I've been reading a lot of the threads on internal strength / structure during the last years and find it very interesting. Hopefully, I will have the chance to go to one of Dan's seminars in the near future to get some real points to work on.
To the point: From I was 7 until the age of 15, I studied classical ballet. For all of those years, we did basic excercises to strengthen the body and to create good posture and balance. Obviously, this came in handy when I started Aikido just after quitting ballet.
Now, when looking at some of the Aunkai and other methods of establishing structure in the body, it strikes me how similar this approach is to the basics of ballet. Stretching the spine. Lowering the center. Extending the arms while being grounded etc. Seems it has some similarities.
Here's an example of a basic drill:
Just found it cool, and it would be interesting to hear your thoughts on this.
Actually, there is a guy who trains at the aunkai and does ballet as well. I think he has posted on aikiweb in the past so you could probably PM him for his take on this topic.