What is Pilates?

By Lorraine Ansell | 19 November 2020

Pilates and dance go together like strawberries and cream. Here at First Dance studios we are lucky to have pilates teacher Hayley and her fitness body conditioning at the studios. Pilates is a fantastic way to keep healthy both corporally and mentally. We offer several classes online currently but if you haven’t ever heard of pilates or unsure about what it is, we are here to help you. 

What is Pilates?

Pilates is actually a person. Yes, honestly. Mr Joseph Pilates in fact. He developed a form of exercise that worked on control especially core strength as well as body conditioning and breathing. What we love about pilates is that it goes hand in glove (surely ballet slipper or tap shoe?) with dancing. There are a few core elements to bear in mind and include emphasis on breathing, concentration, control, precision as well as stamina. We enjoy pilates because dancing also requires strength and stamina and a strong core and muscles ensures that we can move and take care of our body. A strong core will ensure good isolations, strong turns and using muscles that you need in dancing but might not necessarily use or strengthen. 

What is the difference with Yoga?

We like to think about the difference a bit like the difference between ballet and tap. So both are a similar discipline but have their own unique areas of difference. So pilates the emphasis is on core strength and yoga is much more about flexibility. With yoga there is also an element of spirituality involved. With Pilates there is much more of it being a body conditioning system fitness regime. 

What happens in class?

Pilates classes involve movements usually on mats known as floor work as well as standing positions. The idea is to move with a flowing movement and breathing technique and using isolating positions to work on muscle groups. Hayley has in depth experience of teaching and works hard to body spot so that you ensure you keep working the right muscles. 

What we most enjoy about pilates?

I started doing pilates about ten years ago as a way to build core strength and stretch deeply to condition my muscles. Many of my dance friends recommended it and would use pilates as a form of exercise without straining dance muscles. Each exercise ensures that I focus on my core, my balance and coordination as well as breathing so that I can complete a set. I love doing cat stretches and four point kneeling as I know my core will switch on. And core strength will help with every arabesque, every time step, every développé. 

When are the Pilates classes?

The beauty of Pilates with First Dance Studios is that you get a recording to follow along at your own pace, in your own time whenever is most convenient for you. Pick up some Pilates with us. Please get in touch with us for details on how you can get some Pilates in your life.

Perfectly Splendid Pilates,


Opening hours

Monday-Friday 9am-9pm
Saturday 10am-6pm
Sunday 11am-6pm

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