Up Straight! My teen-aged son is so tired of hearing me say this. He is one of the tallest in his class of 500 kids, and in order to not feel so out of place, he slouches just a bit. So I am constantly reminding him at home to stand up straight and be proud of his height. Unfortunately for all of us, he never took ballet lessons.
What is the French Woman’s secret to her self-assured manner, her graceful and elegant bearing? She is poised with perfect posture. Whether she learned if from her mother or from her ballet teacher, it is a quality that she will maintain throughout her life and will pass on to her children.
I took ballet classes as a child, not because my parents thought that I would ever become a professional ballerina, but because they knew that it would be good for me. Ballet dancers must learn to control every part of their body at all times, while maintaining perfect posture. In addition to providing good posture, ballet exercises, tones, lengthens and strengthens the muscles in the body. It also provides a workout for both sides of the brain. It improves self-confidence, listening skills and coordination in children and adults. And for those of you who believe ballet to be a sissy sport, I challenge you to take a class. It will change your mind and if you stick with it, it may change your life. Love ballet!
My childhood ballet teacher, Madame Catherine, told us to pretend that we had a string running up our spine and out the top of our heads. Then we had to imagine that someone was pulling up on the string at all times. Chin up, neck elongated, shoulders back and down, chest out, stomach in, buttocks tight and hips under your shoulders. Good posture will increase your height, increase the appearance of the size of your chest, decrease the appearance of your stomach pouch if you have one, and may also help to decrease lower back pain. And to top it off, you will look graceful, elegant, and self-assured…French! What are you waiting for? Up straight!
P.S. Try either ballet or good posture today and let me know how much better it makes you feel.