Pilates and Dance have been intertwined disciplines from the very beginning of the history of Pilates. In fact, the very development of Pilates was influenced by the needs of some of the best dancers in New York in the twenties. Joseph Pilates’ first Pilates Studio was in the same building of the New York City Ballet, so all of the professional dancers, including George Balanchine and Martha Graham, had immediate access to his method and would regularly attend his Pilates Classes Prahran for training and rehabilitation.
The dancer’s needs for injury-proof, flexible, controlled physiques helped Joseph inform and refine the Pilates exercise method. It wasn’t long before his Pilates classes ended up becoming the best supplementary dance training a dancer could have, as they bought attention to the performance of deep core support, pelvic alignment and full range of movement.
The dancers’ found that so many principles integral to dance training were also emphasised in Pilates, which explained why so many them would resonate and benefit from regular classes. It wasn’t long before it became known that ballerinas were attending Joseph Pilates’ gym on 8th avenue, and so the rest of society followed, and the practice is now benefiting both people and dancers all around the world.
While most dance classes focus on physical fitness, flexibility and technique, it’s widely acknowledged by dance researchers, clinicians and educators that supplementary training is essential to every dancer’s success and longevity.
Pilates’ classes serve as an excellent form of supplement dance training, as the small, precise movements are designed to strengthen the body, reduce the possibility of injury, rehabilitate damaged muscles, while strengthening the core and improving flexibility.
Pilates classes are extremely beneficial for ballet dancers in particular, as they focus on integrating the spine with the arms and legs, allowing for fluid and controlled movement throughout the body. This is something in which all Ballerinas, and dancers, strive for. Pilates also has low impact on the joints, and a strong concentration on the core, thus creating a strong back and midsection, the place from which all dance movements originate.
Many dancers practice Pilates every day to keep their muscles and core in excellent shape, so their craft is always being improved. There is even such thing as Dance Pilates, which is a type of Pilates class which is targeted specifically at dancers. The class emphasises strength conditioning and flexibility, while also working as a great conditioning technique to help dancer’s prevent and rehabilitate serious injuries.
At Kaya Health Clubs, we offer a range of different Pilates classes that help prevent injury, improve movement technique, increase understanding of movement principles and prepare our dance clients for the demands of their dance form. We also offer Barre classes, an exercise class which seamlessly incorporates the concepts of Pilates, classical ballet, and functional movement to create a multidisciplinary workout focused on alignment and postural strength. We’re also proud partners of The Australian Ballet and have been since 2012. The Australian Ballet medico team has picked apart Kaya Prahan’s Pilates Repertoire to make sure it is suitable for their best asset – their dancers. Before they grave the stage, the train at Kaya! For more information, feel free to give us a call or check out our timetable!