How Pilates helps Dancers


How Pilates helps Dancers by Viki Westall-Eyre


The Pilates technique advocates breathing wide and full into the back, maximizing the capacity of the lungs by gently stretching the intercostal muscles between the ribs. The use of a theraband wrapped around the torso then held securely in one hand usually highlights the amount of chest expansion in normal breathing activity. By pressing the ribcage outwards wider and fuller against this resistance on the inhalation, the breath capacity can be increased.

Dancers need maximum oxygen intake for energy, power and performance with minimal neck, shoulder and abdominal disruption, so the Pilates method suits perfectly. The tendency to breathe into the upper part of the lungs only mars the neck line, and breathing into the stomach is also aesthetically displeasing.

Photos: Northern Ballet Graduate Professional Programme student - Stretching with theraband

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