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Monday, March 10, 2008

Gotta Gimmick?

A friend recently told me about a postcard she received in the mail for a Pilates for Ballroom Dancers class. Her question to me was the typical "What is the difference between the Pilates for ballroom dancers, Pilates for the golfers and just the good old classic Pilates." I really couldn't tell her. Was this just another marketing gimmick to get people interested in Pilates? Is the classical methods of Joseph Pilates just not good enough in it's own right anymore? I was under the impression that this method of body conditioning was about strengthening all the muscle groups to create an equal balance in the entire body?

OK, I really could be a hypocrite though. Yeah.....Matwork for Dancers on Sundays? Barre/Matwork classes? What would Joe think? Here's how I justify my gimmick. In my specialized classes we kick it out hard core. OK guys...I hear the giggles.....we are hard core in all classes but to varying degrees. In the Matwork for Dancers class we get all those classic mat exercises in power style and then we add even more back and extension work which the dancer needs. Please don't bring a sensitive back to this class. These are exercises the average person can't handle in large doses. Barre work is the some deal. Power matwork followed by some power barre work. Please don't bring a degenerative knee problem to barre class. That would not be wise. Hence my gimmick. Condition it all via Joe style and then maybe give it a little extra something for good measure.

Do you think Pilates really needs a gimmick in order to be fresh and attract new clients? Feel free to comment back. I'd love to hear some different views on this. In fact I'll go start a nice forum about at There is also classic footage of Joe doing Pilates there!


  1. I agree with your view. The traditional total balancing aspect of Pilates should be perfect for dancers, golfers and tennis players for that matter. I also see that each person may have certain muscles they use more than others based on their chosen sport, profession or activity. It's logical therefore to have a Pilates for golfers class , since the particular muscles used for golf will be focused on right from the start , while the individual also learns that overall strengthening and conditioning will support the total person. Thank you for your question. Peace

  2. The special classes it might be a marketing gimmick but in reality the classes designed for certain types of clients might be very beneficial. Certain activites lead to overuse for muscles so created a workout to focus on weaker areas could really balance out an athlete or dancer and make them much stronger in the long run.