We’re suckers for all the signs of the season: the food, the festivities, the time with family and friends. And the quintessential Nutcracker ballet? Get outta town. In our minds, ballet and the holidays go hand in hand; we can’t help but swoon over that kind of grace when we’re up to our ears in the seasonal hustle and bustle. Oh, to achieve those long, lithe lines, that almost superhuman strength juxtaposed with that effortless elegance…

Mary Helen Bowers is the (gorgeous) mastermind behind Ballet Beautiful, a ballet-inspired workout that goes way beyond toe shoes and tutus. After ten years of dancing with the prestigious New York City Ballet (and training at the School Of American Ballet before that), Mary Helen created Ballet Beautiful for everyone and anyone who wants to keep their bodies as strong and graceful as a ballerina’s. Her program combines everything we love about the gorgeous dance form including targeted exercises and stretches that will take your body to the next level. Mary Helen makes for an encouraging, enthusiastic instructor and her years of expertise provides on-point guidance for all levels. It was Mary Helen who personally trained Natalie Portman for her Academy Award-winning performance in Black Swan! All in all, Ballet Beautiful is the fulfillment our inner four-year-old’s ballerina dreams come to life.

Check out a class at Ballet Beautiful’s gorgeous, sun-drenched NYC studio by joining in at home through Ballet Beautiful’s live online classes. Take a peek inside Mary Helen’s ever so chic gym bag below and get ready to live that ballerina life…


Mary Helen Bowers.

Moment I fell in love with fitness:

I have loved ballet since I was a little girl! I was never athletic and always stood out as the gawky ballerina when trying to play sports. I almost flunked gym in middle school because I was scared of kicking the soccer ball and hurting my ankle for dance class. A few years after I began dancing professionally with New York City Ballet and suffered my first serious injury, I realized I needed to do more for my body than just dance. I joined a gym and started working out for the first time in my life. As a dancer your body is your instrument – taking care of it is a job requirement! When I couldn’t find the workout I needed as a ballerina, I created my own system to keep my muscles strong, toned and lean – and Ballet Beautiful was born.

Favorite workout:

Ballet Beautiful, of course! I’m all about a fitness method that makes you look and feel as toned and graceful as a ballerina.

Favorite activewear staples:

My sweetheart-neck mesh Ballet Beautiful leotard in emerald green with tights and our cozy legwarmers.

Favorite fitness footwear:

Black satin ballet slippers handmade in Italy.

I stay inspired by...

My clients and the amazing multi-tasking, do-it-all power women that I work with every day. And my daughter’s beautiful smile!

Favorite hair accessories:

Giant hair pins from France, fresh flowers and vintage celluloid combs.

Must-have gadgets:

My iPhone.

On my workout playlist…

Beethoven, Mozart, Bach.

Most unexpected item in my gym bag:

Pink tulle skirt.

Favorite way to hydrate:

Water, all day long. It isn’t very glamorous, but it really works.

Favorite post-workout fuel:

Organic salad and eggs!

Fave quickie workout:

Seven-minute Swan Arms!

Healthiest daily habit:

Lots and lots of water.

Personal fitness tip:

Make time to workout everyday. Even if you only have 15 minutes to work on your abs, your body will feel stronger and you will be stay connected with your health and fitness goals.

Current mantra:

We can do this!

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