Pilates for Dancers – Dance Circle Day.

What an honour to be asked to teach at the first Southampton Dance Circle Day on May 30th 2017. This was an event run by local dance teachers, all working together to put on a great event for any children in their dance schools and in the local area. I love the collaborative nature of this, the non-competitiveness and the sheer passion the teachers all have.

Pilates is well known to have amazing benefits for dancers. Joseph Pilates himself worked dancers and in fact for a while Pilates was taken over by the dance world. So without a doubt Pilates can help children in dance too. I was excited and slightly nervous to see how a Pilates class would go down in a day of other exciting dance classes. I was part of an amazing line up including: Ballet/Contemporary with Louis McMiller (Royal Ballet Grad), Contemporary with Amy J Ireland, Musical Theatre with Sarah Evans (recommended by West End Star Ricky Rojas), Tap with Viki (trained with Tap Attack), Hip Hop with Cesa Hijo de Lalan.

The children there were a pleasure to be with. The older ones really worked hard and I could see them taking what I was saying on  board. I was able to push them quite hard and they even posed nicely for the local paper!

Pilates with Priya: Dance Day Pilates

The middle group of children had the definite mid afternoon slump session and so Pilates was great for them as they got a little lie down and some super stretching was done.

The tiny ones were super cute to teach, I could have cuddled them all! At the end of a very busy and active day a few were almost asleep but they gave such concentration to the class, I was super impressed.

Dance day pilates 2

Thankyou so much for asking me to come along and teach, I hope the children enjoyed it. Some of the feedback that I have heard so far is it made some of them feel all calm and relaxed, which is a good thing in my book! Maybe we should add in some mindfulness next time too.

Next Dance Circle Day is October half term. I know I will be booking my girl on it.

If you are interested in a Children’s Pilates class then do get in touch, we are launching one soon!

Pilates with Priya: Prima Ballerina

Toddler Ballerina’s

I can’t quite believe it but I now have a toddler girl and when I say girl I mean one who likes pretty things, jewellery, calls things Preeeeety and has the most adorable smile in the world – she likes to think she is in charge too…..she’s not but I let her think so some of the time. Here she is:

Pilates with Priya: Prima Ballerina
Pilates with Priya: Prima Ballerina

So when Chrissy, our resident ballet teacher suggested we ran a toddler ballet class I scratched my head, slept on it, then thought, what the heck, it could work. We’ve been running classes for a few weeks and it’s been a whole heap of toddler tantrums, cuddles, smiles, loud music and cups of tea! I’ll be honest my small one often does her own thing, she appears to have my independant streak 😉 but you know what, thats all allowed in my studio. What I find is that small girl may not participate in 100% of the class but she certainly takes it in and practises later on. Suddenly she’ll start doing her plies and stretching up to the sky and before I know it she has done half her ballet class whilst I’m cooking dinner.

During classes we point our toes, practise plies, go to the jungle, pretend to be starfish on the floor, act like puppets, use hoops, wands and musical instruments, march like soldiers and my toddlers favourite: gallop like horses. It’s a mix of ballet exercises, animal noises, musical fun and a lot of chatter. At present it’s all girls in the class but we’d love some boys!

This class is not just for the toddlers, parental involvement is needed, so yes you get a bit of a workout yourself. Chrissy is great at encouraging us all to move and feel the ballet love.

Afterwards we all migrate to the lounge for a cuppa, some chat and let the toddlers loose on the toys. This is often the best bit, a chance to unwind, chat about how awful or wonderful your week has been and get some support, that’s what we are all about.