Boxers Learn Ballet and Bring Their Community Together


(hits punching bag) (heavy breathing) (classical music) – [Dalton] The last local
gym was getting ready to close down in our neighborhood. With them closing down it was one of the last standing boxing
gyms around in St. Paul and I just thought to myself that we can’t lose this resource. It’s important to open a boxing gym because of my experience. I credit a lot of the boxing
to my success as an adult. You know it helped lay a lot of groundwork that helped me define
and discover who I am. – [Megan] I had been looking for a new gym and I was like, “Oh, there’s a boxing gym “two blocks from my house. “I’m gonna go check that out.” – [Phil] I’ve always been a fan of mixed martial arts and boxing, and I was living about six
houses away from the gym right after I graduated. I was like, “I gotta go
check that place out.” – [Megan] Element Gym is important because it’s more than just people
coming in to work up a sweat. We are a very tight-knit
community of people and we do welcome people from all over. – [Dalton] First time
I took a ballet class it was a couple of years ago when St. Paul Ballet
first moved over here, ’cause that was the closest
I ever got to ballet. So when ballet was looking
for space, you know, I was like, “This could be great.” You know, I’m like, “But
I don’t know if ballet “would really wanna come
here with a boxing gym.” Like why would, you know? I didn’t see it at first. Doing ballet just
further opened up my mind and thinking and positioning. How to position my feet
and how to use my balance inside of the ring that can correlate with inside of a studio. – [Phil] I didn’t know
too much about ballet at all before I got involved in this. Maybe didn’t have as much respect as I would have had for
an athletic team and all. But, I mean, they’re real
professionals at St. Paul Ballet. Taking that class, I’m
telling you, it was not easy. That stuff is hard. It’s more about just like the commitment it takes is impressive. So I definitely gained respect for ’em. – [Dalton] We’re showing that, you know, just because you’re part
of a different culture doesn’t mean that you can’t try something that can benefit you. – [Megan] With the current
state of our country and how everyone is so divided and setting up scenarios where it’s, you know, othering people constantly I think it’s so many ways
of connecting with others and it can start somewhere like a gym and in ballet classes.

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