Ballet is an athletic art form that expresses the mind and character while requiring extreme physical strength; engaging both the mind and body while pushing them to the far reaches of their physical limits, each to their own body’s capabilities. Pilates, to me, acts as the manifestation of ballet’s athleticism to aid its artistry. A display of its vigor to address naysayers. As a ballet dancer of over 13 years, mere snippets of Pilates were incorporated into my training. It was only recently that I discovered just how paramount Pilates is to a ballet dancer, especially a developing one still in training.
When I came to The Pilates Project, I was formerly introduced to true, classical Pilates as a practice. I learned of the nature of its movements, its teachings, mantras, principles, and requirements. I instantly fell in love with the practice, after noticing changes in my body after just a few sessions.
Upon completing my first class, I felt so open. For the first time I fully comprehended the true meaning and experience of the ubiquitous correction to dancers: “chest open”. My collarbones, my shoulders, shoulderblades, and sternum felt almost loosened, yet connected and strong. The constant burn felt in my “noodle-arms” while on the reformer and mat has considerably diminished, only a handful of classes later. I am learning awareness of my body – how it operates, chain reactions, its strengths, weaknesses, and abilities – and to be mindful and aware of every single body part’s natural instinct versus its correct placement. I love that Pilates has no end; there is no finish line, no perfection to be achieved. This may scare those who seek perfection in other areas of life and crave a goal-seeking lifestyle. For me, I am better motivated knowing that I am not perfect, but no one can be, which can understand in all aspects of life, whether it be ballet, school, or living life in general.
The Pilates Project offers Pilates for Young Dancers every Monday starting after Labor Day at 5pm with Alissa.
Sign up HERE!