Like Miley Cyrus is to Moschino’s Jeremy Scott, or Kim Kardashian to Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing, runway models and fashion editors flock to Ballet Beautiful’s Mary Helen Bowers. The professional ballerina has developed such a loyal following of tightly toned, Celine-clad bodies, that she’s followed the pack to Paris. Bowers was a member of the prestigious New York City Ballet for 10 years (she started when she was 16), before becoming famous for transforming Natalie Portman’s body for the actress’ Oscar-winning role in Black Swan in 2010. Here’s everything else you need to know about fashion’s favorite trainer.
- Bowers is the force behind Natalie Portman’s perfect pirouettes in Black Swan. The two trained for nearly eight hours, six days a week, catapulting Portman to win an Oscar for her en pointe (but really!) performance.
- New-mom Lily Aldridge credits her post-pregnancy body to Ballet Beautiful and only Ballet Beautiful (which I found suspect). But Bowers reassured me when she said: “Yes, it’s totally true!”
- Anyone can work with Bowers from anywhere: “I was just training with Lily online yesterday because she’s at home in Nashville,” Bowers says. “I started working with her right after she had her baby, when she was getting back in shape for the Victoria’s Secret show.” Bowers offers online group and private classes.
- Ballet is strength training, but it’s also the epitome of femininity: “One thing that’s beautiful and specific about this workout is that it allows you to develop a feminine strength, and to me that’s what ballet and a ballerina’s experience as a dancer is about,” she explains. “It’s about the combination between the inherent softness in women with really incredible strength.”
- Bower’s has dipped her own pointed toe into fashion. The dancer turned entrepreneur created an exclusive line of ballet shoes (that you can wear on the streets and in the studio) as well as leotards, leg-warmers, wraps and more.
- Instead of transforming a hotel gym or even taking over a local ballet studio, Bowers turns a Paris apartment into her temporary training flat. “Since most of my clients are friends, sometimes they’ll end up coming over all at once to train together,” she says. “One day I’ll do a big group class and others I’ll do individual sessions.”
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