Beginner Ballet Tips: Using Pilates to Strengthen Your Core for Ballet

Pilates Exercise Video class

P\ (Photo credit: myyogaonline)

After reading this post about Adult Beginner’s Piyo (Pilates and yoga) class, I decided to try out some Pilates. I’d been itching to do some sort of working out beyond the stretching and yoga I’ve been working into my routine, so I decided to try one of my mom’s old Pilates DVDs, Pilates Weightloss for Dummies (yes it’s ancient and isn’t really available anymore).

Like Adult Beginner, I didn’t really “get” Pilates before I started ballet. Now it makes sense. In the standing portions of the DVD, there are series of plies, balances, and stretches which relate to ballet perfectly. Several of the exercises are done in a turned out first, second or fifth position as well, all with pointed (versus flexed) feet.

This article (Pilates for Ballet Dancers: How Pilates Can Improve Your Technique) states that “pilates is a body conditioning method that is focused on developing a strong “core.” The term “core” refers to the entire abdominal region as well as the lower and mid-back.” Core strength is ESSENTIAL for ballet. The article also states that if dancers don’t develop a strong core, it could lead to weaknesses which lead to poor alignment which leads to poor technique.

To me, Pilates sounds like an awesome supplement to ballet, and I quite enjoyed the short 35 minute workout. I’m going to test out another DVD we have, Hilary Burnett’s Pilates Intermediate, which is just mat work.  This should be a more intense workout than just Pilates for Weightloss for Dummies, however, I plan on incorporating the standing work from it to get some plies into my workout.

Lastly, if your in the Philly area, Philly Dance Fitness‘s Pilates Class will be on Sundays at 12 at Major Moment Studios. I’m so excited to be able to attend this class because previously it conflicted with a ballet class. I can’t wait to try it out, it’ll be my first Pilates in a studio.

Have you ever tried Pilates? What do you do to strengthen your core?

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