Face-off: blood, sweat and tears — what rugby and ballet are both about

2009-07-02 00:00

INCREDIBLE strength, bloodied feet, extreme precision, discipline, control and great exertion — can the rugby players take it?

Earlier this week, Springbok coach Peter de Villiers slighted the ballet community by appealing to rugby players to “man-up” following Schalk Burger’s eye-gouging accusation in a Test match against the Lions. In other words, he suggested sarcastically, if you can’t take rugby, turn to ballet.

“Ballet is by no means rugby,” says Hugh Bladen, SuperSport commentator and coach at the Wanderer’s Rugby Club. But Bladen encourages his young players to take inspiration from ballet dancers’ fitness, discipline and control. “Most of all, rugby is about watching ballet,” he says.

Midlands under-20 player Jean-Claude du Plessis disagrees, saying he could outperform a ballet dancer in fitness any day. “Oh yes, definitely,” he laughs.

This is the reaction ballet dancers like Ivan Boonzaaier are used to. After being labelled a sissy for choosing ballet over rugby, Boonzaaier proved that ballet keeps one just as fit. He scored the highest level of fitness in terms of blood pressure and heart rate in his grade 11 biology class.

Pietermaritzburg-based ballet teacher Brenda Hunter stresses the importance of daily practice. Ballet dancers are deceptively fit — you can’t see the amount of pain and effort that goes into a simple pirouette.

Ninety minutes on a rugby field is one thing, but dancing on a stage for three hours takes some beating.

Ballet may not be a contact sport, but ballet and rugby are ultimately two disciplines that require dedication, a high pain threshold and perseverance.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.