Benjamin Millepied is now offering online ballet workouts you can do at home

L.A. Dance Project's Annual Gala - Arrivals

Here are some photos of Natalie Portman and her husband, Benjamin Millepied, at the LA Dance Project’s Annual Gala over the weekend. Natalie wore a black Dior dress which I don’t really care for, but it’s not the worst thing ever (it makes her boobs look strange). Her hair at this event was not great though. I always sort of forget that the Millepied-Portmans are LA-based now. They’ve been LA-based ever since Millepied left the Paris de Opera in a storm of bitchy French controversy – he basically resigned before he was pushed out. After failing to get a job at one of the more established ballet companies, Millepied now has his own company, LA Dance Project.

So, how is it going at LA Dance Project? I have no idea. But now he’s doing, like, Goop-like ballet workouts that people can do at home?

Black Swan put ballet squarely in the spotlight and the rise of barre-inspired workouts like Pure Barre and Physique 57 cemented the obsession. Now, thanks to choreographer Benjamin Millepied — who worked on the award-winning film with his now-wife Natalie Portman — dance may become a part of even more people’s fitness routines. His dance company, L.A. Dance Project, has just launched an online workout platform, L.A. Dance Workout, in collaboration with culture company General Pop that comprises workouts and tutorials — filmed in stunning L.A. locations — that can be tailored to fitness goals and ability levels.

“Dance is accessible to everyone, it’s a universal language, that’s the beauty of it,” says Millepied. “Our world needs more dance though, and I am definitely actively looking to touch more people.” His new platform was inspired in part by his own experience. After he stopped dancing, he started creating his own workouts, and realized what a major role music played in the success of his training — “not just as background to listen, but as a beat to follow closely.”

For that reason, the workouts — choreographed and led by L.A. Dance Project dancers — are accompanied by dynamic, powerful music. There are longer routines, as well as shorter films that highlight specific dance moves, since even Millepied admits, “every routine isn’t necessarily easy at first, but with repetition they should actually become quite fun to do, as the movements are dance movements.” Each member of the company has his or her own set of workouts, so users can follow the one they relate to most, or mix it up with different routines by a variety of dancers.

By doing so, Millepied hopes the platform’s users attain “a finely tuned body, newly gained confidence and greater sensations of space.” Of course, another goal is pure enjoyment. Says the choreographer, “We are witnessing an enormous trend of people doing more fitness in their lives, but the time we actually spend taking care of ourselves should also be fun and invigorating.” There’s a 10-day free trial available and should you be interested in taking more workouts, it costs $14.99 per month.

[From THR]

For $15 a month – which is shockingly affordable, I have to admit – you can get… videos of ballet-workouts which you can do at home. Benjamin Millepied is the new Tracy Anderson!! Except it’s more ballet-like than Tracy’s workouts. And that’s what classically trained ballet dancer Benjamin Millepied is doing these days. I’m trying to figure out if that’s funny or if it’s some kind of almost brilliant move. Hm.

L.A. Dance Project Gala - Arrivals

L.A. Dance Project's Annual Gala - Arrivals

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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38 Responses to “Benjamin Millepied is now offering online ballet workouts you can do at home”

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  1. slowsnow says:

    It’s a nice move. While it’s pleasurable to do ballet and dance classes, running & exercising (to me) is essentially torture. Give me yoga, dance anytime of the the week.
    What does it say about his career though? I have no idea and because I have been there myself, I will not make fun of someone who is in between jobs, trying to make a living.

    • Zapp Brannigan says:

      I agree no shade from me either, I presume that ballet performers have a short working life due to the physical nature of ballet itself, so this is a smart move to build a career for himself in an area that he has experience.

      • Booklion says:

        I dont follow ballet much but i do follow the new york city ballet. There is a series on youtube city.ballet that focuses on nycb from a few years ago and its very good. The dancers talk about how short the careers are in it a lot – georgina one of the soloist dancers, has her real estate licence and is workin part time doing that and she is only like 36 (i think), and a corps member silas goes to harvard business school online as well as doing nycb so that when he retires he has a degree to fall back on. Ashley one of their main principal dancers and a major celeb for the company right now, does political science at university too. Its such a short career and most try and get choreography, ballet master, teacher positions in ballet once they retire (or go into broadway like meagan fairchild and sara mearns are currently doing) so im not shocked that he is still trying to find a new ballet career. No judgement from me at all – he seems a bit slimy to me but i hope this works for him!

    • Cbould says:

      Totally agree about yoga & dance, more pleasurable than running to me & can’t hate on someone trying to honestly make a living.

      This story was a nice break from HW, though

    • Peanutbuttr says:

      It was actually a dance teacher who introduced me to Pilates (this was the 90’s before it became really big). At least he is more credible than this American dude bro who claims to be the only one to know the secrets of Russian Ballet and has spent the better part of this decade selling dvds and trashing David Hallberg

    • Snazzy says:

      Yup, no shade from me. I think it’s a great idea

    • Betsy says:

      This. Some hustles can be tacky/grifty; this is just someone making a living. I agree with Zapp Brannigan, too – don’t ballet most dancers have a very short time that they can dance with companies?

      • Carrie1 says:

        Yep I like this idea too. Long time proponent of Callanetics here. I’m glad he’s doing this and hope it ends Tracy Anderson because her stuff is unsafe and unhealthy. This guy at least knows whereof he speaks and ballet with dance is a fantastic workout.

  2. Danielle says:

    Is Natalie wearing red eye shadow?

  3. A Croatian says:

    Honestly, I am sure his colleagues/ballet people will see this move as desperate, but he will make so much money out of it, he won’t care!
    Classical musicians and dancers look down on the social media business, from my experience :-/

    • Birdix says:

      No, they don’t. At least ballet dancers don’t look down on social media. They’re all on instagram posting stories of rehearsals etc. And the up and comers who go to YAGP are all establishing a presence. It’s a boon for dance photographers.

  4. QueenB says:

    Kinda like how he now has a job thats usually taken by CEO wives, D-List celebs or you know wives of actors.
    Also nice that its not one of those super expensive things and he certainly knows about ballet and isnt just a celeb cashing in on something they have no clue about it.

  5. Adrien says:

    Thanks, Benjie but the Yoga Booty Ballet dvds I bought from some home shopping a decade ago are still getting the silent treatment from me. I got pilates and core stuff too that I have never revisited since moving to a new apartment.

  6. Chaine says:

    I can’t be the only one that always reads his name as “millipede.”

  7. Esmom says:

    I think it’s pretty brilliant. Fitness is huge and will only continue to grow and these workouts seem to offer a nice twist. In my town, storefronts of “traditional” retailers are closing left and right but fitness boutiques and gyms are popping up like crazy and all seem to be doing well.

  8. Lyla says:

    Um, no. Black swan didn’t make barre classes more popular, they were already popular before the movie came out. 🙄

  9. ArchieGoodwin says:

    “since even Millepied admits, “every routine isn’t necessarily easy at first, but with repetition they should actually become quite fun to do, as the movements are dance movements.”

    Something about this doesn’t quite inspire confidence…. but hey, they “should actually” become fun.

    yikes. hard pass.

  10. Shannon says:

    Pretty smart imo

  11. abby says:

    While I am a bit indifferent to him, I feel many of his former colleagues snobbishly look down on this move but honestly I think he was smart. Ballet is fabulous exercise, he has name recognition and videos can be produced on his schedule (he can produce an entire series in a few weeks/months and then move onto a new project while the videos are gradually released) and that would free him for more time with family and other personal and professional pursuits.
    His former colleagues are probably more jealous (secretly).

  12. Maddy says:

    Daily burn already has a barre workout and dozens more styles for less per month. Not advertising just love what they do

  13. Wren33 says:

    I am always looking for some good home ballet workouts, so I am actually happy about this move. If you are not a professional dancer and don’t live in a big city, it is hard to find adult ballet or modern classes.

  14. Tiny Martian says:

    Are they regular ballet exercises, or simply “ballet-inspired”? Does Millipied have any background in fitness outside of being a dancer? Just wondering, because no one without a fair amount of ballet experience should ever just do a ballet barre/class without a teacher present…………merely standing in first or fifth position improperly can ruin your knees!

  15. perplexed says:

    “For that reason, the workouts — choreographed and led by L.A. Dance Project dancers — are accompanied by dynamic, powerful music.”

    I hope so. Some of those other ballet workouts are accompanied by bland music.

    Natalie Portman’s ballet trainer for Black Swan, a ballet dancer, does ballet DVDs. Maybe that’s where he got the idea from. It may not be considered weird in his world — well, not after being a Principal Dancer (the highest in a company among the dancers) and whatever it was he was doing in France.

  16. Tiffany says:

    Smart move. If it is something that can help with my legs, I will check it out.

  17. Birdix says:

    And to continue–this is not all he’s doing a la Goop. He’s choreographing for those same US companies that you say don’t want him (will be in the studios at SF Ballet next month). He’s running his own company that tours internationally. He’s a huge part of finally establishing a dance scene in LA. And the type of dance he’s doing is contemporary and interdisciplinary, so the workout will not be plies and tendus, etc. have you seen the promos? It’s dancers in unexpected places in LA moving in also cool unexpected ways. This is not classical or even neoclassical ballet. I have my doubt about how it’ll translate into a workout, but this is not a GOOP level dilettante. He’s an interesting working artist and to belittle him because he’s married to a movie star belittles the entire field of ballet/contemporary dance.

  18. Jules343 says:

    It’s not a bad move, but also there’s absolutely no shortage of very good ballet workouts available, many of them free. His will have to offer something different to stand out, and there’s not that many ways to do that, since it’s dangerous to encourage people to do more than the basics without proper training and supervision (and even with that, ballet will still destroy your body).

    If he can manage to turn it into a known brand and distinguish it from all the others, he might do very well, but this is far from a guaranteed money spinner. If he could get work as a director of another prestigious ballet company, I highly doubt he’d be going down this route.

  19. Amelie says:

    Ballet workout videos isn’t exactly revolutionary. My sister who was very into dance when she was younger owned the NY City Ballet workout DVDs and just by going onto Youtube you can find hundreds of ballet workout videos for free. And now that Barre classes are a thing pretty much everywhere, not sure how this is ground-breaking. Maybe it’s less of a focus on ballet and more other dance styles? But then again you can find any kind of workout for free on Youtube these days.

  20. Betsy says:

    Her boobs look totally decent in that; is she still nursing? That always gave me weird boobs while I was nursing.

  21. Pumpkin (formally soup, pie) says:

    I tried “barre” for a short while. The best thing that came out of it for me is that my posture improved. It’s really athletic and I like that but I didn’t have that bar part and got tired of using a chair. If I found a gym/studio that offers classes I would give it a go for reals.
    Re: his endeavour, there is room for everybody.

  22. HCR says:

    I watched the videos at LA Dance Project. there is something extremely creative going on there. try Hearts and Arrows (2014)

  23. Electric Tuba says:

    I only laugh because I find Portman to be an insufferable snob and a pretentious twit

  24. PippiLongdivision says:

    It’s a pretty common thing for former professional company members (or people who trained but didn’t join a company) to take to the Internet with lessons. Or “invent” a stretching/workout tool. There are at least three former NYCB dancers who are doing the same thing right now.