Health & Body
Photo via Physique 57

Barre classes have soared in popularity. Last year, Time Magazine labeled them a "phenomenon" among fitness routines, with an estimated 800 studios in the U.S.

But: Has the fad penetrated the rehearsal studios of professional ballet dancers? Not necessarily, according to feedback from several ballet companies.

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Health & Body
Quinn Wharton

Dancers are masters of multi-tasking. Performing a series of steps on stage while portraying a character and making a split-second change from a single to a double pirouette is no problem, but no coincidence either. Dancers' brains appear to be programmed differently from non-dancers' brains.

Studies at the University of Maryland in partnership with the University of Houston during the past three years reveal that dancers use multiple areas of their brains simultaneously while dancing: one part controls movement without expressive intention, another part imagines movement qualities and these parts work to execute movement while also making higher-level decisions.

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