Students lift off in new 'flight school' ballet workout

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A typical ballet class gets ramped up with techniques that allow students to jump, leap and nearly fly like a bird. (KABC)

Lauren Dimesky is talking about a class known as "Flight School." This is her third year at Align Ballet Method where this new class is taking flight.

"It's a great feel-good hour. You get to listen to great music, the instructors are motivating and fun and the next day you never felt so sore but in the best way possible," said Dimesky.

"It's high-intensity interval training. It's a dynamic workout based on the idea of ballet jumping," said owner of Align Ballet Method, Michael Cornell.

Cornell, a former ballet dancer is also a certified group fitness instructor who created the program to ramp up what ballet can offer. His school specializes in classical ballet for adults, from beginners all the way to point. But he thought, why not get them jumping for joy?

"We're moving at every joint, all through the workout alternating with upper body strength training. It's a complete body workout: core, proprioception, balance, flexibility. A total package in 60 minutes," said Cornell.

Cornell also says it's the fast twitch muscle fibers he's training to make them long, lean and strong without bulking up.

"Type-two fast twitch fiber. The only way you get this is through a lot of intensity. Deep heavy squats or explosive movement, and that's a component that ballerinas use to train their body," said Cornell.

But Cornell stresses the class can be performed with little to no impact at the start.

"Even if you think you're too old, too young, to tall -- anyone can do it. It's specifically tailored for adult beginner," said student Krisa Denison.

The workout incorporates much of what you see in standard ballet, but the high-intensity intervals of power moves are integrated in with endurance and resistance training to strengthen muscle and connective tissue from head to toe.

First class is free. A drop-in class is $23.
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