There’s a reason dancers have gravitated towards Pilates since its first studio opened in New York City. Pilates is the perfect complement to a dancer’s demanding fitness regimen. It supports overall muscle development, injury prevention, and control in an effective low-impact workout.
Many dancers face incredibly high standards and pressure to perform. Their body is their livelihood, and their tool. It makes sense that dancers want to hone their body and protect it in a sport that is incredibly prone to injury.
Here’s why so many dancers love Pilates, and what it can do for you!
“As a dancer, I wish I started Pilates years ago. Pilates is a great exercise for dancers (or anyone!) because it has you take the time to focus on developing and using your muscles in a correct and safe form. Since starting Pilates, I feel stronger when I dance, have less pain/injuries, my balance is better, and I feel more confident.” – RTR Instructor Mikayla
1. Building self-awareness and control
Pilates focuses on building greater control and awareness over the body. By synchronizing breathing and movement, practitioners experience greater self-awareness. This control is crucial for dancers, who push their bodies to the limit, but it really benefits everyone. As a mindful practice, Pilates provides a sense of calm, control, and accomplishment that people can carry with them throughout their daily lives.
2. Alignment & posture
Many people experienced improved posture from Pilates, and dancers are no different! By strengthening the entire core and back, Pilates can help align the spine and reduce tension in the body. In addition to the aesthetic benefits of an aligned posture, the health benefits include reduced neck pain, back pain, and muscle stiffness.
3. Low-impact joint protection
Dancers often place significant stress on the joints. This can cause serious injuries in the long term. Pilates is a low-impact exercise that strengthens the entire length of a muscle, rather than just the middle. By strengthening the ends of the muscle, close to the joints, the joints themselves are protected and supported. This makes Pilates a fantastic cross-training tool, even for someone already exercising most days of the week.
4. Injury prevention
Dancers train their bodies for hours on end. They bend in crazy ways, overbuild certain muscle groups, and engage in repetitive movements for years. Injuries are often part and parcel of being a dancer. But as we age, injuries can slowly accumulate, especially for professional dancers who don’t always have time to fully recover. As dancers perform with injuries, they overcompensate with other parts of the body, which can lead to greater issues.
That’s where Pilates comes in. Pilates helps safeguard the body from injuries by strengthening underdeveloped muscles, bringing a greater level of balance to the body, and improving balance and flexibility. All of these things are critical to injury prevention, so dancers can continue doing what they love for far longer.
“As a dancer and Pilates instructor, I love exercises like donkey/spider kicks on the long box and planks. I also “love to hate” exercises that help build inner thigh muscles like frog circles. It was not until I started Pilates did I realize, and feel, how much building inner thigh muscles can assist your core and reduce lower back pain.” – RTR Instructor Mikayla
5. A place to unwind
For dancers and non-dancers alike, many people come to a Pilates studio and find more than just an effective workout. Many dancers cite their Pilates studio as a place to center themselves, clear their minds, and connect to their bodies. Feeling more present in your body can improve your confidence, mood, and outlook on other areas of life. So whether you’re a dancer or an office worker, anyone can benefit from stepping into a Pilates studio.
Join the RTR community today!
Whether you’re a dancer or just looking to feel better in your body, Pilates is a great exercise to add to your fitness routine. Join our community at RTR Pilates and see the results for yourself! Get your first month of unlimited classes for just $129.