• Melissa Schafer

The Art of Awareness

Pilates Awareness Dance

If you have ever been seated in the theatre watching a dance performance unfold in front of you, then

you have probably noticed how perfectly uniform the dancers are. Moving simultaneously, they

never step out of line or bump into each other. Every dancer knows exactly where to be and when to be there.


How do they do this you wonder?

On top of the many hours they put in to learning all the choreography and rehearsing it together, a

big component of magic is Awareness. Awareness is defined as the state of being conscious of something. So how do dancers use their awareness, work to improve it, and how does it help them on stage?


As a professional dancer, your day usually begins with a class where the focus is to warm up your

body, work on your technique and strengthen your body for the day’s performance ahead. To make the most of a class like this, each dancer needs to be aware of their body and how to use it. Many professional dancers advocate for Pilates and the benefits it gives them in their training and

performance. Sharing so many similar principles, Awareness being one of them, it is easy to see why.








Awareness in Pilates teaches one to ‘feel’ their body, to get in touch with what is happening within

their muscles during each exercise, to feel their alignment and placement, to pay attention to the

way one breathes but also to be aware of your surroundings, the mat you lie on, the equipment you utilise. It is this inner and outer body awareness that allows us to learn to juggle so many things at one time. And this is part of how a dancer gives a flawless performance.

Is this not a useful and clever thing to take with you into your world, using this Awareness to know

yourself, your body, and your world even better.





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