By Michael Galloway, Pilates for Dancers instructor at LINES Dance Center
As a professional dancer, I am always searching for ways to tone and protect my instrument. I participate in a number of activities, but I find Pilates to be the most beneficial. In fact, I am so committed that I became a certified teacher to share this tool with the wider dance community.
So, what is Pilates? Pilates is a physical-fitness system invented in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates. Its exercises concentrate on developing core strength, flexibility, and balance. The general principles of Pilates are designed to develop concentration, control, centering, flow, precision, and breathing – all qualities that are necessary in the study and performance of dance.
Pilates can bring you a number of tangible benefits. First, it helps you connect the various parts of your body and integrate them into one efficient machine. Second, the precision of movement inherent in the practice enhances your ability to concentrate, so as your body is strengthened so is your mind. Pilates is also a simple and effective way to continue exercising when recovering from an injury. By increasing your overall strength and well-being, it may even aid in your recovery.
In short, Pilates helps you become more balanced and aligned, physically and mentally.
Whether you are a beginning dancer or a seasoned professional, Pilates (and other somatic practices) should be a part of your training. Here at LINES Dance Center, you have a number of choices for warming up before class or cooling down afterwards. Give them a try and see what works best for you!
Professional dancer and Pilates Instructor Michael Galloway holds a BFA in dance from Butler University and has danced with Tulsa Ballet, Company C Contemporary Ballet, Oakland Ballet, Hope Mohr Dance, and currently with Garrett + Moulton Productions. He originally began Pilates in order to support his work as a dance artist, however while training with Lisa Goldin at Contra Costa Pilates, he found a sense of strength and vitality that opened many doors for him, both in his work as a dancer, and also in his life. He was inspired to share this gift with others and began teaching for Lisa in 2011.
Michael strives to cultivate physical vitality and mental clarity in his classes. He believes that we are each our own best teacher and so also encourages the practice of self-listening. He places particular emphasis on educating the whole individual, focusing specifically on integrating the mind, body and spirit. With a body that is strong and vitalized, we move through life with greater ease and joy. With a mind that is organized and focused we bring greater creative power to whatever we do. Our own authenticity can then shine forth. Michael is honored to be teaching at the Alonzo King LINES Dance Center.