En Pointe, And Now Online
Celebrities often have access to things us normal folk can’t even imagine—things like custom-made Louboutins, a signature fragrance, and wearing clothes right off the runway. High on this list is having a high-profile trainer on call. But while booking Tracy Anderson (Gwyneth’s guru) or David Kirsch (Heidi Klum’s go-to guy) for a little one-on-one time is all but impossible for most of us, Mary Helen Bowers—former ballerina and the woman responsible for Natalie Portman’s lithe figure in Black Swan—is now available whenever and wherever you are. “My online classes give women all over the world the ability to train directly with me in real time and sculpt an elegant, powerful body shape from home,” Bowers says of Ballet Beautiful Live, the streaming system she devised for clients when her constant travel schedule during Black Swan kept her out of the classroom. “It’s the ultimate portable fitness studio; whether I’m in Los Angeles or in Soho.” The live feed works by syncing with a participant’s Skype account; you can choose to set up a private session or go for the group class, which can include up to 12 people. (Note: while you are able to view all of your classmates if you so choose, there is also a privacy setting so that only Mary Helen can see your less-than-perfect pliés). I put myself through the paces and can attest to the fact that while the hour-long workouts are intense, the mood is pretty chill and Mary Helen is infinitely patient and kind—a real feat, considering my tragic arabesques.