Pilates exercises offer the perfect compliment to dance training. The “principles” of Pilates are what make it a unique exercise form. These include aspects like concentration, alignment, co-ordination, breathing, control, precision and balance. All these are extremely important in improving your dance technique as well as reducing the risk of injury.
Dancers often spend most of their time on the immediate demands of their dance training, by spending time separately concentrating on areas that need additional strength, the dancer can improve and stretch specific areas and muscles and increase their range to give them that extra edge in the studio.
Pilates is an excellent way to rehabilitate an injury as well as keep the rest of the body in shape while waiting to heal. With specialised equipment, it is possible to gently work the injured areas and strengthen without risk or further injury.
It is also of the utmost importance to build strength at the centre or core and to work from this rather than only concentrating on peripheral strength. The pilates method of strengthening the core stabilisers – specifically the transversus abdominis – is an excellent way to achieve this!
It is interesting to remember that Joseph Pilates himself, worked intensely with the New York City Ballet and dance icons such as George Balanchine and Martha Graham to train and shape one of the best-known ballet companies in the world… What more can we say?