Fine Arts Meets Fitness at Grand Jeté


When Shannon Boswell walked across the stage at the University of Alabama, she knew she was leaving her undergraduate days behind, but not her dreams of dancing.

SEO queen by day, dance warrior by night. That’s how Boswell balances her two passions post-college. The training she received has opened more than a few doors, and the latest one really raises the barre.

A Time for Dance

Boswell has been teaching dance classes to high school students for some time now at Birmingham Southern College. When she’s not teaching, she enjoys trying out barre studios around town.

While taking a course at Grand Jeté in English Village, the instructor was taken aback by Boswell’s graceful flow and impeccable form. She pulled Boswell aside after class and offered her the chance to become a part-time instructor at the studio.

In the weeks that followed, Boswell started training three times per week at Grand Jeté. It was important for her to build up stamina and practice doing the workouts while talking over a headset. After all, one of her biggest jobs is to be an example, so it’s important to not be out of breath!

Boswell enjoys being able to put her own spin on the workouts and the interactive element of tailoring the workouts to the level of the class. She is finishing her training as a co-teacher through April, and she will begin teaching the second week of May.

Trying Out Grand Jeté

While Boswell has tried quite a few barre studios, for her, Grand Jeté is the most authentic to ballet.

“The workouts here are based on ballet, yoga, and weights, with a little cardio thrown in,” Boswell said.

If you don’t have a dancing background like Boswell, the good news is that it’s not necessary for these fitness classes. You’ll work on mastering basic ballet movements, building strength, and learning a bit of dance terminology along the way. It’s also a great energy boost, with workouts choreographed in time with pop favorites.

For those who like a challenge, bear in mind that the workouts change every three weeks at Grand Jeté. This means you have a limited amount of time to master each move, so consistency is essential.

“Most of all, the discipline you learn in dance will help you in work and in all other areas of your life,” Boswell said.

Boswell will teach her first solo class on May 9. Get with her on details if you’d like to give it a try!