Class #1748

Fletcher Spine Corrector

35 min - Class


Enjoy the unique opportunity to open up your chest and shoulders in this Spine Corrector workout taught by first generation teacher Ron Fletcher. In this class, originally taught in 1996, Ron flows from one exercise to the next paying attention to subtle details to make sure you are doing each movement correctly. By the time you are finished, you will be more aware and connected to your body.

This video was provided by Kathy Corey.
What You'll Need: Spine Corrector, Braided Towel

About This Video


Read Full Transcript

Ron Fletcher was born in Dogtown, Missouri, May 29th, 1921 his artistic personality was apparent at a very early age. Ron arrived in New York in 1944 he was a student performer and teacher with Martha Graham. He was the lead dancer and oral choreographer for several Broadway shows, including the loot song, top banana and two on the aisle. Ron received an honorary ms degree as a teacher and choreographer at Utah State University and he taught master classes at ballet arts studio 61 and Carnegie Hall. He cofounded the choreographers workshop in New York. Ron was a lead dancer and choreographer for the rod and Fletcher Dancers on the NBC All Star Review with Tallulah Bankhead, Groucho Marx at the Barrymore and Marlena Diedrich.

He was the director and choreographer of the ice capades for 12 seasons and for two years was the choreographer for 20th century Fox studios. Ron Produced, directed and choreographed shows in Las Vegas, Paris, Milan, Beirut, and London as well as New York. In 1948 Ron Fletcher began to study with Joseph and Clara Pilatos because of a chronic knee injury. Joe was a miracle worker. Red Genius. Ron says, and he inspired me to learn more about how the body should work. Ron opened his studio for body control logy in Beverly Hills in 1978. Ron's book, everybody is beautiful, published in 1978 features red Eklund, Candice Bergen, Ben Vareen, Catherine Ross, and Allie McGraw to name just a few of the celebrities who appear on every page and still remain loyal to Ron and his teachings.

The Ron Fletcher work is up comprehensive movement experience, creative, constantly evolving. It has been developed over a 50 year period of teaching and steady with such visionaries as Martha Graham, Joe and Clara Polato says, yeah, Eg Nomura and Agnes de Mille. This little contraption behind me is very, really an ingenious, a little design. It was created by Joseph Plautus many, many, many years ago. It's called the spine corrector and uh, it really does quite a lot more than that since the complete, uh, syllabus of movement to be done on it. However, the design of it is amazing because it does. It makes a perfect arch so that when the back is arched over that uh, it allows for full flexibility of the arch of the back and the opening up of the shoulder girdle across here and the whole spine. It can be in that, in that perfect arch without any compression of discs and vertebra before we begin to work on it. However, going to do our usual little program of lining up the body correctly, pulling the heels together, ankles together, the knees too tightly together.

Tighten the butt muscles, pull the belly back toward the spine, lift up through the middle of the body, lift the sternum up, bring the head back in line with the spine and keep the throat nice and long. Now we're going to lift the toes off the floor as we inhale. And Lord the Missou. Exhale, shoo, shoo, shoo, shoo, shoo, shoo, shoo and lift and lower and lift the towel and roll onto the ride up to the ball of the right foot over the center toe. Shoo, shoo, shoo, shoo, shoo. Shoo.

And bring the towel to here and to here. So the left arm is on top, the ride on the bottom, and a very clean twist of the change that direction and change. Sure, sure, sure. And straight ahead and lift up and hold it above the head as you play down and lift down and lift. Now this time we play and bring the towel forward as you exhale and bring it up on the NLA. [inaudible]. [inaudible] a little deeper please. [inaudible] [inaudible] a little deeper play [inaudible] and [inaudible].

Now take it to the back. One, two, three and four and lift it up and over three and four and lift it up. Two, three. Bend the knees and sit down toward the barrel. Put the towel down and back of the heels. Stretch it out and sit down on to the barrel.

Now we're going to come to our little diamond position. Take a nice deep breath first. Yeah, and lift and open. And we're going to inhale up and bring the hands down to here. We're hindering forward now from the hip.

So the back is very straight and a diagonal line, which cantilevers out over the diamond. Shape the head in line with the spine. We're going to take a breath first and exhale four counts forward. Sure. Now inhale as you contract and exhale as you roll back to the just to the shoulder blades and then rolling pulley the abdominals and pull yourself up from there into a high release and open to the side and inhale and push forward. Cool.

And come up. Sure. One more. [inaudible]. [inaudible] now we need to get the towels back again. Open out to second position.

Good. Now press the spine, the lower spine into the barrels so you push back and release and roll it back and release. Keep the feet nicely, flex, roll it back and release and roll it back and release and take the towel. Bring it forward, up pointed toes and come into your diagonal position. Here you're back to your little diamond. Now we're going to take a stretch forward contract over and reach and release forward and up and contract and release and lift forward and up and come open to hear. Good. Bring the towels down again, set them and back and we will like forward and to here. Now we're going to circle the right arm around, flex the feet as you reach forward with the arm. Inhale forward and over.

Wow. And over [inaudible] and over. Oh Wow. [inaudible] and the last one. Now just press the spine back and release and contract and release just in the lower back and contract and release and contract and release and bring the feet in and open. Take your towel again, bring it forward and reaching forward. One, two, three and again and five, six, seven and eight. And now keep the tele low and very slowly.

Roll the spine back one bone at a time so that you literally wrap yourself around the barrel as you roll back. And then a nice lift up and reach it to the back. Bring the right arm forward so it touches the barrel here and bring it straight back and the left arm forward. Sure. Both together.

Sure. And the left arm forward. Sure. The right one forward both together and back and take a hold of the towel and bring it up directly above the head. Lift the chin to the chest, bring the head up from the back, pulling the belly and reach forward and into your contraction. When you do this, don't let the arms go down this way, but make sure that they're straight out parallel to the floor and the towel is held in a an a, a pooled or taught position.

And reach forward again, one, two, three and four, five and six and seven and eight and roll the spine back slowly. One roll it back to roll it back three and reach and stretch on for now with the right arm crossing over to the left hip, crossing over one and back to position in the left one over one and back to the position. Both of them come up on a diagonal line with the right arm to the front and back to the position. Now the left arm crosses over to the right hip and back and the right went over to the left hip and back and crossing to the front end. And diagonal with the arm, the left arm in the front. Now the little Sh, uh, wrist beats that we do here. Crossing one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, [inaudible] and open. Now reached back to get, hold the end of the towel and lift the tell up.

Bring the chin to the chest and roll up slowly to three and four. Straighten the legs for a second. Come into your diamond lifting arms up above the head and bring the arms to the back and lift and to the front. Sure. Now this time when you take it up, go into a deep contraction.

Pull the belly in as much as you can. They head forward in a long, long stretch. Now we roll the spine up, up, up, release through the back and let the towel come to the back and lift up [inaudible] and lift and back and lift and lower and lift. And so bring the left arm to the front and center and the right and center and the left center and the right and center. Now without stopping at the center. So we're going here, shoo, shoo, shoo, shoo, and straightened. Take a deep inhalation and contract over to the front.

Now we're going to release just out to the side on the right and contract to the front and inhale as you release to the sides and contract to the front. [inaudible] Shit. Yeah. [inaudible] when I straighten the spa and lift up, up, up and up. This time we make a deep contraction forward.

We're going to reach over to the side on a high release, roll the spine around, open the towel to the other side, circle that across and into your contraction and circles forward and lift up [inaudible] to the left side. [inaudible] [inaudible], [inaudible] [inaudible], [inaudible] [inaudible] and let's strike the towel over and out. That's a kind of a, a new, fairly new development of the Ron Fletcher work using the towels on the barrel and it, but it does show how nicely we can translate the floor work and the reformer work onto the barrels with the child, with the breathing so that we have a more rounded, comprehensive vocabulary to work within. And it's not quite so rigid and it's not quite so athletic. It's more about and and, and, and, or organic expression of, of the, of the total syllabus or the vocabulary that's available to us through the work.

Alright, now we're going to stretch the leg straight forward and we're rolling back, back, back until the body is just straight out. The legs are straight and as long as you can get them tightened the button muscles, the head is back over the spa over the barrel. But make sure at the point where the back of the head is, is a stabilizer can rest on there so it's not hanging loose so that you're compressing discs and vertebra from the low part of the back. Try to lift the head up so you bring the chin to the chest. We're working now for under the throat and the and the neck muscles are reaching back on the inhalation and forward, back, back, back, back, back, back to more and, and now. Good.

Now Cathy and Patrick are going to continue on with the next part. Reaching for the contraction forward and back and reach forward and back and contract, forward and back. Contract forward and back. Contract right in that low belly and up all the way up to good and back and forward and back. Now live with the leg lift, rolly coming forward and lift the legs and lower lift, lower lift and lower and lift and touch and roll back two, three and four and one and two and touch three and touch four and touch and road back circle three, three and four. One more. And lift and lower lift and lower list and lower and lift and lower.

Good. Pull the feedback toward you. Put the hands down. We're going to push back over the barrel all the way back. And we were wanting to go back, so that's the top of the back of the head and the neck are on the floor. [inaudible] make sure that the barrel is in close to the center of the body and hold the barrel into the spine so that the focus is straight up toward the ceiling. And we extend the leg straight up in the air, flex them back towards you. Shoo, shoo, flex and point and flex point and turn up from the hip and open the legs out to the side. Now we're going to bring the heels into the butt. One, two, three, four and install your edge on to flex and point and in sure. Flex and point and in two, three, four stretch onto and flex and point and in two, three, four and stretch onto and flex and point. Bring the heels together and cross the ankles so that the left was to the front.

Now very small. Change the ankle here and here, here and here. One and two, three and four. Five and six and now with the breathing. Sure. Open legs out to the side. Sure.

I have four little crosses and then an opening. They were coming and four again and again and again. And then five one, two, three, four, five and open. Six, two, three, four, five, six open and seven two, three, four, five, six, seven open and eight two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight and open and bring the legs together and set them down on the barrel. Extend the leg straight up in the air, but flex them back toward you. Now we're going to drop the right leg forward as far as we can without letting the left leg come forward. So you're reaching forward with this right leg as straight as you can. Bring it down and bring it right back to the other one on the left one down.

Sure. The right n lift the lift and lift. Sure the right and lift the left and lift the right and lift the left and lift the right and lift the left and lift the right and lift and the left and lift. Turn out from the open to the side and stretch. Sure, sure.

I'll bring the legs together. Now with a pelvic to cat. When you do this explanation here of the tilt up, press up and lower press up and lower. So you're tightening the button muscle and doing a little stretch up toward the ceiling, reaching with the toes and then back around the barrel and press up and lower. Press up and lower. Tighten the buck and lower.

Tighten the butt lower and tighten the butt and Laura down and tighten about and lower it down. Bend the knees and set them down on the low part of the barrel on the middle seat. And push the button up just a little bit. From there, if you can lift the button off the barrel and, and lift and lift down. Lift and down, lift and lower and lift and lower. Now reach forward with the heels and bring the heels over the edge. Good. Put the hands back by the shoulders and push forward and you come to a seated position.

Now on roll your spine, Moran, the barrel and to the position. And here [inaudible] I would circle around and here and circle around. [inaudible] put your feet together. Place [inaudible]. Now reach over to the side, stretch and center and to the side and center and reached the side and center and to the side and center to this side and center and to the side and center and open back to your diamond. Reach up and over. [inaudible] and contract. One, two, three and four and lift two, three and four and contract two, three and four and lift two, three and four should lift at open an one, two, three, four and one two end. Lift and open. And bring the top in.

Ease together and forward and straight. Now from here, just push up a little bit on the barrel and lower and press up and lower and press up and lower. Press up. Good. Hold it. Two, three, four, six, seven, eight and lower the butt. Bring the feet in. I'd like to point out here we've not had a chance to do before, uh, on all of the tapes, any of this work, uh, that we need to pay attention. W when I, when I say often do it slowly, it's because I know you can do it faster, but the idea is not how fast you do it, but how well you do it. So I'd rather have one or two or three things very well done with total attention given to the body with the application of the mind and the breath in the spirit or the passion with which you do the movement, the total feeling so that your body has a chance to experience what's happening to it during the movement itself. So we're not, so we're always so anxious in our society, not just an episode but been in everything that we do to get from that point to that point just in says, let's get start here.

How soon can we get over there instead of enjoying the journey and your body needs to underst that too. It needs to, to feel what's happening while it's on its way there because there are many fine little parts in that mechanism and they all need to connect in some way. And if we don't get them time to connect, they never really learn. So your body has never really at ease. It's never fully at ease. Uh, one of my favorite and wonderful students, one of my ladies, Candice Bergen, used to say that this was the one when she would come and work with me, she would say, this is the only kind of work that I do that I don't feel anxious afterwards and I think the reason is we talked about it then and she also taught, spoke about it in my book. The reason is that the work is so organic and it's so complete and it uses the body so fully that when you're finished you're certainly aware that you've used the body and aware of all of its parts and all of its things, but you're also, you feel comfortable with it because it feels comfortable inside itself.

It's had some sense of of what it's been doing because it's communicated all the way through and especially if you breathe. We need, especially if you inhale and puts oxygen and do all those 70 trillion cells, including the brain. We're in the diamond position, the palms open to the side, the back, very straight in a high release and really pressed the lower spine back into the barrel and release. Contract and release. [inaudible] and release and contract and release and circle up with the arms and forward and the little half twist. Lift, twist, and reached the back to the side. Twist, front and Lore and lift. Twist reached to the back. Lift and twist and lore.

[inaudible] and lift, twist and reached to the back. Lift and twist and lower and lift and open. Reach up. Reach forward. Take a whole of the towel. Lift them up, bring your feet together. The knees together. Lower the towel down. Now we're going to scooch back over the barrel. Roll it back, back, back, back, back, back, back, back. Good. Put the feet on the little step and push back all the way until you're lying down flat on the floor. Good.

And stretch back with the towel. Now hold the knees Tigie together and the ankles tightened together. And just extend the legs out on a long diagonal line. Out and touch. Extend and touch. Extend and touch and extend and touch.

Hold the position now. Tighten the butt very tight and release and then press the shoulders into the floor. As you do that, think of widening. You're opening up across the chest and release. Tighten the butt and release. Press the shoulders and release. Tighten the butt and release. Press the shoulders and release.

Tighten the button and release. Press the shoulders and release. Tighten the button and release. Press the shoulders and we lease. Now pull the barrel in his tightly charges. You can. We're gonna press the pelvis up towards the ceiling, keeping the knees tied together at the same time, bringing the towel forward to touch the thighs and open and lower the button and press up.

[inaudible] lift, touch and lift and lower. Lift, touch and lift and lower and lift. Touch and lift and lower and lift and touch and lift. Lower and lift and touch and lift and lower. And pull the the heels in the knees close to the chest. Extend the legs up in the air. Now drop the right one down just so the fight touches and up and the left and live right and left. And the left and lift right and left, and the left and the right and left, and the left and lift and turn out and open two, three and four and close in and put the feet down.

But bring the arms forward, bring the barrel into and come up over the top of the barrel. Get Ahold of the handles and come forward. And the legs up in the air here and [inaudible] back, back, back, back, back, back, back and back. And come forward up onto the head. Bring the hands back in line with the elbows and push forward and snake over the barrel. Extend the arms out and forward on three and on four and push forward.

So two city just on the heels and the hands are down. Bring the head forward, very tiny little figure and just pulse the butt to the heels on two four, five, six, seven, eight and set the heels down. Hold the knees tightly together. Put the hands on the knees and push against him as we press up to three and four and bring the arms up. Share, share, share and lift and reach to the side, low and to the side, to the side and to the side and lower and circle up and press up again. Lift two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight and circle shit.

[inaudible] and step back and say down on the seat of the realm again. Good. Now reach over to the side, stretch and center and to the side and center and reached the side and center and to the side and center to this side, center and to the side and center and open back to your diamond. Reach up and sure. Contract. One, two, three and four and lift two, three and four and contract two, three and four and lift two, three, four. Lift and open and one, two, three, four and one two and lift and open.

And bring the towel in these together, close him in and push forward and step up. Two, three, four. [inaudible] and lift. Hello. Very good. And, uh, there's a small example of some of the Ron fetcher work on this marvelous spine corrector. More next time. Thank you. [inaudible] [inaudible].


Really enjoyed it!
Helen H
That was an interesting blast from the past. Also interesting to see the way both movement and cueing has changed since 1996. Not to mention Kathy's haircut!
this is such a super video…
Kathy you look great! who is the other man?
Another great class with Ron! Thank you for sharing Kathy!
What a delight to be in Ron's presence again. Thank you so much!
3 people like this.
Even my puppy (aptly named Fletcher) stopped playing ball and listened to Ron, what a presence. Thank You Ron.
1 person likes this.
And Thank You for sharing Kathy!
1 person likes this.
This was so good. To watch Ron. Great wisdom in Pilates. I Throughly enjoyed it. Thanks Kathy for sharing it on My pilates anytime. All using just an ordinary towel. Amazing. Best wishes, blanche.
Beautiful! Thank you Ron and Kathy!
Molly the man in the video with Kathy is Patrick Dempsey.
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