Adult dance class merges fun and fitness

After retiring as a dancer with the Dayton Ballet Brittany Butler is now sharing her love of dance as an instructor - Contributed
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After retiring as a dancer with the Dayton Ballet Brittany Butler is now sharing her love of dance as an instructor - Contributed

Graceful grand jetés and picture-perfect pirouettes, for a decade Brittany Butler lit up the stage as a professional dancer.

While retirement from the Dayton Ballet put an end to the performances, Butler is far from finished when it comes to fitness. Butler has partnered with The Brightside Music & Event Venue to offer a four-week adult dance class starting on Sept. 27.

Former Dayton Ballet dancer Brittany Butler is using her experience to create a new wellness program even for people with two left feet. CONTRIBUTED
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Former Dayton Ballet dancer Brittany Butler is using her experience to create a new wellness program even for people with two left feet. CONTRIBUTED

No prior dance experience – no problem. This program will focus on the fundamentals of dance which can translate to many daily activities, improve your body’s functions, enhance emotional and mental health, and simply make you feel good.

“It’s a fun, feel-good release of energy,” Butler said. “It’s one hour that you are focusing on you.”

Butler isn’t the only one who is excited about this endeavor.

“Usually I’m focused on music events, but I’ve been wanting to host a beginner adult dance class for some time,” said Libby Ballengee, Brightside event creator. I took ballet and jazz classes growing up, and loved that form of exercise, but as an adult I’ve found them really hard to find. Either they are more Zumba-oriented or they are not a true beginner class – way too advanced – or they are too expensive or inconvenient.”

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This four-week series is designed to be beginner-friendly and low-impact, designed for all ages and ability levels. Participants will likely break a sweat, but Butler is focused on creating a fun and safe experience for everyone.

“It’s amazing how dance and music open people up,” Butler said. “It’s so helpful for your emotional and mental health as well as physical health.”

After spending 25 years dancing,10 years professionally, Butler felt a noticeable void when she hung up here pointe shoes.

“It sounds so funny when you tell people you retired at 28,” she said, smiling. “But I struggled for the first two years. I gave everything I had when I danced and I had done it for so long.”

Her love of dance has found a new outlet as an instructor.

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“Teaching is a great enjoyment for me,” she said. “Now I get to help people relax and find some joy.”

Ultimately Ballengee would love to add a ballet or ballroom class downtown, but is focusing on the basics first.

“Post pandemic, I feel really out of shape, and think others can relate,” Ballengee said. “So, we decided to start with a movement series to warm up, and to gauge interest from the community.”

Contact this contributing writer at djuniewicz@gmail.com.

Former professional dancer Brittany Butler started Brittany Moves to share her passion for fitness. CONTRIBUTED
Caption
Former professional dancer Brittany Butler started Brittany Moves to share her passion for fitness. CONTRIBUTED

HOW TO PARTICIPATE

What: Brittany Moves, where participants learn the basics of movement through dance while tuning in to what your body needs to feel refreshed

Where: The Brightside Music & Event Venue, 905 E. 3rd St.

When: 7-8 p.m. Mondays, Sept. 27-Oct. 18

Bring: Water bottle, towel, yoga mat

Tickets: $15 per class or $50 for the series, available through Eventbrite www.eventbrite.com

More: It’s a limited space event enabling room to socially distance. The venue has UV-C air cleaners to help sanitize circulated air. In accordance with the City of Dayton mask mandate, masks are required.