September 27, 2016

Ballet West: Ballet Dudes

By Adam Vicinus

The ballet conjures images of graceful, long limbed ballerinas, elegant and poised, thrown high into the air spinning. But what image do we have of the men doing the throwing? Sure, they wear tights, and yes they are around women all day, but the men in today’s modern ballet aren’t soft and delicate, but highly trained athletic artists.

Christopher Ruud

After 30 minutes of an intense workout, we asked if he could dispel the mystique behind the male “ballerino,” or male ballet dancer.  Training up to 8 hrs a day, and with almost 80 performances a year, staying in top physical shape is what keeps him lifting his principal ballerina wife, Christiana, over his head and able to leap great heights and long distances.

“Both my parents were involved in dance in San Francisco,” Christoper explained. “So I entered the SF Ballet School and studied through high school, dabbled in acting but returned to study dance at the U of U’s Ballet program.” Christopher rehearsed for an upcoming project in Ballet West’s Innovations program in May. Ballet West began providing world class performances back in 1963.

Located In the Capitol Theater building, they offer training for future dancers at their academy as well as workshops and rehearsal space for the their world-class performances.

The Dudes of Ballet West

Rudd’s physique is similar to that of a sprinter, long muscled legs and chiseled arms and shoulders. “It’s hard to believe you don’t spend hours in the gym,” I commented. “Well, many dancers do cardio in between workouts, but most of the strength comes from just dancing,” he noted.

Seeing these dudes practice, it’s no wonder athletes from many other sports take ballet lessons to improve their balance, coordination, and stamina. These dudes are fit.
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