Expert Commentary: Mary S. Burns, PhD 12/2/2009
The effects of Pilates? After my students leave a Pilates session or a group class, common existing statements are, “I feel two inches taller!” and “Everything feels in place – now I can deal with my boss” as well as “Everything is always in better perspective after class!” My dancers often respond “Everything just let go – but my abs/obliques/et al are gonna be sore tomorrow!” And yes, they usually are!
And speaking of dance, I must argue all humans were made to dance – not just the aspiring professional - and dance too is a beautiful means of tension release! Dance has been part of the human existence since evolution; all must dance. From the beginner to the professional, those with dance training develop not only a more aligned posture and stronger musculature, but through dance one develops flexibility, coordination and rhythmic versatility while exercising a healthy means of tension release. Dance is a direct expression of the body and the mind; it is an intimate and powerful medium for therapy.
So find a class or a dance style you enjoy – with a positive, fun teacher, great music, and an encouraging, friendly studio atmosphere, or a place where you and your friends love to go after a long, rough week of work - and just dance!
Mary Burns works at AthletiCo Gold Coast/Near North center located in Chicago. She is a Dance Education Specialist, Certified Simonson & Evans/Bartenieff Dance Instructor, Certified Full Apparatus Pilates Instructor (BASI), and NASM Certified Personal Trainer.
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