Ballet Great Instructs Students to Feel the Burn

Margot Martin leads her “Ballet Burn” class in Raleigh, N.C., which combines ballet with more traditional exercises. (Photo: Heba Salama)
Margot Martin leads her “Ballet Burn” class in Raleigh, N.C., which combines ballet with more traditional exercises. (Photo: Heba Salama)

Park Cities Dance has been helping locals indulge in their artistic side for six years, but as of this month, there’s a new leading lady of dance in town.

Margot Martin, a native of Richardson and graduate of Ursuline Academy, is returning to Dallas from North Carolina to teach “Ballet Burn,” a ballet-fitness hybrid class that’s already had wild success back east.

“I started Ballet Burn in October of 2010; it’s my baby, or more like my monster,” she joked.After more than a decade with Carolina Ballet as a founding member, she began training in the gym following a knee injury.

From her unique gym practices, she built a series of exercises based on ballet movements.

“The class ended up stimulating what it feels like when you perform, which translates to interval training,” she said. “Your heart rate spikes and comes down quickly.”

When she retired from professional dancing in 2010, her “Ballet Burn” class took off, eventually, to seven different locations around Raleigh.

Feeling the need to move closer to her family, she began to look around for the right studio fit back in Texas.

Enter Jacqueline Porter of Park Cities Dance.

“She had written to me, and her energy pretty much jumped out over the Internet in her writing,” Porter said. “I really liked her immediately on the phone, and then in person.”

Disappointed with barre classes, Porter herself had been looking to develop or incorporate a more ballet-based exercise class to her studio’s curriculum.

“They use a barre, but are not dance-based,” she said of barre-style classes.  “I wanted one rooted in ballet with similar exercises.”

Martin came to Dallas to teach a few preview classes in June, which Porter says were “packed.”

“I only did it for two days, but already felt all the things you want to feel from a great workout. I felt myself stronger and leaner in two days,” Porter said.

Martin will begin teaching free trial classes in the mornings and evenings during the week of Aug. 18.

After that, participants wishing to continue will be able to sign up for various levels of membership.

The classes will round out Park Cities Dance’s already robust course selection: the studio offers ballet, tap, hip-hop, ballroom, vocal, and acting classes, to name a few.

“It’s just this wonderful collective energy that’s rooted in the joy of movement,” Martin said of teaching. “They just are coming to move and I love that. I love providing them that.”

This story appears in the August issue of Park Cities People, on stands now.

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