Creation of the field of dance Pilates was an expression of the link between Pilates and dance that was made by Pilates instructors who came from the world of dance, and by many students of Pilates. Many Pilates movements are reminiscent of dance movements, and the precision of movement in Pilates resembles that of dance. Dance Pilates is also an expression of the continual contribution of the world of Pilates to the world of dance with respect to the research and practice of movement.
The body culture in Pilates is very similar to the body cultures in most branches of ballet, and in modern and contemporary dance. It is the body culture that facilitates the abilities that we see in dancers.
Not that dance is an act performed exclusively with no equipment. Sometimes, dance uses and relates quite seriously to various props. In dance Pilates (as in dance itself), we try to use all of the bare space around us. There is the floor, there are the walls around us, and there is the ceiling (as high as possible). This space is also an allegory for both the personal-internal space, and the aspirational infinite space, and/or it is perceived as a space we are trying to break into and enlarge.
In dance Pilates classes, we practice orienting ourselves within internal and external space. We practice experiencing and feeling the connection between them, and move from internal to external space, and back from external to internal space, in a never-ending cycle.
The external space invades the internal space, among other ways, through a rhythm dictated for most of the exercises – whether by music or verbal cues, or just (can it really be ‘just’?) by feeling a groove. The internal rhythm, in contrast, breaks through to the external space, and we practice ways of bridging between the internal rhythm and the dictated rhythm.
Dance Pilates is also one of the ways we have to address the need for aerobic exercise within a Pilates framework. Movement in space with varying dynamics and jumps meet this need, though not completely separately from other aerobic activity performed various ways in regular Pilates classes.
In dance Pilates, we experience different modes of movement in space, and learn:
√ How to fall
√ How not to fall
√ How to get up
√ How to crawl
√ How to be a baby
√ How to land, and how to jump in preparation for landing
√ And how to twirl.
All of this is done with breathing leading the movement, with micro movement building macro movement, and micro movement growing in significance to macro dimensions.
Dance Pilates is another important milestone in extending the boundaries in the unceasing evolution that has always characterized the Body Culture worldview. Flow and power and rhythm, without losing even a drop of everything that typifies Pilates movement, and without forgetting any value, old or new. Vibrant, effervescent, deeply penetrating.
Body Culture is a Pilates studio operating in the Herzliya Pituach