MONTREAL — Some well-known sports personalities were kept on their toes Tuesday to help open new studios for Les Grands Ballets Canadiens.
Patrice Bernier of soccer's Montreal Impact joined a number of athletes that included figure skating world champion Eric Radford, synchronized swimmer Jacqueline Simoneau, recently retired Olympian diver Roseline Filion and ex-Hab Georges Laraque.
They all took part in a one-hour ballet class that helped them wake up some dormant muscles.
The burly Laraque, who was even fitted in a special tutu for the occasion, says the ballet session was a hard workout but it helped him work on flexibility.
"I woke up muscles I haven't used in quite sometime," he said in an interview.
The Impact's Bernier said the class was very demanding, but it probably will help him as soccer player.
"It could maybe lead to better posture and better control in the movements that we do for soccer," he said.
Bernier added that he wanted to learn more about the dance because he has two girls who are interested gymnastics and ballet.
Radford said in an interview that he has done a lot of ballet.
"It not only strengthens your muscles, it also stretches them and it also teaches you how to use individual muscles." he said.
Simoneau says she did some ballet before the 2016 Olympic games and was taught by Andrew Giday, who also gave her a workout on Tuesday.
"Countries such as Russia and China, tend to excel at sports because they have so many young athletes who excel at ballet," she said.
Filion said she also used to do a ballet class as a compliment to diving "for flexibility, posture and balance".
But ballet teacher Giday says it isn't just for the young or athletes, but for all ages.
"One of the missions of the new studios is to show they're open to everybody," he said.
"As a ballet teacher I've have taught people in their fifties."
A ballet spokeswoman adds that ballet is also a form of dance therapy that can help people with arthritis.
The Canadian Press