1. Why does Joseph Pilates’ method suit dancers so well?
2. Name 3 notable dancers who took class with him in New York City.
3. True or False: Throughout his childhood, Pilates observed natural movement in children and animals. In fact, it was the still-active starving
cats he watched while a German captive during World War I that inspired him to begin exercising his fellow inmates.
4. Name some of the odd jobs and sports he pursued as a young man.
5. Who, after meeting Pilates in Germany post WWI, incorporated some of Pilates’ exercises into his methods that, along with the teachings of Mary Wigman, would later be spread to the United States? (Hint: This German dance pioneer is considered to be one of the most important figures in the history of dance.)
6. True or False: Pilates’ exercise program was the very first to exist in the early 20th century.
7. What modern dancer worked with Pilates to develop her modern class floor exercises?
8. Pilates called his teachings _____.
9. Name three machines Pilates developed.
10. What is the name of his famous abdominals exercise?
1. It works on balancing strength and flexibility with an emphasis on breathing and the body’s core.; 2. Ted Shawn, Martha Graham, Jacques D’Amboise; 3. True; 4. Circus performer, physical fitness and self-defense trainer; skiing, diving and gymnastics; 5. Rudolf von Laban; 6. False; 7. Hanya Holm; 8. Contrology; 9. Cadillac, Wunda Chair, Universal Reformer; 10. The 100s abdominals
Read the full article on Joseph Pilates, here.
Starting this Saturday, the Children's Museum of Manhattan on the Upper West Side will have an interactive dance exhibit called "Let's Dance!" Basically every facet of dance is featured in the exhibit: kids can explore lighting design with a special child-friendly lighting box; choreograph with the use of props, signs and costumes; create accompaniment with percussion instruments; manipulate posable figures; see incredible dance photography and video; and, best of all, interact with the dance portal, where they can watch, learn and interact with professional and student dance companies like Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Dancing Classrooms, Mark Morris Dance Group and Martha Graham Dance Company. Whew. That's a LOT of great stuff.
Kathleen Kelbe, Pembroke School of Performing Arts | Pembroke, MA
Total budget: $100,000
Project timeline: 3 months (ongoing)
Kelbe expanded from 1,600 to 6,000 square feet. She used Rosco's SubFloor and Adagio vinyl and broke her extensive renovation into three phases.
Ellen Marshall, Off Broadway Dance Center | Fulton, NY
Total budget: $60,000
Project timeline: 3 months
Marshall renovated a Methodist church into a 4,000-square-foot studio, with Stagestep Flooring Solutions' marbleized gray Timestep in her two studios.
Diana Griffin, Fusion Dance Company | Palm Harbor, FL
Total budget: $40,000
Project timeline: 45 days
From restaurant to studio! The checkerboard ceilings were a restaurant leftover that Griffin decided to keep. Her O'Mara sprung floors were self-installed in her 7,000-square-foot space.
Barclay Gibbs, Dance Conservatory of Maryland | Bel Air, MD
Total budget: $10,000
Project timeline: 2 days
Gibbs chose Gerstung Floor Systems' AirBase 600 for her 2,000-square-foot studio. This semi-permanent flooring will travel with her, should she change locations in the future.
Nigel Burgoine, Ballet Theatre of Toledo | Toledo, OH
Total budget: $4,000
Project timeline: 1 day
In her work as director of physical therapy for New York City Ballet, Marika Molnar relies on tools like bands, balls and Pilates equipment to rehabilitate and strengthen dancers. She says there's a place for such tools in daily dance classes, as well. Resistance and stability tools can help students develop strength and even break bad habits. "Say someone is compensating because of a weakness or restriction—that's what they're always going to do," she says, even after a teacher corrects them repeatedly. "If you give them something that makes things a little unfamiliar, their brain has to participate more. It becomes not only a physical exercise but a cognitive one." The dancer learns in a new way, and improves.
Molnar has collaborated with Pilates expert Joan Breibart and PTs at Westside Dance Physical Therapy to create a series of tools and exercises with dancers' training and recovery needs in mind. Here, she shares three of her favorites.
Christy Wolverton had a student who often either missed class or seemed to be sick. "When you're in our pre-professional company, attendance is huge," says Wolverton, owner and director of Dance Industry Performing Arts Center in Plano, Texas. She tried to be patient with the dancer and communicate with her parents to get a better idea of what was going on at home. "When she was diagnosed with a serious illness," she says, "we were relieved that we didn't come down on her for something that wasn't her fault."
Laura Glenn can still remember the excitement she felt watching the Limón Dance Company perform at Central Park in the summer of 1962. "I turned to the person next to me and whispered, 'He's going to be my teacher!'" she says. Two weeks later, she started as a Juilliard freshman, where she indeed studied under the legendary José Limón before joining his company in her second year.