Who Are Some Athletes That Take Ballet?

Pittsburgh Steelers defensive lineman Steve McLendon, NHL goaltender Ray Emery and former heavyweight-boxing champion Evander Holyfield take ballet classes. They join retired legendary football players, such as wide receiver Lynn Swann and running back Herschel Walker, who took ballet classes to make themselves better football players.

Professional athletes have taken ballet classes to increase their flexibility in their hamstrings, to strengthen muscles in their calves, to work their feet and ankles, to improve their balance and to gain more control over their bodies through ballet’s rigorous training of proper arm, foot and leg placement. In 2014, the Dallas Cowboys installed ballet barres outside the locker room for stretching purposes.