I saw the Black Swan last Christmas. It was a beautiful, albeit deranged film. It's a modern day look into madness that you really only saw in theatre or Hitchcock. But while I appreciate the storytelling, I am always in awe of dancers.
Mainly that's because I have two left feet.
There's a certain contradiction to dancing. Ballerinas must look frail and simultaneously have the strength of an athlete. I always coveted the slender ballet figure: muscular, yet dainty. Short of devoting a full year to extreme exercise, I had heard that Mila Kunis and Natalie Portman had gone through a workshop program taught by an NYC dance studio called "Ballet Beautiful". The program is taught by a former NYC Ballet étoile who now runs the program. "Ballet Beautiful" was developed to give women the appearance of a Ballet body without the 20 required years of dancing.
I decided to try the fifteen minute workout video, sort of arrogantly, because I just assumed I could hop right in. Fifteen minutes later, I was lying in my Target sweat pants, on my yoga mat. Every muscle in my arms, abs, and butt were burning.
The workout does a lot of isolation exercise, which are great alone, but if you independently do cardio along with the program, will result in weight loss AND tone. It's a dream come true, IF you can do it. I managed to do part of it again last night and it's very intense, but just two days later my abs are already tighter and my butt is still stinging (That's what she said?)
So all and all it's worth a shot. There are classes available online at a slightly higher price than the 15 minute work out videos (which stream to your computer for the low price of $8). I'm a little baffled as to why there isn't a DVD series yet. I think it would do well.
My Review: On a Scale of 1 (Lazy Bones) - 10 (Oh sweet Mary, mother of God, this must be what childbirth feels like). I'd rate the video about an 8, but the more you do things like this, slowly it becomes easier and easier. The instructions are easy to follow, but she does move pretty quickly.
All in all. Worth it. I will keep you abreast of the results.
Here's a video about the program and Natalie's Black Swan transformation.