Burn calories while doing dance-inspired moves.


What happens when you combine the graceful poses of ballet with a hard-charging aerobic routine? This ballet-cardio workout, which gives you the best of both worlds while burning calories and toning your muscles. Daphne Lee, a professional dancer with the Dance Theater of Harlem, is here to show us how it’s done and encourage you to follow along.

Lee likes to work out in the morning, she says, which wakes up her muscles and gets her blood flowing. She starts with a plank balancing on both forearms. If that’s too tricky, a plank with outstretched arms works too. While in the plank position, Lee kicks out her legs to activate her core. She also reaches her arms out and rotates her body to each side.

Next, she warms up her legs and ankles by doing a few tendus. (It’s a ballet move that has you stretching your foot to all sides while keeping your toes on the floor.) When doing a tendu, keep your foot in contact with the floor as you move your leg in front of you, then stand on your toes. Do this exercise on the left foot and right foot to activate muscles on both sides. You can use a barre to help with balance.

Finally, come to a plié: put your heels together, bend your knees, then straighten your legs again. For a challenge, raise your arms above your head or place them on your hips. Try jumping up in the position; it’s an extra powerful cardio move.

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