Baryshnikov Vaganova Style Ballet Training for Gymnastics

Mikhail Baryshnikov performs from Act II of Giselle in 1977


Most gymnastics coaches and parents understand that girls who like gymnastics and girls who like ballet are usually very different. Girls who like gymnastics often don’t like ballet classes.

The Russians Train Their Gymnasts in Ballet from the Beginning

The Russian Olympic and World Championship level International Elite gymnasts have floor and beam routines that obviously show their years of Russian ballet training. You can see the ballet/dance training in Viktori Komova’s 2012 Olympic floor exercise routine if you watch her leaps, turns or even, just watch her feet during the whole routine.

No Ballet Expert Here

As a male gymnastics coach, I cannot and do not claim any real expertise in ballet or dance training. My Secrets to Gymnastics Choreography e-Book was originally written for coaches who are not choreographers, but had to create some floor routines anyway.

Complete Ballet Training for Gymnastics

There are numerous styles of ballet, but for gymnastics my preference is Vaganova style ballet training, which is the system under which Mikhail Baryshnikov trained. Baryshnikov had a transcendent style, grace and power which allowed him to stay suspended in the air for an almost unbelievable amount of air time. The material below, which can be purchase at a very reasonable price, provide an fully detailed 8 year Vaganova style ballet training system. That system could be implemented in your gym by anyone with a strong ballet background.

The Original Agrippina Vaganova Ballet Training Book

This is Agrippina Vaganova’s own book, which you can get for as little as a penny plus $3.99 shipping.
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8 Year Vaganova Ballet Training System

This is what looks like the best set of complete Vaganova lesson plans. Note, there seem to be some missing lesson plans in the Kindle version, which is what I would buy. You might want to get the paperback, since it has all the lesson plans.
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Vaganova Ballet Training Video

There is also a Vaganova Ballet Training video, if you would want one of those.
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Baryshnikov/Gymnastics Style Dance

I personally used to show my gymnasts Baryshnikov videos, because I wanted them to see what power, height and amplitude was possible in dance and wanted my girls to do Baryshnikov/gymnastics style dance.
Here is just one video with Baryshnikov that is available:

Baryshnikov Dances Sinatra: A Dance Creation by Twyla Tharp (1976)

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