En pointe: ballet dancing to the body beautiful

The heralding of spring means many things to many people. But for most of us, tempering our joy at the arrival of carpets of daffodils and bluebells is the looming spectre of summer and its attendant insistence that we shed layers of cloths, parade our winter skin about the shop and stop shrouding our legs in 60-dernier tights like normal people.

There is, we concede, a way, short of carrying around cardboard body cut-out of Rosie Huntingdon Whiteley in a bikini with our heads poking out the top. We could try getting fit. And whilst, like all those of sane-mind, we can’t bear pounding the pavements or schlepping to the gym, we do remember a time long ago when we used to enjoy ballet classes. So it stands to reason that the same graceful approach to toning up should be a little more bearable now, all these years on. And at least we get to wear ballet shoes.

Enter then En Avant Ballet, a brand new classical ballet class set up by ex-Royal Ballet dancer and long time Notting Hillbillie, Karis Scarlette. No matter your age or ability (participants range from the toddlers to octogenarians), Scarlette – who was handpicked by the Royal Opera House’s ‘Chance to Dance’ scheme at the age of just six – will guide you through your paces with the tenderness and care afforded by her onus on the rehabilitative powers of ballet (her own career ended through injury, and she maintains that the self-expression of the art restored her to health).

Classes are held at The Sylvia Young school in Marylebone, and En Avant has announced plans to launch a class at Notting Hill’s 20th Century Theatre (keep an eye on the website for details of these forthcoming classes). Plus, for those of a luxurious persuasion, Scarlette will even host ballet retreats at the Gecko Beach Club, Ibiza.

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