Dance is complex movement, very much like Pilates. It’s now widely acknowledged that supplementary training is an essential ingredient to a dancer’s success and longevity. Dance class alone does not provide the necessary physical adaptations to ensure optimal performance and reduced risk of injury.
For most dancers, Pilates is a natural choice when it comes to supplementary training. Dancers feel comfortable with Pilates because the principles integral to dance are also emphasized in Pilates. Pilates works on deep core support and pelvic alignment for fluid and controlled movement, just like dance.
Pilates as a supplementary training feels familiar to dancers because it embodies an artistic quality of movement and an emphasis on breathing, alignment, and adaptation, deep core support, and mobility. Because of this, dancers enjoy and commit to Pilates with ease.
Although Pilates excels as a torso toner, its exercises require the contribution from various muscle groups, so comprehensive, all-over strength and agility are the results. Pilates works deep, finding those hard-to-target muscles so essential to ballet technique. Pilates also discovers and corrects imbalances and misalignments that can hinder a dancer’s progress.
Nearly all of us have one leg that is very slightly longer than the other which isn’t noticeable in our daily lives but in such a precise performance art can become a hindrance if not corrected. We also all have a dominant side – note that the majority of people will choose their right hand to pick something up.
Pilates exercises are designed to ensure that both sides work equally, preventing the strong side compensate for the weaker one. Unlike other exercises, Pilates and dance keep muscles long and lean. Pilates focuses on concentration, breathing, centering, precision, flow, body awareness, stamina, and relaxation; all principles dancers need to excel in their performances.
Image source: Suaja