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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Pilates?


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I've noticed that pilates is a big part of a lot of dancers training. I do believe DD could use some work in stretching and flexibility. How many classes a week of pilates is recommended or even necessary?

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My dd takes a private pilates class every week with a teacher who is a trained dancer. It has made a world of difference for her. I highly recommend it.

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My DD takes twice a week, also with a former professional dancer. She loves it and has found it to be enormously helpful.

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Is it necessary to take lessons with a trained dancer? Does that make a difference? I was just looking at pilates classes at our local Y.

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I'm not sure it matters. It just so happens that there is someone local to us that is trained in pilates and also happens to be a former professional dancer.

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It is not necessary to take lessons with a former dancer. As long as the teacher is certified to teach Pilates, that is the important thing.

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But . . . there are different types of Pilates certification. Old Joe didn't get his method trademarked early enough. There are any number of 'cousin' type, knock-off, etc. type Pilates certifications now. For instance, many gyms have Pilates instructors that are certified in Pilates I=MX. Some require little more than a weekend class to claim certification.

 

The 'original' Pilates certification is an involved affair. One must take foundational classes, log internship/apprentice hours, and pass a certification (exam) class.

 

And lastly, like dance teachers, not all Pilates instructors are equal . . . . .

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DD started taking private pilates lessons when she was 13 - working on the reformer. It has made a big difference. Her teacher is also a former professional ballerina and actually teaches "Bilates" especially for kids in Ballet. She's even in the process of making a video (which dd is in!) :) Definitely recommend it!!

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My DD has trained since the age of 12 with a private Pilates instructor, who was once a professional dancer. It isn't unusual to find that once upon a time, many Pilates instructors were trained dancers. I personally know several dancers turned Pilates instructors. Having an instructor who was once a professional dancer has really helped my DD, especially since she has lots of structural issues that needed attention. When my DD's ballet coach had a list of "issue's" that needed attention, her Pilates instructor really understood how to help my DD. Having taken Pilates myself for more than 10 years, I 100% support it as a great way of cross training for ballet dancers. I feel it is important that the ballet teacher and Pilates instructor "speak the same language", as they must operate as a team. It is important to make sure your instructor is certified, and hopefully more than just a few years. Take the time to find out what kind of certification they have. Once I took a private lesson with an instructor who taught the Stott method, and she knew less about the Pilates equipment than I did. (I was showing her how to do a few exercises). I feel that when finding a good instructor, "buyer beware"must come into play.

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  • 1 month later...

lorimac13 you stated your pilates instructor was making a video. Can I inquire as to if this is available and if so where it can be purchased.

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My dd had a conditioning class that contained mat pilates last year as part of her curriculum, age 14. The teacher is certified as well as trained to teach ballet and character. DD also took yoga classes with another one of her ballet teachers who is working on her yoga certification. She also teaches a stretching and core flex class at the ballet school for advanced dancers. This summer, dd started on the Reformer twice weekly with her physical therapist, and continued classes with the same two teachers about 4 times a week. The PT is not a former dancer, but treats our company dancers and students. She is very well versed in dancer bodies and their injuries.

 

I don't know if it is the stretching, the time off ballet due to injury, the Reformer, age, or all of the factors, but her body looks quite different than it did a few months ago. Her muscles and limbs look longer and leaner, and dd has noticed a difference in her body placement and extension. I don't think Reformer twice weekly and conditioning 4 times a week is the norm for most schedules, but since dd couldn't do center work, she focused on the stretching and conditioning instead. Her upcoming schedule includes the mat Pilates and conditioning class as part of the curriculum, two classes each week.

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My daughter really needed it for strength. She has the flexibility and needed to build core strength. Pilates taught her a lot about her body as well. She has no alignment issues anymore and knows how to self correct. She also went back on pointe after a not very successful attempt 1 1/2 years ago and is doing just fine. The teachers are commenting on her strength.

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  • 1 month later...

Pilates at the local Y might just be provided by a very qualified professional. Physical Therapists are often trained in Pilates and may be excellent at treating dancers (even if they have not danced). I'm glad to see mom57 found that option. Stott, Balanced Body and Polestar have excellent programs. Polestar is probably the most rigorous, but they are all fine.

 

Our dd has been doing Pilates taught by an experienced PT on and off for a couple years, she is 14. She is in a small class once a week, sometimes with a reformer. She is then able to do her own mat exercises during the week. It has been very helpful. I would look into your options and find a safe and affordable Pilates instructor.

 

I have never heard of "Bilates," but Pilates pretty much is Bilates!

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