vintage video: yoga for dancers at a 1950s ballet school

(click the image above to watch the footage on

In this charming video footage from the 1950s, ballet students practice yoga to “control the body, discipline the mind and assist concentration” at the Legat School of Ballet in England.

Madame Legat (Nadine Nicolaeva Legat), former prima ballerina in the Russian ballet, introduced yoga exercises as part of the school curriculum because she believed yoga was beneficial to ballet dancers. As modern practitioners know, yoga “increases elasticity, heightens concentration, helps to co-ordinate mind and body and helps the body to relax.”

British Pathé is a fascinating news and video archive, documenting every aspect of global culture and news since the 1890’s. These newsreels were shown in cinemas before the invention of television, and covered everything from fashion to warfare and sport to travel. The collection of 90,000 rare video clips filmed between 1894 and 1977 on the British Pathé’s website are an interesting and enjoyable journey through 20th century culture (and a great way to procrastinate!).

Thanks to Maggie from Yoga Festival Toronto for unearthing this gem and sharing on Facebook!

  1. Dig the crazy yoga clothes. Now we know where the idea of lululemon came from…