Although they’re poised, proper and pointed to perfection, a recent study has revealed that girls who dance ballet still aren’t getting enough exercise.
In an effort to chart the real activity levels of children’s exercises, James Sallis, from the University of California, monitored the heart rates and the intensity of movement in a range of different activities – including dance.
Charting his findings, Sallis revealed that ballet ranked second lowest on the scale of intensity – pointing to the fact that, although it might be prestigious and pretty, ballet simply isn’t good exercise for girls.
That being said, the other dance styles didn’t measure up, either.
Out of the dance styles tested in the 5 to 10 age bracket, which included jazz, tap, salsa, swing and hip-hop, hip-hop ranked the highest, with 57 per cent of class time being devoted to vigorous activity. Jazz came second, then partnered dance, then tap, salsa and finally, ballet – where only 30 per cent of class was spent in the recommended energy bracket. Flamenco came in last, with only 14 per cent.
In adolescents (11 to 18), however, ballet fared slightly better – coming second to hip-hop.
These low levels of activity, according to Sallis, are due to the fact that children spend most of the class learning the dance moves, without actually dancing them. When the students are allowed to pair up all the moves in a routine, then the rate of activity rises to an acceptable level.
But, don’t throw out the pointe shoes just yet. Despite the low energy tag, Professor Sallis stands by dance as a legitimate form of exercise.
“Dance is a golden opportunity to contribute to the health of girls while they’re enjoying moving and being with their friends and building their physical competence and all the other things that dance does,” said Sallis.
You might just want to pair it with soccer, as well.