Style secrets of the French by Casilda Grigg
I’ve written about Konga, a dance fitness craze that’s not remotely French. It’s hot, sweaty and frenetic for one thing and it comes from Australia of all places. But here’s a thing: while I was researching other dance fitness trends I managed to slip in a box on Sleek Technique, an online ballet workout that French girls are simply mad about.
You heard about it first here.
A Parisian friend called Angelica tipped me off about this new routine which was created by two professional ballerinas, Flik Swan and Victoria Marr, who met at ballet school aged eleven. ‘Oh my god Casilda they have a physique that is fantastique!’ she said, in her thickly-accented English. ‘They are incroyable. You must try it!’
Luddite that I am I had no idea that it was possible to do a live workout at home on my computer. Technical things make me want to lie down in a darkened room with cucumbers over my eyelids but I had no problem setting up the video link – what sent me rushing to Ryman’s at the last minute was that my mouse battery suddenly died. I joined a 30-minute live class at 10 o’ clock in the morning several minutes late. ‘Hello!’ said Flik, smiling at me from my computer screen as I stood, red-faced and breathless, on my living room carpet. ‘Welcome to the class Casilda’. It was surreal.
On my screen I could see not only the lovely Flik, but everybody else in the class, each woman framed in a little box like the opening sequence in The Brady Bunch. I’ve never done ballet before but found the instructions clear, the atmosphere friendly and supportive. It was also rather fun to get a glimpse of other people and their living rooms.
There were eight of us in the class, including a woman of 63 called Mary and a girl who was doing the routines from her hotel room in Nottingham. Everyone was UK-based but the classes attract people from all the world – Finland, South America, the US, South Africa. Flik oversaw and corrected our moves (‘Lower your shoulders Casilda!) and even though I only did 20 minutes I felt the benefits immediately. My stomach was flatter and I felt a lot more cheery about the day ahead.
Sleek Technique does a 10-day ballet body programme (£10) that strikes me as a perfect pre-holiday workout. Prices start at £30 a month. Sleektechnique.com