A ballerina’s sculpted body is envied by women across the world, but these women must go to extreme lengths to maintain their physiques. Mia Bronneberg gained 15 kilos when she left the Australian Ballet School, turning her thin frame into a fit and muscular physique through a unique mix of weights and classical ballet. Getting this body has been no easy feat, but Bronneberg is willing to share her tips and tricks with the world.

At the age of 19 and after 10 years of ballet, Bronneberg has started her own studio, fittingly titled ‘Ballet Body.’ Located in the Wollongong PCYC, it incorporates traditional ballet positions with hand weights and pop music. Bronneberg wants her students to learn being fit and healthy doesn’t mean having a sickly thin body. It’s about be strong and healthy.

“This is a fitness driven sport. People think ‘ballet’ and get freaked out, but this isn’t ballet,” she said.

“It’s about using positions you’d learn in ballet and incorporating them with weights to use muscles that you usually wouldn’t.”

One of the key positions is Plié Squat. This works muscles in your inner and outer thighs, as well as your back. She said the move leaves you with a rewarding burn that makes you realise jut how hard you have worked.

At the end of 2009, Bronneberg auditioned for the Australian Ballet School, and hoped to become a professional ballerina. After being accepted, she realised professional ballet was not be everything she thought it would.

“It was just so strenuous, I was training six hours a day, six days a week. It really was a lot for a teenage girl. You have to be a certain weight and it’s a lot of pressure,” she said.

Bronneberg still wanted to keep fit and healthy,  but she found the gym and other fitness classes boring.

“When I came home from the ballet, my body totally changed I needed a workout that still combined what I loved but would keep me really fit too,” she said.

“I had the idea to mix ballet and muscle conditioning.”

Within two months, she had set up her own studio. All the routines were created by Bronneberg in a less than conventional way.

“I came up with the class routine in my own at home. I cleared the furniture in the lounge room, and made them up while I played some of my favourite tracks,” she said.

Each exercise in the routine is done to Nicki Minaj and Justin Timberlake who blast from the studio’s speakers. At times, the bass shakes the mirrors that line the studio walls.

“The music makes it more fun. It’s all about having fun and working out in a carefree environment,” she said.

The classes aren’t just for teens, with women up to the age of 60 attending. Robyn Formosa, 53, is a Ballet Body participant who can’t get enough of the gruelling workout.

“It’s really energising. What I like about it is that it’s all about muscle strengthening and toning,” she said.

Fitness fanatic and trainer, Kerrie Andrews said Ballet Body has her tick of approval when it comes to safety and strengthening and toning the body.

“It’s not a sport that will make you injury-prone. Basically you won’t get an injury from this, it’s very good for older people as well as the young ones,” she said.

Bronneberg is studying Nutritional Therapy by correspondence with the Australasian College of Natural Therapies. While her plate is full,  she hopes to introduce more classes and advocate for healthy living.

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