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Ballet Talk for Dancers


Guest Anders

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Hey guys!


In addition to my two ballet classes a week, I also work out at a gym two or three times a week. I am not a bona fide body builder - I started going about two years ago to avoid a sore back from sitting all day (I'm a lawyer), but also to fill out my suit a little better (I'm also skinnny). Lately, I've noticed that my gym work-outs can interfere with ballet class. For example, in yesterday's class my teacher gave me a really hard time about my upper body alignment and posture, and I'm almost sure that it was screwed up because I was a bit sore after a new shoulder excersise at the gym the day before.


Although I've been going to the gym longer than I've been doing ballet there is no question which gives me a greater sense of fulfillment. Since starting ballet, I now concentrate my gym efforts to my upper body, as I feel my lower body gets all it needs and then some at ballet. As a skinny guy by nature I still want to work my upper body and uphold the results my gym-training has brought - not least as I understand strength is needed in pas de deux (if I ever get to try that!). At the same time, I don't want to become too bulky and definitely not screw up my ballet-posture.


At an intermission at the ballet this weekend, I met a certified pilates instructor who is planning to open the first authorized pilates studio in Stockholm this fall. I've seen pilates mentioned in this forum and elsewhere in dance-related places, and understand that the method is used to build strength as well as flexibility.


Should I consider pilates as a substitute for a gym work-out, or more of a complement? How do you guys work out your upper body?


[ January 15, 2002: Message edited by: Anders ]

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I'm not a guy, so hope you don't mind if I just say something.

I think if you are doing gym work outs, you should try and complement it with pilates. As far as I understand it, Pilates helps lengthen those muscles that have a tendency to bulk up as well as giving you core strength and hence improving your flexibility. I have done pilates before and found that they are a definate bonus.



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It's OK, Jeannette, I think input from a satisfied Pilates user is good. In fact, I can go that one further - one could drop the gym entirely, and just use Pilates as a supplement to ballet class. Just tell your trainer what you want to achieve, and s/he will tailor a program to you! Works great! smile.gif

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ANDERS, talar ni svenska?!!

Hehe.. ill keep it in english here, but im really satisfied to see some others from this part of the world biggrin.gif

As for youre training - lets call it problem - my teacher told me to take leighter weights with more lifts, to get stronger at upper body without gettin clumpy!

But this was more a Viking-salute biggrin.gif

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Good point, Henrik. I've never been one to pile on all the weights I can to see if I can do three reps. I always do three sets of 12-15 reps. I look forward to hearing from the pilates girl, but for social reasons, I don't think I'll give up going to the gym altogether.


PS Kul att ha dig här, Henrik. Fortsätt att jobba på, så skall jag hålla utkik efter dig på scen på Kungliga operan i Stockholm


(Transl: PS Good to have you here, Henrik, keep up the good work and I'll be looking out for you on the stage of the Royal Opera in Stockholm.)

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  • 18 years later...

Pilates is a complement, not a replacement. It'll help if you have weaknesses in core muscle use, though I'd have a trainer review your weight techniques if you think it's throwing your posture off: it shouldn't do that.

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