You remember our fun little post on celebrities who were (either professionally or just recreationally) dancers! Well, some rather interesting additions have come to our attention recently and we thought we'd update you! This entry is focusing on men who did ballet, and let me tell you...there's some 'super' guys jumping on the ballet bandwagon... ;)
That's right. Bat-Man people! Batman! And if BATMAN himself (ok, Christian Bale... but same difference!) thought ballet was cool then I see no reason why we can't have a bit of a laugh when some poor, misguided soul calls ballet 'girly', wouldn't you agree?
Bale developed a love of ballet and music from a young age, in fact Batman, sorry, Bale.. was so good at ballet that he was apparently offered a place at the Royal Ballet School!
The Dark Knight Rises co-star Tom Hardy said of meeting Bale for the first time: "this huge looming figure turned up at 10ft tall with huge pointy ears and he looked at me and said, ‘Hi. I am Batman." But what's the need to mention Tom Hardy you might wonder, well, surprise surprise, he's a ballet fan too! In an exclusive interview promoting The Dark Knight Rises Hardy, who plays impressive baddie 'Bane' in the film revealed this: “Not a lot of people know this but I do love the ballet. [ ] It is a secret passion of mine if truth be told." and “I may be the big baddie in Batman but I love the ballet. It is great." ...As if we needed any more reason to adore Tom Hardy!
As if we hadn't just solidified the popularity of ballet amongst the leading men of Hollywood (don't forget about Ryan Gosling in our last post now!) we're adding another uber cool tough guy, and international film star: Jean-Claude Van Damme. A professional martial arts fighter, body builder and kickboxer in his younger years, who turned to ballet at the age of sixteen to increase his fitness and flexibility. Now in his forties, Van Damme still trains with ballet, crediting it as helping him get back in shape for his role in the Expendables movie: "Ballet helped me a lot with dexterity and flexibility, and it is the hardest workout a man can do. Trust me. Ballet is very posed and very relaxed, and that takes impossibly hard work in your body and mind. Yet it all must look effortless, isometric, perfect. So I take that to the martial arts. The mix of the ballet and karate together gave me my style of fighting".
...And now to wrap up this inspiring selection of ballet dancing men, we've included another star, sporting legend/English footballer and triple Premier League winner Rio Ferdinand. Ferdinand was a keen ballet dancer in his youth, who attended classes four times a week for four years and won a scholarship to the Central School of Ballet in London, dividing his time between his two passions of dance and football. He also said that ballet was what helped him develop as a footballer, improving his timing and balance.
"I did lots of different dance and really enjoyed it." Rio says "It's elegant and you have to be flexible". - no arguments here!
Well there you have it, ballet appears to be gaining popularity amongst men for being an enjoyable and challenging form of exercise, not just for those seeking to become professional dancers, and we're glad to hear it! There's nothing wrong with having a few more Ninja-ballet-batmen in the world...! ;)