Happy Holidays! Giving Thanks: Given the season, I wanted to spend this e-newsletter with a quick story of how I got hooked on Pilates! It is something I am truly thankful for.
I moved to San Francisco a little over five years ago with a single intention: I wanted to join the vibrant dance community and find ways to make dance the guiding force of my life. That decision found me rattling over Donner Pass in a U-Haul the day before I began intensive training at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, from where I hoped to meet local choreographers, audition for dance projects, and set up a life as a professional dancer.
Two weeks after joining the Conservatory, I tore my left ACL. The ACL is a major stabilizing ligament in the knee. You can definitely survive without one, but fast movement that includes quick changes of direction, moving with momentum, deep knee bends — in other words the dancing I had moved out to San Francisco to do — is impossible for most bodies. Dancing was out for the foreseeable future.
My road to recovery included surgery, three weeks of navigating San Francisco in crutches, over a year of physical therapy, and the vast unknown of whether it all would result in the ability to dance again or not. Somewhere along that path I started training in Pilates at the Dance Medicine Clinic at St. Francis Medical Center.
Pilates became a source of inspiration for me. The equipment allowed me to take strain and stress out of my knee as I moved. I was able to both gently rehab my knee and work my body as an integrated whole. My trainer would also take me off the Pilates equipment and over to the ballet barre, where we would apply what I had learned on the Pilates equipment to how I hoped to use my body in my day-to-day life.
Pilates worked. Today, I spend at least half my time in the dance studio, rehearsing with several local companies. Since I started performing professionally, it’s been rare that I’ve had a month go by without a performance. Like the vast majority of dancers, I also have a day job, but I am so thrilled that my day job is something that I love and is deeply connected to my personal story — teaching Pilates!
Because Pilates had such an impact on my life, I am passionate about applying it to help my clients. I’ve seen my clients feel better instantly with movement that is safe, fun, and full-bodied; target specific issues in their bodies; and make them feel better daily as transfer over Pilate’s lessons of body mechanics to their day-to-day lives. It really is a wonderful tool, and I am thankful for each and every one of my clients for allowing me to continue investigating it. THANKS!