“My career transition is something I’m often asked about, why did you choose Ballet? Why did you choose Physio? As cliche as it is, a lot of ballerina’s will answer this the same: I didn’t choose ballet, it chose me. I can’t remember a time in my childhood that wasn’t dominated by ballet, it was my life and I loved it. The opportunity to express yourself through movement, to lose yourself in music and the strive for perfection is what drives many dancers’ through their careers. Physio was different, I chose physio. I chose it because I knew there was so much more I didn’t know, so much more to learn and so much more I could give.” Aimee Higgs
Ballet is an art form that requires so much strength and agility and a fine balance between the two. Physical resilience is something that not everyone is naturally blessed with yet there are ways to optimise this for everyone. As Physiotherapists and experts in movement and strength we notice that it is often the small things that can make a huge difference to performance and injury prevention.
“It will come as no surprise that Pilates has been part of my training and practice for quite some time. After all, it was dancers that Joseph Pilates originally created his work for back in the 1920’s.” Aimee Higgs.
The core principles of Pilates include breathing, centering, control, precision, flow and concentration. For a dancer, one must be able to execute high level and artistic performance whilst also holding onto these core principles. This is why Pilates remains a staple as part of a dancers’ practice.
In Ballet Blend Pilates these principles are at the centre of every movement and we build stronger, more flexible bodies with fluidity and control.
“For me, one of the beautiful things about Pilates is that it can be very diverse. This allows us to modify practice for each individual to allow for optimal benefits and results.” Aimee Higgs.
In Pilates and Ballet we both gain and benefit from flexibility, mobility, muscle activation and strength. More specifically, Pilates can greatly assist with achieving a fine balance between the above and dance, specifically ballet can be a fun and often distracting way to achieve these principles.
Pilates and ballet combined teaches us the ability to be able to dissociate movement of parts of our bodies separately from other parts. This concept applies to both dancers and non dancers and I have seen excellent results in both groups through teaching and applying this method. Joseph Pilates refers to the section below the shoulders and above the hips as the ‘power house’ of Pilates. The centre from which most of our strength and stability is derived from. Learning how to hold activation in this section while breathing and simultaneously allowing movement at the upper and lower limbs is an absolute game changer as far as I am concerned. This goes for dancers trying to achieve high extensions while balancing on one foot, to individuals carrying out simple yet functional movement such as walking, carrying children or even standing up from a chair. This technique not only assists in achieving optimal positions and movement but also significantly protects us from over using parts of our bodies that weren’t designed to be loaded.
Join me LIVE for Ballet Blend Pilates every Friday at 1.15pm. The class is suitable for all levels and NO prior ballet experience is required. BOOK NOW
If you have any questions regarding the class or ballet and Pilates feel free to email me: [email protected]