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Mar 13 2013 02:03pm    Comments: 0    Categories: Studio News      Tags: news  

When I opened The Studio – Dance and Pilates in 2008, many current dance students and their families posed this question.  After all, The Studio had always been focused only on a dance curriculum, not one combining Pilates and Dance together under one roof.

I started doing Pilates classes in my late twenties, when I heard about it from other dancers.  I had several injuries and back issues and thought it would be helpful.  I started by ordering a few Pilates DVD’s and found it to be “too easy”.  I wasn’t aware that I was just following a body performing the Pilates exercises on a screen, not really making the mind-body connection necessary to truly learn how to properly execute and “feel” the Pilates exercises.  There is a familiar quote that says “The great thing about Pilates is that it’s really easy to do – unless you do it right…”

Not willing to give up, I started taking classes at a Pilates Studio with truly qualified Pilates instructors who had spent hundreds of hours learning how to properly execute and teach the exercises safely and effectively.  It was there that I had an “aha” moment and was hooked for life on Pilates.  I was taught how to properly perform the Pilates exercises in the classical nature.

The reasons for Dancers to practice Pilates are clear. Pilates exercises focus on posture, strength, and flexibility - all three are important components for any good dancer. The use of Pilates results in a strengthening of the upper body that enhances a dancer's balance, alignment of body parts, better posture while still or turning, and other spinal muscle alignments. Pilates exercises are also good at lower body parts like the ankles and feet that play a key role in any form of dance.

What Pilates exercises does is increase the alertness level of the body to surrounding physical space and leave the mind in better control and hence more relaxed. The purpose of the Pilates exercise is to make sure that the mind is aware of all muscles involved in every moment and to take them into account while maintaining balance and agility. Because of this, Pilates can work on nearly every part of the body.

I wanted to ensure that our Pilates instructors were classically trained and certified by organizations that had rigorous training programs. These instructors (including myself) have completed several hundred hours of training in Pilates and know the different ways to modify the exercises so new students don't get hurt.  (Be careful!! - some gyms send their personal trainers to weekend-long courses and then claim they're qualified to teach Pilates (they're not!), and this can lead to injury).

Our Pilates instructors also have strong dance backgrounds so the training will go more smoothly since they are able to either translate Pilates movements into similar dance movements or relate the movements to where they will help with dance training.

At our Studio we offer both Pilates Mat classes and Private or Semi-Private Pilates sessions with our Pilates instructors on the specifically designed Pilates Apparatus (Reformers, Towers, Cadillacs, Wunda Chairs and Ladder Barrels).

The Pilates mat program follows a set sequence, with exercises following on from one another in a natural progression, just as Joseph Pilates designed them. Beginners start with basic exercises and build up to include additional exercises and more advanced positioning.

The Pilates apparatus sessions also follow a set sequence, but have the added bonus of individually working with a client’s body.  An instructor is able to assess and work with their individual strengths and weaknesses to personally develop a workout that is tailored to their specific needs.

At The Studio – Dance and Pilates , we are proud to offer both disciplines.  They complement one another beautifully.  Come in and see why we believe “Movement is for Life!”

June Coppola

Copyright 2011 The Studio - Dance & Pilates, Movement for Life

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