One of the most commonly heard erroneous impressions about Pilates is that the exercise was developed by a dancer. Well, Joseph Pilates was not a professional dancer, nor did he develop his Pilates Method specifically for dancers. However, if you want to move with the grace and style of a dancer, and possess the strong sculpted muscles and flexibility of these people, then the Pilates Method may be a perfect choice.
Probably, you have seen dancers supplementing their studies with the teasers, mermaids, elephants, boomerangs, long spine stretches, open leg rockers, and other intriguing-named exercises. The reason for this is that these exercises and about 500 others are part of Pilates. It is an exercise system loved by many dancers for its being so beneficial. Martha Graham and George Balanchine first recognized the benefits of the Pilates Method for dancers. They were the first in the dance world to acknowledge that the Pilates Method, with its deliberate and controlled movements coupled with controlled breathing and a strong emphasis on alignment, could enhance flexibility and strength throughout the entire body. This result can be obtained through the Pilates Method without forming bulky muscles.
Several other pieces of evidence were revealed, noting the benefits of the Pilates Method for dancers. One particular incident that makes the impression of the Pilates Method for dancers so well-known is about Emily Gaynor. She was a teenager studying at the school of American Ballet who started the Pilates workouts, and after one month discovered that she wass getting stronger. Well, what Emily and so many other dancers have done is cross-train with an excellent complement to dance – the Pilates Method.
The Pilates Method for dancers strengthens the dancer’s powerhouse. Note that according to Pilates, the powerhouse encompasses the abdomen, lower back, and buttocks. When the powerhouse is strengthened, it creates a super-strong core that supports all the other movements.
The importance of the Pilates Method for dancers is further shown with Pilates being an effective system that works deep, finding those hard to isolate muscles so essential to strength and control. In the first place, the precision and control needed for the exercises require contributions from the different muscle groups, so all-over strength and suppleness result.
In addition, the Pilates Method for dancers discovers and corrects imbalances and misalignments that can hinder the progress of the dancer and it does so in a supportive and calm environment. This is then an important factor given the intensity of some ballet classes.
Pilates Method for dancers is further recognized with the revelation that Pilates provides an excellent supplement to the rehabilitation after injury. It’s no wonder then that the Pilates equipments are often found in the offices of dance physical therapists. There was one report noting that the great ballerina Suzanne Farrell was able to return to the stage after considering the importance of the Pilates Method for dancers. She underwent a hip replacement by adding Pilates to her rehabilitation regime.