the tab tries… bodysoc ballet

The Tab went to see if BodySoc’s ballet class could turn an unfit English student into a prima ballerina

ballet bodysoc dance

When you think of a guy doing ballet, you probably think of a handsome, graceful Adonis with a massive bulge in his tights. So what happens when a chubby, unfit English student (with no bulge to speak of) goes along to one of BodySoc’s ballet classes?

As part of The Tab’s ongoing series of articles trying out some of the more niche societies at UoL, we went along to the Guild’s dance studio on a rainy Thursday evening, expecting some artful prancing and a ‘big surprise’ from our friend in BodySoc.

Secretly hoping that the surprise was that the class was cancelled and I wouldn’t have to be photographed doing ballet, I was disappointed to find out that the surprise was a black tutu. Think Natalie Portman in Black Swan, but even sexier.

Spot the difference

Spot the difference

With the tutu discarded after a quick photo op, it was time for the class to start with a quick warm-up. I was relieved that we’d be easing into things, but the feeling was short-lived. Hi-energy music started playing, and I started prancing round the room, trying desperately to lift my legs above my head, and generally torturing my hamstrings like a dancing masochist.

Surprisingly painful

Surprisingly painful

Finally, the ballet started – what we were all here for. Surprisingly, I wasn’t awful. Apart from a brief bit of jumping where I was as graceful as a baby horse, it was fun and not nearly as stressful as I’d expected. With classical music playing and me showing off my moves, I felt like a real-life princess.

Such beauty. Such grace. Such ballet.

Such beauty. Such grace. Such ballet.

But this was the moment of the second nasty surprise of the evening – ballet actually requires a lot of strength. It’s easy to watch footage of some sparrow-thin 13 year olds pirouetting and assume that it just takes a bit of grace and good balance. But after squatting, jumping and twirling on my tiptoes for a good hour, months of putting off joining a gym began to catch up with me.

Strong candidate for my next Tinder profile pic

Strong candidate for my next Tinder profile pic

It wasn’t all bad news though. I was fully prepared to have the piss taken out of me mercilessly, but the people at BodySoc couldn’t have been more welcoming. I definitely wouldn’t be able to resist laughing if I was in their position.

Briefly becoming airborne

Briefly becoming airborne

There was more twirling, squatting and general ballet-ing, and before I knew it the class was over. In contrast to the elegant ballerinas with not a hair out of place around me, I was panting, aching, and about to collapse.

Despite all this, I had a good time. It gave me aching legs, sore feet and crippling anxiety that this article was going to be published, but I’d go back in a second. Although it’s very challenging, it’s surprisingly easy to get in to – if a clumsy couch potato like me can manage a half-decent plié, then some more athletic readers would probably cope.

A moment of realisation

A moment of realisation

I liked it so much, I even stayed for jazz dancing class afterwards. Fortunately, no photographic records of this exist. It was far more humiliating.

Whether you want to get some exercise but don’t fancy running, or if you just want to let your inner Darcy Bussell out, give ballet a try.

During the exam period, BodySoc’s Ballet classes are running every Thursday from 5-6PM in the Guild dance studio. You can also have a look at their Facebook page here if you want to get involved.

Just make sure you’re not in a class with me. Seriously, have a look:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vO6G2IKhi80[/youtube]

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