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Is Ballet Good for Figure Skating?

Is ballet good for figure skating? The truth is, there are lots of similarities between ballet and figure skating. So if you’re wondering whether ballet is good for figure skating, you’ve come to the right place. I urge you to keep reading till the end!

Is ballet good for figure skating? Ballet and figure skating are related sports because they share more similarities than differences. Undoubtedly, ballet can move the needle for figure skaters since ballet skills are useful for figure skating.

Below is a quick rundown of how ballet can help figure skating!

  • Body Balance and Core Control
  • Flexibility and Elasticity
  • Muscle Strengthening
  • Smooth Gracious Movements
  • Mental Focus
  • Discipline
  • Body Awareness and Coordination

How Ballet Helps Figure Skating

But this is only the tip of the iceberg. In the rest of this guide, I cover how ballet helps figure skating. You don’t want to miss out on this, so I urge you to read on. Let’s get to it!

1. Body Balance and Core Control

The body core plays a vital role in figure skating and makes up part of the muscles that ice skating works.

So what muscles does ice skating work? You’re probably asking. They include the core, hamstrings, quadriceps, adductors, and gluteus muscles.

One of the body muscles’ primary roles is to hold the skeletal system in place. So, you need strong muscles to maintain your body balance and core control.

The core comprises the chest, upper, mid, and lower stomach and back.

Ballet also works on the core muscles and other body muscles, which helps with body balance and core control.

A few hours of ballet every week is enough to improve your body balance and core control, which is vital for your figure skating success.

2. Flexibility and Elasticity

Flexibility and elasticity are crucial when performing figure skating drills.

The common techniques dependent on flexibility and elasticity are toe loop jumps, salchow edge jumps, flip toe jumps, axel edge jumps, turns, twists, spins, loops, and dances.

It’s hard to pull them off with a rigid body.

You have two ways to flatten your learning curve when it comes to figure skating techniques. First, you can practice them all in figure skating.

But, be prepared for the long hours of practice. Alternatively, you can blend ballet into your practice sessions.

Ballet works the same muscles as figure skating and will help you acquire flexibility and elasticity in record time.

What’s more, ballet uses the same techniques as jumps and spins, which can dramatically improve your figure skating.

3. Muscle Strengthening

Ballet works all body muscles like figure skating. However, what makes it more special is how much it builds the leg and ankle muscles.

You also need strong leg and ankle muscles to perform figure skating techniques like spirals and jumps.

So the more time you spend in ballet, the better your leg and ankle muscles strengthen for remarkable figure skating performance.

4. Smooth Gracious Movements

Smooth and gracious movement is necessary for figure skating. Without it, performing different figure skating techniques can be a hassle.

However, the more time you put into ballet, the better your chances of improving smooth movements and progressions in figure skating.

5. Mental Focus

Ballet moves like Arabesque, Assemblé, Attitude, Balancé, Battement, Brisé, Cabriolé, Changement, Chassé, and Ciseaux require absolute focus.

It’s hard to pull them off without concentrating on what you’re doing. While it takes time to master these moves, it’s always worth it in the long run.

Figure skating and ballet use almost the same moves, and you can use the mental focus to improve your skating.

However, you have more advantages if you take ballet on the sides because it helps build your mental fortitude and focus.

6. Discipline

Discipline is a vital part of ballet. You require discipline to build muscle strength, mental focus, endurance, right posture, body flexibility, and confidence.

Unfortunately, all these don’t come overnight. So, you need to work hard daily to improve your abilities.

The best part is transferring this discipline to figure skating once you acquire it from ballet.

7. Body Awareness and Coordination

Body awareness is the ability to be present in body and mind. This technique goes a long way in ballet because you need it for proper coordination of the entire body.

Your mind understands the moves you want to make, but it’s your body parts like legs and arms that respond.

This means the body and mind need to work together for success. Of course, you won’t master this overnight, but you should be able to pull it off with constant practice and repetition.

The best part is, once you have total body awareness and coordination, learning and mastering figure skating becomes a breeze.

How Ballet Differs from Figure Skating

The main difference between ballet and figure skating is the turning/spinning pattern and speed.

In ballet, you can turn on both sides. However, most people prefer turning clockwise.

On the other hand, figure skating only uses anti-clockwise turns. This is one area you’re likely to get wrong in figure skating if you depend on ballet.

So, it’s critical to consider it when joining ballet.

The other thing is the turning and spinning speed. While ballet is relatively slow, figure skating is fast. This is primarily due to the different footwear.

Ballet uses pointe shoes, making spinning harder than figure skating, which uses figure skating boots.

This means relying on ballet to master your spins in figure skating can be a zero-sum game.

How to Choose a Ballet Instructor for Figure Skating

Not all ballet is beneficial to figure skaters, which is why you want an instructor that knows the difference.

Experienced ballet instructors who know their stuff recommend classical ballet because it’s accompanied by technique.

This is unlike lyrical ballet that doesn’t have a refined technique. Instructors that rely on lyrical ballet don’t move the needle that much for their students.

Therefore, classical ballet is the way to go because it uses a defined course plan and strategy.

This means, before settling on a coach, it’s crucial to understand what ballet program they teach. Then, it’s necessary only to choose an instructor who teaches classical ballet.

If you’re a parent, you should attend one or two lessons to watch how the instructor does the training.

Afterward, you should discuss it with your kid (s) if they’re comfortable with the instructor. Then, come to a consensus based on the outcome of your private discussion.

Is Ballet Good for Figure Skating? Wrapping up

Is ballet good for figure skating? Ballet uses the same techniques as figure skating, making it a perfect cross-training program for figure skating. When done right, ballet helps with;

  • Body Balance and Core Control
  • Flexibility and Elasticity
  • Muscle Strengthening
  • Smooth Gracious Movements
  • Mental Focus
  • Discipline
  • Body Awareness and Coordination

That’s it! I hope you found this guide helpful and happy figure skating.

Navick Ogutu
Navick Ogutu

Navick is a full-time freelance writer, blogger, and internet marketer. By day, he creates content for multiple sites including Over the weekend, he goes out skating with friends.

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