Walking into a dance studio with the knowledge that professional ballerina Misty Copeland is teaching is daunting... to say the least. Even if (like me) you took dance classes as a kid and frequent a variety of barre studios — everyone knows that stuff is child's play compared to what the 35-year-old dancer does on stage. Yet I felt at ease grasping the ballet bar as Misty guided a class full of amateurs through plies while complimenting our form.
"This is actually kind of fun," I thought. I rolled my shoulders back and watched with a newfound confidence as Misty performed moves with exquisite grace and beauty. "I feel like the lean muscles of a dancer is something that most women want," she admitted to me during Naked’s Master Barre Class. "They want to be strong. They don't want to be too bulky. And it's just kind of like this perfect combination of things." She said it's her hope that the increasing trend of barre classes continues and that women are able to unlock the transformative power of dance-based workouts.
"It's really great for me to see that people who have never danced before can actually catch on," she revealed. "When it comes to like the barre classes, they're not completely actually based on ballet technique. I wonder, oh is that something that they do because they think maybe people who don't know dance can't catch on? But, they can. I say get your butt in a ballet class to every woman and it'll be amazing for every part of your body."
After listening to Misty instruct me to take a ballet class, I mentally made a note to take her advice. She was the first African-American female principal dancer of the prestigious American Ballet Theatre after all. Plus judging from her toned physique — she knows what she's talking about. "Even just standing there holding your stomach in, wrapping your glutes, holding your arm out to the side," she continued, "you're working every single part of your being. It's just this crazy amazing technique." She added with a laugh, "Just take a ballet class!"
You convinced me Misty, but just one question: "Will you be my instructor?"