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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Pilates and Yoga


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Just wondering on your personal opinion about the number of hours to spend on pilates/yoga as a Ballet supplement?

I'm currently doing 3.5 hours of Ballet/Pointe a week, and I'm considering adding two hours of pilates/yoga- if beneficial. Thoughts? =)

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  • 1 month later...

I do ballet 5x/week plus one contemporary class and try to do a yoga session (at home using youtube videos) daily. I don't manage daily when I'm busy but my body can handle it. I've seen massive improvements in core strength and flexibility from the yoga.

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I take a ballet class 2 times a week, which is the only amount of classes available to me during my non-work hours. :( I wanted to supplement this with a minimum of 2 yoga classes a week, but I've found I really don't enjoy it. Is pilates quite different?? I would have to travel for the pilates class, my town is overrun with yoga but has a lack of pilates!

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I guess I'm allowed in this forum now... I have little experience with yoga, but Pilates has saved my body. I did it once a week all year last year, and have continued that (flirting here and there with twice a week when I can afford it) this year, and I can say that I've never had a major injury (just some overuse stuff). I find that the work in parallel and medial rotation is an especial help, as well as the general stability gained from the work. My experience is strictly Reformer, though; I don't go to a studio that offers mat (although she does incorporate mat exercises on a converted reformer sometimes).

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I find both yoga and Pilates useful and I find they complement each other as well as dance. I've actually been doing a bit less dancing than before, really for scheduling reasons only, but I've been doing regular yoga and Pilates. And my dancing has improved notably in the same time, I think because doing a different activity increases body awareness and I've been mindful to translate that awareness to dance.


Like with ballet, there are different styles of yoga and of Pilates and a range of teachers in both personality and skill. I've found the key to be learning my preferred styles and finding teachers who work for me. I probably wouldn't still be doing either activity if I hadn't done that!

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Remember that if your goal is to optimize your skill and ability in ballet, you will benefit more by taking more ballet classes, at least up to a point, than doing an auxiliary activity.


But generally, though adult ballet students want to improve their ballet skill, they also enjoy doing other physical activities too. Nothing wrong with that. Adults have the luxury of time. If it takes us a little longer, so be it.


I believe both Pilates and Yoga are excellent activities by themselves. I have done both. Each can contribute to the development of dancers to some extent.


Pilates can help strengthen the torso, at least up to a point. It can make one more aware of torso movement, which is important to the modern dancer. But I also find that Pilates is inefficient in developing the torso. Much time is devoted to it. Similar (or better) results can be achieved in shorter time by using weights or a medicine ball. I also need to say that females tend to be attracted to Pilates more so than males. Why I have no idea. Either way, if you enjoy it, do it.


I did yoga in the 1970s before it was popular. I did it because it was a structured approach to flexibility. I stopped as the class I took became more and more spiritual. I still do yoga stretches (love Iyengar style), and in my older age I'm much more interested in meditation. If I had the time, I would do some yoga classes. I do see yoga as a way to aid the development of a dancer, both from a physical and mental perspective. I also think I would enjoy it.

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