Class #4882

Reformer for Ballet Dancers

45 min - Class
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Learn how to connect to your back while moving in this Reformer class by Troy McCarty. He designed this class to focus on the areas of the body that dancers need to stretch and strengthen so that they can dance at a very high level. He works on pelvic stability, strengthening the intrinsic muscles of the feet, and initiating arm movements from the back so that you can fill up the space with your back.
What You'll Need: Reformer, Pilates Pole, Magic Circle

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Hi, I'm Troy McCarty. We're doing a Reformer class today for ballet dancers. These are my two ballet dancers. I have Ben on my right, and I have SK over here. So guys, if you'll go ahead and lay down on the Reformer, we're gonna do some real basic footwork, all right?

So dancers, we like to turn out, so let's go ahead and put heels on the bar, and let's make a little V. Now, it's really important that when you put your heels on the bar that you get the middle of the heel touching the apex of the bar. It's a little bit of a turnout. Now, with the heel touching this, we can feel the backs of our legs so much, all right? So we're gonna take a inhale, and as you inhale, you're gonna extend your legs.

Go ahead and press out one, good. And then you pull it back in, and you press two, and you pull it back in. We go three, good, and pull it back in. We go inhale four, and bring it back in. We go five, good, and bring it back in.

And we go six, and bring it back in. We press seven, good. Keep some energy in that spring as you bring it in. Go eight, and let's do two more. Good, and go nine and one more, good, that's it.

And go 10, very good, and bring it back in. Very good, now, one thing I like to really teach is when the knees stretch, I want them to pull their navel up higher. So knees stretch, navel up higher. I also want them to feel like they're opening the coils of the spring and pulling the coils of the spring so they get that connection of the foot to the seat that's a little bit more. All right, so let's move our feet down to that base of our toes, all right?

And we're still in that V, all right? Now, we're gonna press the carriage out. As those knees stretch, you're gonna pull that navel up higher. Here we go, so go inhale, and we lift the navel and exhale. We squeeze, and don't let it touch the peg, and go choo.

Good, and bring it back in, press three, and back in, press four, good. And pull it in, press five, pull it back, press six, good. And pull it back, press seven, and pull it back, press eight. Let's do two more, please, and back, and let's use that breath. And we inhale and we exhale, let's do it one more time.

We go inhale, very good, and exhale. Good, so I'm looking for legs to move, pelvis and spine to stay absolutely stable. And I'm also looking to see if my dancers can stretch both knees at the same time and bend both knees at the same time and also keeping this all organized, all right? So let's go ahead and let's press the carriage away again. Go ahead and press out and stretch.

And let's just hold out there. Now, let's squeeze to those glutes and feels like you're wrapping those thigh around. Now, let your heels lower down softly, one. Now, pull that navel in and raise your heels back up and down, two. Let's just do five, and back up, and go three, good, and back up.

Excellent, we go four, good. And back up, one more, and we go five, very good. And back up, and bend your knees and bring it back in, very good. Now, bring your, keep your V, but bring your feet up just a little bit. Let's do a prehensile wrap, all right?

I love this exercise for dancers, 'cause that prehensile wrap, that really helps strengthen all those intrinsic muscles of their feet, all right? And they have to use their feet so much in ballet. So we're wrapping those toes around, the heels are down, the heels match the gear bar. We take the inhale as we push the carriage out. We wrap those toes around, and we bring it back in, and we go inhale, two, good.

And you bring it back in. We go three and pull it back, very good. We go four, good, and pull it back. We go five, that's it, and back. Keep those heels squeezing, go six, good, back in.

We go seven and back in. We go eight, let's do two more, and back in. Go nine, good, and back in, one more. And we go 10, very good, and pull it back in. All right, dancers, let's take our heels and go out to the sides of the bar.

Let your thighs open just a little bit. Now, make sure you get it into that corner there, a little bit of turnout, all right, not a lot. So dancers, as you know, as I've been saying, they really wanna turn out. So I want them to work in-between a position here, not that full turnout where they're hanging in the joint, but in-between to strengthen that area. So as we push the carriage weight, let's inhale as we press, and we lengthen that body, and we exhale, we pull it back in.

And we go two, and we pull it in. We go three, good, and pull it in. We go four, good, and pull it in. We go five, and pull it in. We go six and pull it in.

We go seven, back in. We go eight, back in, two more. We go nine and back in, one more, and we go 10, very good, and bring it back in. Now, where your heels were, I want you to put your toes, all right? So just drop your feet down right to the edges, all right?

Let's, guys, let's go ahead and extend out. So go ahead and press out. All right, now let's hold. So we're gonna do a heel drop, so we go down, very good. Let your heels lower down, and then we go back up. And we go down two, very good, and back up.

Bend your knees and bring it back in, all right? So let's just rest. Go ahead and bend your knees and bring it back in. So I want them to stay on top of their legs for this movement, so this is called like a eleve in ballet where they're raising up. The weight placement of the foot is we have 60% of weight between the big toe and the second toe and 40% out through the rest of the foot.

That will structure the ankle and the ankle stabilizers correctly for them to have the better movement outcome. Also, dancers, I want you to squeeze your inner thighs together as your heels lower down. Keep them squeezed together as you elevate back up. Go ahead, let's go ahead and inhale, press out, all right? Now, we squeeze the inner thighs together, and we lower the heels down softly, and we raise the heels back up.

So you can see the difference in moving. He's squeezing. He's pulling those inner thighs. Let your heels go down again slowly. Keep your legs straight down, that's it. We pull that navel back, and we bring it back up, and we squeeze the inner thighs, and you bring it back up.

Let's do two more, and we go down, excellent, and back up, and we go down, very good. And back up, bend your knees, and bring it back in. Now I'm gonna let them do a rotation exercise where they're really working on the rotation for their turnout. Let's bring your heels back onto the bar, and let's go parallel, so bring them together, and let's bring the heels right across and flex those feet back. Now, as they press the carriage away, I want them to turn their legs out.

As they bring the carriage back in, they bring their legs back to parallel. So you'll see the knees open out. As they bring the carriage back in, the knees will come back to parallel, all right? And we're gonna use the same breath. So we press the carriage out. We open the thighs out, good.

And then we reach those knees back to the walls, and we're parallel. We go open, two, good, and bring it back. We go three, and we bring it back, excellent. And we go four, good, and bring it back. Let's do it one more time.

And we go five, good work, and bring it back, and great. So I'm gonna change this up a little. We're gonna do a developpe series, and I'm gonna take 'em down to two red springs. Excuse me while I do that. And let's bring you into two red springs.

They're gonna put the right foot on the bar at the base of their toe. So right foot on the bar at the base of your toe. So put your right foot down at the base of your toe, right foot, and then extend your left leg out and bring your carriage all the way back, there you go. Now, this is gonna be parallel to start with. Now, the leg that's reaching out is not resting on the bar, so bring it up this little.

All right, now, we're gonna press the bar away, and you're gonna developpe that leg up to the ceiling. So we go press away, and we go developpe up, hold. Now, we hold the carriage absolutely still. The leg goes down, it touches the bar, it comes back up. Now, we're gonna flex this foot and lower this heel down at the same time.

We're gonna raise this heel and stretch this leg. We bend this knee, and we reach it out, and return. Let's do that again. We go developpe, grand battement, grand battement, guys, grand battement, up, we flex, we point, we bend, return, again. Developpe, grand battement, you flex, you point, you bend, again.

And developpe, grand battement, you flex, you point, you bend, last one. And developpe, grand battement, you flex, you point, you bend, return. All right, so very good for dancers because they're really starting to move their legs. They're keeping that pelvis absolutely still and the lower back absolutely still. Let's try the other leg, all right?

So extend that leg out. Now, we're looking at the upper body here. I still wanna see my dancers have that clarity between the rib and the hip, lots of width across the shoulders, and a nice long neck with the abdominals being held. Again, we're holding that pelvis absolutely still. All right, here we go, guys.

We go developpe, we go grand battement, and we flex and we point and we bend, return. Two, and up, we go down, we go up, you flex, you point, you bend, return. We go three and up, down and up with that leg, flex, point, bend, return. And we go four and up, down and up, flex and point and bend, one more time. And five and up, down and up, you flex, you point, you bend, and return, very good.

So a nice developpe series for the dancers. They get that feeling that they're really moving their legs. Go ahead and put both legs down on the bar. We're gonna reach back, and we're gonna grab the short straps. All right, and let's pull that, and we'll get this right.

And your arms are, and you're gonna hold with your hands, all right? All right, so the arms are reaching up. Their legs are still on the bar. Now, with hands, I like to see the hands make a soft fist. You know, we know that Joe was a boxer, so we know this was a lot of movement he probably used, and I wanna say that I think he would probably had held the strap like this.

Also holding this strap like this, we feel these muscles or over here. Let's bring your right leg up to a tabletop, and it's followed by your left leg up. Now, I'd like to see the heels touch, right, just a little bit, and the knees open, and the knees are right over that hip socket, right? Right there, all right, so all we're gonna do is we're gonna take a big inhale, and we're gonna exhale, and just pull arms down softly, one, very good. And then bring it right back up.

Keep on reaching through those knuckles. Again, two, good, and back up. We go three, good, and back up. We go four, excellent. Let's do it one more time, please. And we go five, very good, and bring it back up.

Go ahead and put your legs in. So I wanna see arms that are connected to back. I want them to feel that their arms start way down here. They come up through here underneath that arm, and all this energy's coming out through this area. It's almost like I want them to feel like they're filling this whole room up with their back.

Arms are extensions of your back. Let's try this one more time. Legs up in tabletop. We squeeze the heels. We have the upper body organized. Let's inhale through our nose, a wide breath through our back, and let's go, exhale.

And let's see you fill this room up, much better, good, and slowly back up. Again, two, good, excellent, and back up. We go three, pull down, good, and back up. We go four, good, and back up, one more. And we go five, very good, and then we bring it right back up.

Go ahead and put your legs down. So we're gonna do some circles now. So what I want them to do is the first circle is a little circle on the ceiling. The second circle includes the ceiling and a little bit of the walls. The third circle fills the whole room up with their back.

So the dancers are really trying to connect these muscles, the arm movement to that spine, and then it translate into that ballet studio where we see lovely, lovely port de bras, carriage of arms, expanding the back, all right? So legs come up to tabletop one at a time, please. We place into that position, all right? So we're gonna move the circles outwards. So the first circle, we have a little circle on the ceiling.

Go ahead, little circle on the ceiling, one. Now, this next circle is the ceiling and the walls, two, good. Now, the last circles fill the whole room up with your circle, very good. So we take a little circle, one, excellent. And we include some of the walls, two, and now the whole room, three, good.

And let's do it one more time, little circle, one, good. A little bigger circle, two, good. And then fill the whole room up with your back. Let's reverse, little circle on the ceiling, ceiling and the walls, good, and then the whole room, good. And really control that spring.

Little circle, a little bit bigger, and then your biggest circle around. Let's do it two more times, here we go. Little circle, one, good, a little bit bigger, two, excellent. The whole room, three. That's your back speaking to me. And let's try it one more time.

A little circle, one, good. A little bit bigger, two, include some of the walls. Now, fill this whole studio up with your back and around, very good, and back in. Put your legs down, and let's go ahead and rest. All right, we're gonna go right into coordination.

So let's go ahead and bend our elbows, all right? Elbows are next to your body. You're in that soft phase. Let's bring the legs up to tabletop position, exactly. So let those elbows come down to right here, exactly. Now, let's go ahead, you're gonna extend your arms, pull your knuckles down, extend your legs out.

Upper body will come up to the tips of your scapular. Go, upper body, go, reach, one. Now, these arms are strong, and you are reaching, your upper body's curled to the tips of your scapular. We open and we close the legs, one, two, that's it. Now, as they start to bend their knees, they're gonna reach further through their elbows.

They bend and they bend, and they lay back down, good, and bend your elbows, and lay back down. Let's try it, so we go knuckles down, legs out, upper body to the tip of your scapular. We open and we close the legs. Now, we start reaching through those knuckles more. You bend those knees.

You bend your elbows, and you lay back down. Now, this time we're gonna stay up, all right? So we go knuckles down, legs out, upper body, reach those arms strong, squeeze your glutes. Open, close your legs, one, two. Now, stay up, bend your knees, good.

Bend your elbows and curl into a little ball, curl, curl. Bring those knuckles back, that's it. And go two and stretch. We open, we close. We bend, and we curl into a ball. We go three and stretch. We open, we close.

We bend, we curl, last one. And go four, we open, we close. We bend, and we curl into a little ball, very good. Go ahead and hook your straps up. All right, guys, if you'll go ahead and stand up, we're gonna put your bars down.

We're gonna add all the springs on, and we're gonna do short box. So let's just slide these clips out, and let's put the bar up like this, so over the wood, and then add all your springs. And this hook goes out. I'll get it for you. And then we'll hook all the springs up, and if you'll grab your short boxes, please, and put 'em on your carriage. And we'll need the ring with it, okay.

Exactly, box on short, carriage is stabilized, there's your ring, and we'll hold the stick. Go ahead and sit on your box, and you'll find the fuzzy strap, and we'll put the fuzzy strap on your feet. Let me just put that ring down for a moment, and let's get the fuzzy strap and put your feet through there, exactly. And then let's scoot forward, great. And we'll keep the ring handy.

Okay, so we got 'em up on this short box, and we're gonna hold the dowel rods there. So we have nice, strong arms out there, okay? So thumbs are by fingers. These hands should be coming right out from your shoulder. So let's bring those together, and let's rotate those elbows down just a little bit, that's it, and we're lifting that spine up.

All right, so they're sitting on the sharpest point of the sit bones they can find. They're taking their feet, and they're pushing out into the straps. They're taking this stick and trying to pull the stick apart so we get into these muscles here. Let's inhale through our nose, let's exhale, and let's pull the pubic bone down, and the stick comes down towards your knees, good. And you're going into flexion of your spine.

Squeeze through those glutes, deep in that, that's it. Now, bring your body forward, and then roll back up, sitting up nice and tall with his shoulder blades out, good work. Just relax here a little bit. Take your in inhale, exhale. You roll that spine down slowly, pulling those abdominals in, good.

You take the inhale, and you go exhale. You roll back up and stretch. We go inhale. We go exhale. We pull the pubic bone back. We roll that spine slowly, good.

We roll back up, and let's do it one more time. And we go inhale, exhale, you scoop and hollow. You're pressing those legs out. We're staying connected to the back with the stick here, and then you roll back up, all right, good. Guys, we're gonna slide our legs out of the strap.

We're gonna put the ring through our legs, all right? So put your ring, both legs, and then bring the ring up here towards your thighs, and then put your feet back into the strap there. And let's bring this up here a little bit higher. There you go, all right, so I want them to connect a little bit more, so I brought the ring in, and both legs are through the ring. We're in the thighs, and they're pushing their thighs out as they push their feet out, as they pull the stick back.

They're lifting up. We're seeing lots of clarity between the rib and a hip. We see a ear, a shoulder, a mid rib, and a hip, nice in a line. We take the inhale. We get longer through our spine. We exhale. We pull the pubic bone back.

You roll that spine down, very good. You can see different quality of the movement. You take your inhale here, without changing that spine, you exhale, you roll. Now, when we take that inhale, it's a lateral breath through the sides of our back. We inhale, filling the room up with our back.

We exhale, we pull the pubic bone back, good, that's it. And then we roll the spine back up. All right, now, I want them to roll down, and they're gonna hold there. Take your in inhale, exhale, roll down, press those thighs out, hold. Now, can we keep the connection of the back by lifting the stick up?

Pull that stick apart, lift it right up there. Nothing changes, bring the stick back to down, good work. Curl forward, lifting that spine straight up to the ceiling. We go in inhale, go exhale. Roll down to that spine slowly, pulling those abdominals back, hold.

We lift that stick up, keeping that connection right here we're working, and pull that stick back down, and roll that spine back up. One more time, we take the inhale. We go exhale. We pull the pubic bone back. We roll. We lift that stick up, keeping that connection, back down, and we curl the body, very good. And go ahead and relax, nice.

So I really wanna see the arm movement stay connected to the back. They have the legs in the ring, they're pushing out, so they feel the sides of their legs. They're pressing their legs out into the straps, all right? I don't like to do it with my legs straight 'cause I find a lot of my students really use their hip flexors to pull their body back up. So I'm trying to take hip flexors out of the equation here.

We're gonna do some simple rotation, all right? So hold your stick out. It's just a little bit below your sternum there, all right? Take your inhale. Lift that spine high. Now exhale. Pull the pubic bone back.

Press those thigh out. Press your feet, hold. Now, pull that sick apart there. Now, we're gonna rotate towards the windows here, and everything stays absolutely stable, that's it. And we bring the body back to center. We rotate the other way, and we notice that the pelvis is not moving.

We bring it back in, we bring the body forward, and we roll that spine back up. We take a inhale. We exhale. We pull the pubic bone back. The pubic bone will lead the spine where it needs to go. Let's rotate the opposite direction.

We rotate, good work, Ben, and back into center. And we go rotate, squeezing those abdominals like you're ringing a washcloth out. We bring it back in, and now we roll the spine, very good, and back up. Last time, we take the inhale. We exhale. We roll that spine down.

So I'm looking for flexion of the spine. We're gonna rotate towards the windows, that's fine, and back to center. We go rotate the other way, good work. Excellent, SK, roll back up. And here's your last one.

We'll be rotating towards the wall, inhale, exhale. We pull that pubic bone back right there. We're looking for this flexion of the spine. We make the rotation. We notice nothing changes in the pelvis, back to center, and we go back, very good, and bring it back in.

And then we roll back up, excellent. Go ahead and relax. Okay, we're gonna do a straight spine hinge, all right? So I want you to open your arms out into the stick a little bit more, so widen your grip there. Reach your arms up to the ceiling, all right?

Now, we wanna bring the arms to where we can feel that upper back. So if we bring 'em back too far, they're not gonna feel their back. If they bring those arms down and hold right there, again, with the arms up here, you're pulling the stick apart. They're gonna lift the spine up, and they're gonna do their hinge back. The movement happens at the hip. Don't roll that spine.

We lean back, keeping everything straight here. That's it, good work, and we bring it back up. So we notice nothing changes in the spine. The spine's absolutely stabilized. We lift the torso up. We're pressing the legs out, and we do our, that's it, there you go, and back up, let's do two more.

And we lift the spine up, big inhale, and we go back, good, and we go exhale, back up. Let's do it one more time, and go inhale, over, very good, and bring it back up. Go ahead and bring your stick down. Guys, I'm gonna take your ring away for this next exercise. So just slip that ring out.

Your legs go back into the strap. I'll take your rings, thank you. And back in, we hold the stick straight up. All right, again, this stick is in your peripheral so that you can feel the back. We're gonna do spear a fish, all right?

So we're gonna rotate towards the window, a nice rotation with a spiral. Now, our eye level is gonna go up to this here. We're gonna lift that spine. We go over, and the hip comes off. It's like we're spearing something on the ground.

We pull the hip back down, and we center the body. Let's go over the other way. We rotate. We lift that spine up. We go up and over, and the hip comes off, good work. You pull that hip back down, and you center.

We go inhale for a rotation. We get longer in the spine. We lift that body, go over like you're gonna spear something on the ground. That's it, and back to center. And we go rotation, lifting that up, go up and over. Let that hip come back down, and now pull that hip back down, and center, very good, guys.

All right, I'll take your sticks. You guys go ahead and take your boxes, put 'em on long, and let's go to a blue spring only, all right? So long box, so put your box on long, there we go. And it's a blue spring only. Okay, so we're gonna get on the box, all right?

And I'll demonstrate with Ben. So Ben, you're gonna be laying down on the box with your hand like this, right. You're on your side, and your knees are bent right here, and we're opening up, and then your hand, I'll bring the strap to you, grabs the strap, and this is the start position. So we have the knee stack. We have the hip stack, right?

So bend those knees, bring 'em to the front edge of that box. We'll grab this. We'll use the long strap there. And then we're right here, all right? And your elbow's bent. Now, make sure you keep that strap, let's bring your upper body back just a little.

Can you bring your body back just a little? That's it, bring your elbow back. That's it, there you go, and then you're here, good. So you feel nice and secure there. All right, so the hand is here, and it's bent, right?

Right there, now, we're gonna start with a tricep extension. So you're gonna go press your hand out, one, good. Now, make sure you don't break at that wrist, and then bend your elbow, and bring it back in, good. And go two and stretch, good, and back in, excellent. Go three, good, and back in, one more.

And we go four, good, and pull it back in, very good. Just go ahead and relax a minute. We're gonna do the same thing with the arm, but we're gonna take the thigh and open it like a clam, keeping the feet together, and then closing the thigh as we bend the elbow, all right? So your elbows up, we're in that tricep extension position. Now, your feet are together, right, and they're up here, right.

Now, as you open that arm out, press into that tricep extension, open your thigh. Go, open the thigh, good. So we notice the hip doesn't move. Now, bend the elbow, and close the thigh, and we go open the thigh, good, and close the thigh, one more. And we go open the thigh, extend, reach through that wrist.

That's it, good, and bend, and bring it back in. Now it's gonna get a little bit harder. They're going to extend the arm, open the thigh, and they're gonna hold, all right? We go open the arm, open the thigh, right, now hold. This top leg is gonna reach back without moving the pelvis.

It reaches back, and it stretches. They keep that carriage still. You bend your knee, keeping it open, put it back down by that heel. The thighs closes, and you bend the elbow, and return. You go open the arm, extend, open the thigh out.

You extend that leg back, exactly. We look here, nothing's changing. We bend the knee. We bring it forward, and you bring it back in, good. Now, it's gonna get a little bit more challenging. Here we go. We open the arm, tricep extension, hold.

Now, both legs extend. One leg extends back, one leg extends forward. We bring the legs back together. We close the thigh, and we bend the elbow. Let's try the other side, and we go press, good.

Open that thigh, extend, nice, and bring it back. Good, and bend your elbow, very good, guys. Let's try the other side, and we'll take it up to speed. Good, that's a long one because there's a lot of choreography to this, all right? So I'm having them use the long straps because there's so much movement and choreography.

I'm trying to like, you know, not give them gripping muscles and that. So go ahead and you're gonna lay down, and we're on the other side. We will have the backs to you so you can really see what's going on in the back. So fill this whole room up with your back to you, guys. (laughs) All right, here we go, grab that, right? And you're here, and that palm faces out, good.

Shoulder blades are down. Neck is long, all right? So let's start by pressing the arm out and opening the thigh at the same time, one, there you go. Now, keep that hand in front of you so you don't get that strap into your head. Bend your elbow, and you close your thigh, good. Bend your elbow, and close your thigh.

Again, two and reach, good, and pull it back in. And we go three and reach, good work. Open that thigh, good, and pull it back in. Now, we're gonna open the arm, extend the arm, open the thigh, and hold. We go open the thigh.

Now, take that top leg and reach it back without moving the pelvis, and stretch it way back there, hold that. Keep that leg in line with your hip. Bend your knee. Bring it back in. Bend your elbow, and close the thigh. Again, we go open the thigh.

We extend the leg back. The pelvis doesn't move. The navel pulls in. It's okay to let the chest come forward a little bit. We bend the knee, we bring it back in, and return, good, and close the thigh, now here's your last one. We go open the arm out.

The thigh opens, both legs extend, reach one, good. Keep that arm out in front of you, and bend those knees, good. And bend your elbow, pull it, close those thighs. And we go open the thigh out, good, that's it. And we reach those legs, good work.

We pull it back in, good. And bring it back in. Go ahead and hook your strap up. We'll take your boxes away, and let's bring the boxes back to the back, great. Let's, this go down, yeah. Okay, so we're gonna go bring the bar back up, and we're gonna go to a red and a blue spring.

And we'll use that second notch, right? And let's get that outta the way, and we'll go red and blue. Okay, we're gonna stand on the carriage. So hold onto the bar as you get on, and stand up on the carriage, and the backs of your heels will be touching the shoulder rest, both hands will be on the bar, and you're facing this way, to the right. So we have the heels, and they're in a parallel position.

Now, what I want you to do is I want you to take your sit bones and reach 'em back there. Let your head come down some. Now, bring your thumb by your fingers, and let's connect that bar to your back. So pull the the bar apart with your arms, there you go, see, you feel the back. And then, Ben, if you'll just hinge back some, so hinge back into those legs, that's it, a little bit back further if you can go.

Good work, stretch, good. Now, we're gonna press the carriage back, one. Push back the carriage with your legs. Then we're gonna push down into the heel and pull the carriage back in, good. And we go back, two, and push through that heel, and pull it back in.

Make sure that we're keeping those ribs there. And go three, good, and back, and try to keep those heels down on that carriage for me. And go four, heels down, and push through your heel and pull it back in, one more. And we go five, so we're like, we're doing a straight-back elephant here, and we pull it back in. We can shift back a little bit more in our body, very good.

Now, walk your feet forward just a little bit. Bring your feet together. All right, now, raise your heels up into a releve. Now, take your spine and round it up to the ceiling, that's it, big, round spine. You're pushing your ribs up to the ceiling.

Squeeze your legs. We can lift up higher here. Get up there higher, that's it, good. Now, push your legs back, one, pull 'em back in. Let your head drop down. Go two and back in, so we're looking for a round back.

Go three, squeeze those legs together. We go four, good, and back in. We go five, bring it in. We go six, bring it in, let's do two more. We go seven, back is raising, it's nice and round.

And we go eight, very good, and bring it back in. Go ahead and just bend your knees a little, and just go ahead and let go of the carriage. Shake your hands out, very good. All right, now bring your heels up against the shoulder rests, all right? So heels, so put your feet back, and you're gonna be on a releve foot.

All right, now, bring your hips back here, all right? So bring your hips back, and let your body drop down, right there. Let your head drop down, please. All right, now you're gonna send the carriage out, and you're gonna go into a plank position. So we send the carriage out.

We drop down and let that pelvis come up. Let your bum come down some, right there. Shoulders are open. Lift that chest up, right there, squeeze. Now, pull the spring in by bringing your body over the bar.

That's it, and then push away. Now, think about that bar, what we could be doing. We can pull the bar apart so we feel these muscles are what's moving the body, and back. Good, we go three, good work, and back. We go four, and we have this lovely plank.

We let the bum come down just a little bit. Lift that chest, that's it, Ben. Squeeze through those glutes. Go five, good, let's do three more. Good work, guys, we go six, good, back in, two more.

We go seven, and back in, one more, good. And we go eight, very good, and bring it back in. Let's go down to your knees and rest a moment, all right? So what I'm looking for is for muscles in the side of your back to bring that body over the bar. We're bringing the heart over the bar.

We're bringing the heart back. We're gonna add one more element to this. We're gonna do a Jackrabbit, okay? And we're gonna do it the contemporary way with a neutral spine. So we go back up into the plank position, and those feet are way up against the shoulder as you drop your tailbone down.

And now the chest lifts up, right there. We squeeze the glutes. We pull the navel in. Now, Ben, we're gonna press the carriage back just a little bit more, right there. Now, what I want you to do is I want you to bend your knees and bring the carriage in. One, that's it, good work.

I could balance like a cup of coffee right here, two, good. Now, don't sink down there, and go three. Ben, keep that upper body absolutely still. We go four, good, and we can press back a little bit more and bend those knees. Five, yeah, good work, Ben.

And we go six, we have energy coming out that sternum. We're pulling this bar apart, eight. Let's do two more. Good work, guys. Go nine, and one more, good. And we go 10, very good, and bring it in, and go ahead and go down to your knees, excellent work.

Let's go ahead and stand up on the floor. You'll come over to this edge. Let's change ourself to just one red spring. Actually, let's go no springs, all right? So no springs, all right?

And then you're gonna stand in the well facing that direction, all right? And you wanna come forward and put your hands on the bar. Now, take your left foot and your left leg, and you're gonna bring it back onto the carriage with your knee resting on the carriage, right there. And that's our start position, all right? So just hold there, they have no spring on, so they have to use more of their muscles like a spring, all right?

So we're gonna go into a simple lunge, all right? So he's gonna press the legs back. He's gonna open that chest up, and he holds it. Now, we're looking for this knee here to reach forward, this knee here to reach back. Shoulders are down, and he's pressing down on the bar, opening that chest, lots of energy coming out, pushing the wall away, bring it back in, good.

And we go again, we push away, and we stretch, and we hold, good, hold there, all right? Now, what I want you to do is hold your body. Can you raise your right hand up into a fifth position? Right hand up, can you raise your left hand up? We hold that position five, go four, go three, go two, go one.

Put your hands back down, and let's bring the carriage, very good, and back in. Let's try the other side, all right? So other foot, exactly. Now, I'm looking at their feet on the floor. I'm making sure that their toes are relaxed, that they're not crinkling their toes.

And I'm also looking for that knee to go over that second toe, all right? So they take a big inhale, filling their lungs up, inflating those lungs, and then they're gonna exhale, and they go down into that stretch, and they hold. So go down there into that deep lunge, and the shoulders are down. Let's bring it back up. Let's try it one more time. All right, inhale, go exhale, and go down, and just stretch, that's it.

We can move back just a little bit. That's perfect. So we see that lovely shape of the body. They're gonna take the right hand and raise it up to the ceiling. They're gonna bring their left hand up. We hold five, we go four, we go three, we go two, and we go one.

We place those hands softly down. We bring the carriage back up. Go ahead and step out carefully, guys. Hook up one red spring. And I wanted you to sit on your carriage facing the windows here.

And you're sitting with both feet on the floor, and one hand is on the bar, one hand will be raising up. So let's scoot down just a little bit, all right? Now, this hand is gonna go up to the ceiling. Now, what I'm looking for is that they are trying to touch the ceiling with their fingers, all right? Right now, I don't care about the shoulder.

They're gonna push the carriage away. They're gonna take the body over into a cambre to the side, and it's feeling like they're opening this armpit and this armpit, and move your legs with your body with those feet down, good, and then we bring that body back up. We go up and over, and we reach, good, excellent. And we're holding here like that, and you bring it back up, and you go inhale, and go exhale, over. And what we're trying to do, we're trying to get all this to open more.

We're connecting those arms to the back. This arm is pushing, this arm is reaching, and we bring it back up and return. Let's try the other side, all right? So come on over to the other side, good. And you get a back view now.

So I wanna see the spine go into a lateral flexion, and I want this flexion to start way down in that lower back, okay? Bring the arm up, all right? Now, connect that bar to your back, all right, exactly. Lift that spine up. Take your inhale, and go exhale over. And then hip stays anchored down, and there's that spine making that lovely crescent moon, okay?

And then we bring it back up, and we can go vertebra by vertebra by vertebra. So we're reaching those hands right up to the ceiling. This arm on the bar is pushing hard. So you're almost trying to outreach the hand on the bar. Now, don't take a rotation.

You wanna stay upright, all right? It's like we're between two panes of glass. We go inhale. We get longer through the spine. We go exhale. We push, and we're strong through that, good. We bring the body back up.

We go in inhale and exhale, over you go, and stretch, good, and bring it right back up, good. We're gonna do it one more time. Now, what I'm looking for is for the spine to go into flexion starting way down here in the lower back, all right? We go inhale, and we go exhale. We go over and stretch and push, that's it, very good.

And you bring it back up. Let's do it one more time, and go up and over and stretch and reach, good work, excellent. And you bring it back up. Let's go ahead and turn around back to the camera, all right, and go ahead and sit. You can just go ahead and sit on the Reformer.

Good, so that's my class for dancers, all right? So a lotta movement, a lotta stabilizing the pelvis, a lotta stretching. Footwork is so, so important for dancers. They use their feet so much. That lovely developpe exercise with the pelvis being stable and that beautiful flowing exercise on the long box.

I hope you enjoyed the class. Thanks for watching, bye-bye.

Pilates for Dancers - Playlist 5: Working with Ballet Dancers

Comments

As a former dancer, I loved this class! More reformer classes please :)
I love love this class !!👍
Awesome class thanks!
Oh my gosh! I love this class. Thank you for the wonderful connection cues and I am so excited about the clam into arabesque sequence! I loved it! My triceps will feel that tomorrow. JOY!
fabulous!! thank you

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