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First-Timer: Trying Ballet Bungee

Instructor Rachel Piskin makes ballet fun for non-dancers.

Instructor Rachel Piskin makes ballet fun for non-dancers. Credit: Instructor Rachel Piskin makes ballet fun for non-dancers.

I took ballet classes when I was young, just like many other girls. And also like many other girls, I found it to be very hard. It was NOT like riding a bike.

So when I heard about the class Ballet Bungee, at the fitness studio Chaise23, I was intrigued. Ballet moves for non-dancers? Sign me up!

The class is designed to strengthen your core and tone your muscles with the use of suspended bungees and movements à la Balanchine. It was created and is taught by former New York City Ballet ballerina Rachel Piskin.

“I’ve been dancing since the age of 3, and I wanted a program that utilized real ballet technique,” said Piskin.

The class is a fast-paced 45-minute workout that focuses on all parts of the body. From repeated leg lifts to push-ups, every muscle gets worked. And while the moves may not look too difficult, if you’re not accustomed to plies and doing squats while in one of the five ballet positions, you’ll learn fast why ballet is such an elite “sport.”

Piskin said she wanted to make ballet less intimidating for people, because of the many fitness benefits. She’s a gentle and enthusiastic instructor, too, which will likely help her achieve that goal.

$30, packages available. Chaise23, 40 E. 23rd St., 212-432-6100,


HELPFUL HINTS from instructor and class creator Rachel Piskin
1. Come with an open mind. And if the class seems difficult, remember, it’s supposed to be a challenge
2. Your goal should be to achieve the proper technique, but above all, to have fun.
3. Wear sneakers with a lot of support.
4. As with any workout, you need to come a few times.
5. Pausing to catch your breath is OK, but remember to keep following along and moving the whole time.

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