BWET Celebrity Spotlight | Natalie Portman, Academy Award Winning Ballerina

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Natalie Portman Is The Black SwanToday we’re going to kick off Women’s week here at BWET with a Celebrity Spotlight on Natalie Portman and how she transformed her already stunning body into a fine tuned machine that is a Ballet dancer for her leading role in Black Swan.  While her work was long, tedious and often quite uncomfortable, there are several points you can take home with you to help transform your own body.

Here’s the Trailer for Black Swan if you haven’t seen this thriller.

Portman took to the famous Mary Helen Bowers, a former dancer with the New York City Ballet and founder of Ballet Beautiful to build the long, lean look of a professional dancer for her starring role in Black Swan.  This intensive program looked like this:

About a year before shooting began, Portman and Bowers stared work with basic ballet positions and moves.  For 5 hours a day, 6 days a week they trained together.  Even after shooting started, they would do touch-up routines and tweak moves that Portman didn’t do perfectly.

Surprisingly, especially in today’s film industry, Natalie Portman was really doing about 90% of the dancing herself, only using a body double for the most complicated turning moves.  Even the upside-down splits shows Portman’s very own sleek legs.

Just like I preach throughout all my sport specific workouts, train with the tools of your sport, Bowers had Portman on the dance floor for most of the training, doing some mat stretches and swimming for zero-impact muscle strength building.  Bowers chose swimming with exaggerated reaching strokes to give Portman’s joints some rest.  Ballet is very stressing not eh joints of the knees and ankles.

So, what can you take away and use from Portman’s high-dollar and high intensity year-long routine?

– Don’t Give Up. Stick to your goals and what you want to achieve.

– You Don’t Need Weights or A Gym. Yeah, a swimming pool is nice, but even then, there are plenty of exercises that mimic the movements.

– Ballet dancers are probably the most functionally strong athletes in the world. Find a ballet school near you and get involved.

Be sure to stay tuned Wednesday for the Top 5.  This week we are looking at products to help you get fit in your home.  Think interval timers, big rubber balls and door frame hangy things…

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