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Want to Workout like a Professional Ballerina? Find out how.

August 16, 2019

Have you ever wanted to be a ballerina? 


Did you dream of putting on your point shoes, nude leotard, and tights while performing twirling pirouettes in front of a stage of adoring fans? 


Have you ever binge-watched Black Swan on repeat? 


If so, we've got a class for you. 


Body defined is a pure barre meets circuit meets dance class at the Otto M. Budig Academy. Hosted by the Cincinnati Ballet and taught by the extremely motivating Courtney Hellebuyck, the class brings together the grace of dance and barre work and the heart rate inducing moves of cardio workouts. The class is designed to build strength, grace, flexibility, and tone while proving the opportunity to build community with Cincinnati’s preeminent dance institution.


Let me tell you I LOVEDDD this class. It was taught in a large mirrored room where the real deal ballerinas practice. It has sprung floors crafted to absorb shock and prevent injury, and many options for modifications which make the class modifiable for varying levels of skill and fitness level. 





 Courtney Hellebuyck was full of energy and passion which made the class both a great workout and loads of fun. AND if you attend in the fall, you'll be able to rub shoulders with professional ballerinas walking down the halls. I’m always down for behind the scenes looks. Not to mention Courtney herself is a former ballerina and danced for the Cincinnati Ballet alongside friend and current Academy Director Sarah Hairston.



 Courtney grew up in Colorado and started dancing while most kids her age were still mastering walking. At 6 years old she was accepted into the San Fransisco Ballet, and at 13 she reached the top level where while her surrounding peers were 5 years her senior. After spending 3 years at level 8, Courtney progressed to San Fransisco’s training program before being hired at the Pennsylvania Ballet. She spent time in Scotland for an international dance festival and returned to Philly before deciding to go back to Smuin in San Francisco to return to her classical roots. In 2008, Courtney auditioned for the Cincinnati Ballet where she danced until 2014. An injury forced her to retire and move back to Colorado where she taught at several ballet schools in the Denver area and with the Joffrey South Summer Intensive before joining the Otto M. Budig Academy in 2017 here in Cincinnati. 


She is certified to teach Group Fitness from the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America and has taught Barre Fitness for several years. Courtney teaches at all levels in the Academy, including Children’s Division, Main Division, Adult Division, and in the Cincinnati Ballet’s Summer Intensives. She is, "thrilled to be teaching the next generation of dancers and helping them grow to their full potential."



Courtney’s passion comes from creating a class that is accessible to everyone, empowering individuals to respect their current bodies just as she has learned to be comfortable on stage in this new, best version of herself after putting her tutu aside.


This class really was a wonderful opportunity to have fun, explore, and a great workout that left

Molly and I sore for multiple days.


Interested in trying a Body Defined class out? Head here to access the current schedule. Interested in more ballet-based movements and learning? Courtney also teaches adult Ballet basics for newbies as well as adult intermediate classes. Let’s make all your ballet dreams come true!!

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