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Pilates/Conditioning

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DanceDaddy

My first year my dd did an exam she was also doing swim team (at the same time). Which definitely helped her conditioning.

Last year, she didn't want to do swim team. So I made up some HIIT exercises for her, like the 7 minute workout etc.

This year, there will be a combination of workouts and some swimming. Yes, I do think this extra conditioning helps her dance. She's received good scores, so we "trust the process"

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cupcake3

My long limbed 12 year old dd just did her first Pilates private (classical mat) and thought it seemed perfect for targeting the areas she needs to work on- core strength, turnout, back strength and flexibility. The instructor that taught her told me she was too young to do reformer, that they usually don’t allow it until a child turns 15, (basically when finished growing) but that she can do mat and tower.  I was wondering if this is the case across the board or only at this particular studio?  

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AB'sMom

My daughter does a dance conditioning program at a Pilates studio owned by former professional ballet dancers. They are also certified Balanced Body Pilates teacher trainers. The dance conditioning class uses mat, reformers, Exo chairs and other equipment. I have never heard of there being a problem using reformers on a growing body. 

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AdagioMom

Our ballet school attached to a company offers reformer Pilates at a certain level.  The youngest kids in that level are usually 13.  The only issue I've heard of regarding doing it when they are younger, is they may not be tall enough to use the reformer properly.

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cupcake3

AdagioMom and AB's mom - Thank you.  I had never heard of this either.  DD is 5'2" so her height shouldn't be an issue.  She enjoyed the mat class and may stick with that, but I'd like her to try the reformer.  In my limited pilates experience, I've found the reformers more supportive in the pilates work, making it easier to target the appropriate muscles.  I will look into other studios in our area as well.  

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AB'sMom

I’m also hoping that the added resistance of the springs on the reformer will help with bone strength. I know dancing is a weight-bearing exercise, but if a child is long and lean, they don’t have much weight to bear. I started doing Pilates myself for that very reason. I’m naturally long and thin so I got away with avoiding exercise for a long time. Then, in my late forties, my doctor said I’m like a poster child for osteoporosis. 

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5uptown

I don't know if its still ok to post here since my dancer just turned 13 (last month), but my son has been doing gyrotonics for about 8 months now and really likes it. He finds it helps him with stability (core strength, but also how to feel and use certain muscles) and flexibility. And he walks out feeling energized and great. The studio he goes to has been very accepting of the preteen/teen dancers. Anyway, just another option to consider and very suitable for dancers, it seems. 

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Salmonpoint

Cupcake,

It may be specific to your studio and maybe their liability coverage.  My Dd started Pilates at 12 and was allowed to use all the equipment, but it was a private lesson (fortunately the teacher is a former dancer and she gives discounts to dancers).

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