瑪麗·海倫是「美型芭蕾」的創辦人，致力於幫助更多人擁有芭蕾舞伶般優雅的身段與線條。她也是娜塔莉·波曼在「黑天鵝」的專屬健身教練。瑪麗·海倫在十六歲時加入紐約市芭蕾舞團成為專業舞者，並在紐約林肯中心與世界巡迴演出十年。卸下舞團職務之後，她進入哥倫比亞大學修習美國文學。她創立了第一個線上健身舞蹈教室，不僅在全球擁有許多會員，她的客群更包括許多明星及模特兒。這次 womany 有機會與瑪麗·海倫聊聊關於美，優雅，與健康。她的新書已被翻譯成中文並於今年夏天在台灣上市。
Mary Helen Bowers is the founder and CEO of Ballet Beautiful. She is dedicated to help people building and maintaining the beauty, strength, and grace of a ballerina. She was responsible for whipping Natalie Portman into shape for her role in Black Swan. She joined the New York Ballet at age 16 and danced 10 years with the company at Lincoln Center and on stages across the world. After retiring from NYCB Mary Helen earned her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Columbia University. She developed one of the world’s first online fitness studies. Today Ballet Beautiful has a global membership with a high profile following and impressive celebrity clientele. Womany is delighted to have this chance to discuss with Mary Helen about beauty, grace, and health. Her book has been translated into Chinese and published in Taiwan this summer.
Did you always know you were going to be a dancer?
Mary Helen Bowers: 從我有記憶開始，芭蕾一直是我生命的一部分 。我一直喜歡跳舞，而且從很小的時候就知道，這是我人生想要做的事。
Ballet has been a part of me for as long as I can remember. I’ve always loved dancing and knew from a young age that it was what I wanted to do with my life.
Could you talk about how being trained as a professional dancer shape the way you connect to and take care of your body？
Mary Helen Bowers: 對於一個專業的芭蕾舞者，妳的身體即是妳的工具！要取得成功，妳必須明白身體的極限，妳要學會如何傾聽身體的需求並保持在最佳狀態。因為芭蕾是肢體的展現，妳會與身體發展出非常強的身心聯結。對於我來說，我在芭蕾舞團所受的舞蹈專業訓練對於我在「美型芭蕾」所做的事有重大的影響。身為一個芭蕾舞者我第一次創立了一個後台使用系統，後來擴大到任何一個女人都可以從中受益與享受的健身方法。
For a professional ballerina, your body is your instrument! To be successful you must learn how far you can push it, how to listen and how to keep it in top condition. Because ballet is so physical you develop a very strong physical connection with the body. For me, dancing professionally had a huge impact on what I’m doing with Ballet Beautiful. I first created a system to use myself backstage as a ballerina and later expanded it into a fitness method that any woman can benefit from and enjoy.
Could you share with us your favorite/most memorable experience when dancing with New York City Ballet?
Mary Helen Bowers:我最喜歡的經歷之一是與紐約市芭蕾舞團在聖彼得堡的馬林斯基劇院演出。能夠在擁有豐厚歷史與美麗的舞台上跳舞是一種榮譽！我在舞團的第一個國際表演是在台灣。我永遠不會忘記在台灣舞台上那多麼令人興奮的開幕之夜！
One of my favorite experiences was performing at the Marinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg with New York City Ballet. There is so much history and beauty that has taken place on that stage, it was an honor to dance there! I also performed with the company in Taiwan on my first international tour. I’ll never forget how exciting opening night was dancing and performing in Taiwan!
What does “being beautiful” mean to you?
Mary Helen Bowers:我認為美麗的定義因人而異！對我來說，美麗是所有女性都擁有的，是力和優雅的完美結合。芭蕾將這份美捕捉地如此完美，這也是我一直很喜歡藝術的原因之一。
I think it’s different for everyone! To me beauty is that incredible combination of strength and grace inherent in all women. Ballet captures it so perfectly, it’s one of the reasons I have always loved the art.
You talk about power, grace, and strength of the body, yet there is so much pressure on looking perfect in the societies. Please tell us more about how to live gracefully in everyday life and how you hope people will get from Ballet Beautiful.
Mary Helen Bowers: 所有女性都會遭受來自於社會的壓力，告訴我們該看起來如何或是該有什麼樣的行為。這種情況非常普遍！重要的是要忽略外界的壓力，而把重點放在什麼讓妳感到快樂，美麗和堅強。對我來說，這意味著好好愛護和照顧我的身體。定期鍛煉，健康的飲食和確保我得到足夠的睡眠，這些都讓我的身體處在最好的狀態。有了這個基礎，將更容易專注於自己的健康和幸福，而不是活在他人的期望之下。
All women suffer from pressure to look and even act a certain way. It’s really universal! It’s important to ignore outside pressure and instead focus on what makes you feel happy, beautiful and strong. For me that means treating my body with as much love and care as possible. Regular workouts, a healthy diet and making sure that I’m getting enough sleep, are the things that make me feel best, physically. With this base it’s much easier to focus on your own health and happiness rather than living up to another’s expectations.
With all of the health and fitness books and videos out there on the market, what inspired you to create Ballet Beautiful?
Mary Helen Bowers:「美型芭蕾」的靈感來自於我的個人經歷，作為一個專業的芭蕾舞者和我對於健康和健身的熱情。這麼多健身課程用非常男性化的態度來雕塑身體，對我來說這是行不通的。我為自己創造了一個系統，並希望能找到一種方式來與世界各地的女性分享這種鍛鍊方式。所有課程的設計是專為可以在家透過我的書和線上影片來鍛鍊，讓課程唾手可得！
Ballet Beautiful is inspired by my experiences as a professional ballerina and my love for health and fitness. So much fitness comes from a very masculine energy and approach towards shaping the body which has never worked for me. I created an amazing system for myself and wanted to find a way to share this workout with other women all over the world. The workouts are all designed to be done at home via our book and online videos to make them truly portable and accessible to all!
If possible, could you share one or two testimonies from your clients, how you see their changes and how you feel as the person making the transformation to take place?
Mary Helen Bowers:「美型芭蕾」每天都收到許多來自我們客戶不可思議的成果。看見這麼多女性使用這個課程來改變她們的身體和生活是如此鼓舞人心！
We receive incredible testimonials from our clients who are seeing results from Ballet Beautiful almost every day. It’s so inspiring to see how many women are using the program to change their bodies and their lives!
“瑪麗·海倫的技巧讓任何人都可以實現擁有如舞者般修長和緊致的身形。” - 娜塔莉·波曼，奧斯卡影后，黑天鵝
“Mary Helen’s technique… allows anyone to achieve the long, toned physique of a dancer.” – Natalie Portman, Academy Award-winning actress, Black Swan
“我崇拜瑪麗·海倫·鮑爾斯：她知道如何讓普通的女人看起來像芭蕾舞伶。瑪麗海倫的智慧，注重細節的態度和專業的芭蕾舞者培訓使她擁有豐富的肢體鍛鍊知識。她與她精簡的技術可以創造令人難以置信的改變。她真的與眾不同。“ - 佐伊·丹斯切爾，女演員和音樂家
“I adore Mary Helen Bowers: she knows how to make ordinary women look like ballerinas. Mary Helen’s intelligence, attention to detail and extensive training as a ballerina has made her a wealth of knowledge. With her simple streamlined technique she can make incredible changes. She’s the real deal.” - Zooey Deschanel, Actress and Musician
What is your suggestion for working Moms on how to take care of themselves, especially on balancing all the different responsibilities, eating healthy, and feeling beautiful.
Mary Helen Bowers: 作為母親有來自各方的要求。但要真正照顧好妳的家人，妳必須先照顧好自己！對於忙碌的媽媽們，我們總是建議在能力和時間許可下盡妳所能地做就好。這可能是在寶寶午睡或孩子在學校時15或30分鐘的鍛煉 。當你能抽出時間達到一周3小時的運動，結果是非常令人難以置信的。妳將會看起來和感覺更有自信，更纖細緊實。健康飲食也是非常重要的！有時候，我們放很多心力照顧我們的家庭，但我們卻忘記，我們還需要均衡和健康的飲食。一點一滴的累積將會有很大的改變，更棒的是，當妳身為母親對於健康有著積極的態度，妳會為妳的孩子設下一個很好的榜樣。
There are so many demands on Moms’ time and in order to really take great care of your family, you have to take care of yourself! For busy moms we always recommend doing what you can, when you can. It could be a 15 or 30-minute workout when the baby is napping or the kids are at school. When you make time for 3 hours of exercise/wk the results are pretty incredible. You look and feel more confident, lean and toned. Healthy eating is important too! Sometimes we focus so much on taking care of our families that we forget that we also need to eat healthy, balanced meals. Every little bit helps and the great part is that when you are healthy and active as a parent you set a terrific example for your kids.
We are very excited that the book Ballet Beautiful is translated into Chinese and being published in Taiwan, what suggestion do you have for Asian women who are afraid of “bulking up” by exercising, and to whom constant dieting has become a norm?
Mary Helen Bowers: 一切都跟妳如何運動有關。沒有人比一個芭蕾舞者更畏懼擁有壯碩的身型了！「美型芭蕾」是很好的鍛煉，它讓妳可以享受在家的隱私和配合自己的步調，將妳的肌肉拉長而不是讓妳變壯碩。當妳做正確的鍛鍊和吃正確的食物，節食不再必要。這種感覺令人感到如此自由和解放！
It’s all about the way that you exercise. No one is more terrified of getting bulky or big muscles than a ballerina! Ballet Beautiful is a great workout that can be enjoyed in the privacy of your own home and at your own pace, it elongates rather than bulks the muscles. And when you are doing the right workout and eating the right foods dieting is no longer necessary. It’s so liberating!
Could you please list 5 things a woman can do to incorporate your philosophy and tools to become more Ballet Beautiful?
Mary Helen Bowers:
3）設定一個目標！無論妳的夢想是擁有纖細的身形或是美麗的姿態，設定目標是實現夢想的第一步。做足充分準備來達到您的目標 - 這一切都跟融入生活有關。如果妳的目標是每週訓練三小時的「美型芭蕾」，拿出妳的行程表並把鍛鍊時間排進去。
1) The first step would be buying our book! It’s a great introduction to the Ballet Beautiful lifestyle and program.
2) Get in the Ballet Beautiful mindset! This step begins with learning how to look at exercise and a healthy diet as a way to pamper your body and create beauty from the inside out.
3) Set a goal! Whether your dream is to be more lean and toned or have beautiful posture, setting a goal is the first step to making it happen. Do the prep work to meet your goals -- this is where it all comes to life. If your goal is to start with our Classic workout 3 hours week look at your schedule and make the time.
4) Celebrate the small things! Did you get through an extra set of Swan Arms today? Track your progress and celebrate as you go!
5) Always take a rest day! Giving the body time each week to recover is just as important as making time to workout. Set aside one day each week where you rest and recover to prepare for the week to come.
What's next for you/ Ballet Beautiful on the horizon?
Mary Helen Bowers:目前我懷了我的第一個孩子，現在工作專注於為孕婦設計一個特別的產前課程。懷孕是一段神奇的時間，我真的很期待設計一個課程來支持準媽媽達到她們健身和健康的目標，讓女性擁有最美麗最健康的懷孕過程。
I am currently pregnant with my first child and working now on a specific prenatal program. Pregnancy is a magical time, I’m really excited to develop a program to support moms-to-be in their fitness and health goals and help other women have the most beautiful and healthy pregnancy possible.
Could you share with us your life mantra and say a few words to the reader at
Mary Helen Bowers: 擁有遠大的夢想，永不後悔過去！我是一個喜歡為自己設定高目標的人，我也鼓勵別人做同樣的事情。
Dream big and never look back! I’m a person that loves to set high goals for myself and I encourage others to do the same.