely don’t see myself doing kundalini yoga anytime soon, but never say never. I probably wouldn’t do all of these workouts in the same day, but it was a fun challenge.
Would you try this challenge? Do you do any of these exercises on a regular basis? I would love to know. Thanks for reading x