The Importance of Understanding the Principles of Pilates for Dancers

How Can Dancers Benefit From Pilates?

Being a dancer can be extremely demanding on the body, as technique, grace, and strength must all be used simultaneously during practice and performances. While the dancing itself is important to the craft, there is something else that can be very beneficial to those who are in the dance world: Pilates. It’s important to understand the principles of Pilates and how they can be used to benefit dancers.

Pilates is a form of exercise that creates a union between the mind and body. Developed by Joseph Pilates in the 1920s, Pilates focuses on the connection of mind to body by utilizing principles such as whole body movements, breath control, core strength, and spinal alignment. Each of these concepts are very applicable to the world of dancing.

Whole Body Movements

Each movement of Pilates is a whole body experience, meaning the entire body is activated as opposed to individual muscles. Dancers need to know how to move as a whole in order to create grace and flow in their motions, which is what Pilates offers. Through Pilates, dancers can learn to move from their core, creating more stability and power in their movements.

Breathing Technique

Breathing is a core module of Pilates, and it is beneficial to dancers in numerous ways. When learning and executing movements, breath control is important. With Pilates, dancers can learn the right breath control techniques that help them control the way they move—allowing for more clarity in every motion.

Core Strength

The core is the foundation of any movement, and thus dancers must have a strong core in order to maintain skill and technique. With Pilates, dancers can strengthen their core without putting unnecessary added stress on the body. Many Pilates exercises and movements focus on core stability and strength from the spine and abdominal muscles—giving dancers the foundation they need for strong and graceful performances.

Spinal Alignment

A common injury for dancers is hyper-extension of the spine. With Pilates, dancers can learn proper alignment of the spine to exercise more safely, thereby reducing the risk of injury. Pilates focuses on maintaining good posture and creating complete stability of the spine and lower back, both of which are key components to a dancer’s performance.

Learn Pilates To Become A Better Dancer

Pilates is an important part of any dancer’s life. With Pilates, dancers can not only reduce the risk of injury, but also learn and apply proper breathing techniques, better spinal alignment, and strengthen their core and improve overall movement principles. By understanding and utilizing the principles of Pilates, dancers can move confidently and gracefully as they perform—reaching their fullest potential.

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