Dancing Queens: The Ballerina


Yvonne Shortt, 33
Client-services director, Rego Park, N.Y.

Once Yvonne had her children, she stopped exercising and gained 20 pounds. To get back in shape, she bellied up to the barre, doing ballet exercises at home. She'd grudgingly begun dancing at age 5, pushed by her mom into classes. This time, though, she was determined to go en pointe on her own terms. Yvonne tried taking classes at a nearby Y, but that just felt like one more obligation, one more time she had to leave her daughters (ages 8 and 3) behind. We'll dance together, she decided.

Soon the three were pirouetting around the living room twice a week for 45 minutes, while her husband, Richard West (pictured above), played the piano. "The girls work on arabesques," Yvonne says. "They're giggling—and I get to exercise." She now has more energy to plie into the kitchen to fix dinner (or at least order out) and marvels at her improved posture and muscle tone. She's also lost 10 pounds. "When I'm dragging, I dance. And when I dance, I have good energy."

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