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Get to Know Bodiography, the Ballet Workout That Will Have You Feeling the Burn

BY: Editors | Jan 31, 2019

Women in a Bodiography ballet workout class

Two hours a week. According to Maria Caruso, the artistic director of Bodiography Contemporary Ballet, that’s all you need to get that long, lean professional dancer’s physique.

It sounds implausible—after all, professional dancers spend most of their time dancing and exercising, so how is two hours a week going to give you anything even close to their look? But when you’re performing movements that target up to three muscle groups at one time, it can be done.

What is Bodiography? 

Effargeted muscle movements are key to a Bodiography Fitness and Strength Training System ballet workout, which incorporates exercise balls, bands, and light weights, but doesn’t use a ballet barre. Every class features 20 minutes of ab work (!) and movements like weighted arabesque pulses that work the rest of the body.

And you don’t need to know what an arabesque is either. Maria Caruso, a former dancer herself, created the workout specifically for people with zero dance training and no knowledge of dance vocabulary. All you have to do is copy the teacher, who has been certified to teach the class.

That certification is important because Maria developed a sequence of movements designed to get results quickly and efficiently. Just know that with all the efficient muscle work involved, you will feel it afterward.  

“Clients leave Bodiography feeling an amazing afterburn in their core, and it's important to note that every muscle group is targeted at some point in the workout,” says Julie DiLeo, the owner of Women’s Fitness of Boston, where Bodiography classes have been known to appear on the seasonally changing schedule.

“One of my favorites aspects of the workout is the variety of modalities (balls, bands, weights), as well as modifications offered,” Julie says. She also appreciates how the ballet fitness class leaves you feeling “centered, strong, and having an increased overall sense of flexibility.”

Bodiography Fitness and Strength Training Quick Facts

  • What is it? A full-body strength and conditioning workout using ballet movements
  • Founder: Maria Caruso, the artistic director of Bodiography Contemporary Ballet
  • Year fitness program started: 2008
  • Equipment used: yoga mats, exercise balls, free weights, and resistance bands—but not a ballet barre
  • Focus of program: building strength, muscle tone, and flexibility, like a dancer requires
  • Get ready to feel it: Classes devote 20 minutes to ab work and spend the rest of the time doing moves that target multiple muscles at the same time.

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