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S.Korean Soldiers Unwind With Ballet.
Guarding the North Korean border can be pretty stressful. However, the South Korean army's 25th Division has found a rather interesting way to unwind - practicing ballet. The soldiers attend a weekly government-provided class, where they swap boots for ballet shoes and practice classic choreography, including splits, pirouettes, and pliés, under the instruction of a coach from the Korean National Ballet. As soldiers assigned to monitor the Demilitarized Zone between the feuding countries, the environment can be pretty tense; however, Kim Joo-hyeok, one of the division's sergeants, sees ballet as a momentary escape from the front lines' hard reality: "Through ballet, I am able to stay calm and find balance as well as build friendships with my fellow soldiers." And, despite the oddity of being ballet-dancing soldiers, Lieutenant Colonel Heo Tae-sun, another participating student, insists that it's actually a terrific workout: "Ballet requires a great amount of physical strength and is very good for strengthening muscle, increasing flexibility, and correcting posture." Last year, the division gave an impressive performance of Tchaikovsky's 'Swan Lake' - so much so that they intend to reprise the show again this year. So what do you guys think? Is ballet uniquely helpful at all? Should your country's military start offering ballet classes too? Let me know in the comments below, and for more WTF news, follow my WTF Street Journal collection. (Also, you can check out a clip with more footage of the soldier ballerinas hard at work in the embedded Korean news report embedded above!)
Ballet-inspired style
Tutus. Blush colors. High buns. Flowy skirts. It's all part of the world of ballet. But ballet fashion doesn't just belong in the world of barre and pirouettes. Ballet fashion can easily be incorporated into everyday style. Here are some ways you can feel like a ballerina with your style, even if you have never heard of Baryshnikov (the famous Russian ballet dancer). High buns High buns, also known as ballerina buns, are a great way to incorporate a little ballet style into your look. High buns are also great as a second-day hairstyle or if it is really hot outside and you want to stay cool in fashion. Gather your hair into a high ponytail. If you have long hair, wrap the hair around the ponytail and secure with bobby pins. If you don't have very long hair (like me), you can use a bun maker (it looks like a mesh donut) and slip your ponytail through the hole. Wrap your hair around the bun maker and secure with bobby pins. Finish the hairstyle with hairspray for a sleek and sophisticated look. Ballet pink Wearing ballet pink instantly adds a ballet vibe to your outfit. Look for pieces that are light pink and have a light, airy feel. Here, here and here are some pieces that can get you started or give you inspiration for other ballet pink pieces. Ballet flats Keep the ballet inspiration going all the way to your toes with ballet flats. You can go for the classic version or go even further with ballet flats with the ankle straps that make them look even more like pointe shoes. Tutus Yes, tutus can be worn as a serious fashion piece, not just for costume parties. The key to making the tutu work for everyday fashion is all in the styling. If you want to wear a tutu, keep the rest of your outfit very simple. Go for a big fashion statement with the tutu! Just because you don't spend hours working on one ballet move doesn't mean you can't wear ballet-inspired pieces of clothing. Let your inner ballerina come out!
What 1 Professional Ballerina Eats All Day
Ballerina's are known for their incredible bodies and the even more incredible things that they can do with them. But how does one keep in that perfect shape under a leotard that hides nothing. Fueling the body while maintaining a small figure is the ultimate struggle for professional ballerinas like Lauren Fadeley, a principal dancer at the Pennsylvania Ballet, who sat down with PopSugar to explain how she manages that tiny frame. The Power of Snacking Lauren is a big supporter of grazing. Eating a little bit constantly throughout the day works better for her than a full meal. She typically starts her day of with fruit, nuts, and coffee and then is sure to keep her bag filled with healthy snacks like protein bars and fresh veggies to munch on during her breaks. Once practice is over, Lauren finally has her big meal which is a lot of lean proteins and veggies (PopSugar says that spaghetti squash with a ground turkey tomato sauce is her favorite) This all refuels her body and preps her for the next day's grueling schedule - where she does it all over again! Beat Bloat Those leotards are unforgiving. There are no fat-jeans or baggy t-shirts in ballet. Feeling bloat-free is important for many dancers. As Lauren says, "We have to wear a leotard all day long and stare at ourselves in a mirror — that can get a little hard!" That's why she has chosen to follow a mostly Paleo and gluten-free diet during the week. It helps her feel less weighed-down and her tummy manages to stay flatter in times of need. Go Ahead and Indulge Lauren may stick to a strict diet during the week but weekends are another story. She's a big fan of tacos and saves them for her weekend treats. During the week, she makes a point to include dark chocolate in her snacks and Paleo-friendly desserts like coconut milk ice cream after dinner. Her best advice? Listen to your body. "I eat what my body tells me to," she says. "There'll be times when I just need to eat a bagel to get me through a show." So listen to your body, feed it what it needs, and lace up those pointe shoes!