Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 11.00.24 am Pilates is rapidly becoming the top profession in the dance and fitness world. New workout regimes are fusing Ballet barre work with strength and stretching techniques. Dancers who take Pilates on a regular basis understand how to use their core properly and are highly aware of safe dance practice. Australian Pilates Instructor, Gemma Kelly, has proven that adding Pilates to your regime is the most beneficial form of exercise. Gemma graduated from Deakin University in Melbourne in a Bachelor of Contemporary Dance. It was not until her third year that a lecturer suggested she pursue Pilates. Gemma has since done exactly that. Gemma gained her Pilates qualifications through the Australian Pilates Method Association and renewed her craft through various other courses, including Xtend Barre. She took up Pilates when she was 13 due to her severe scoliosis. “I loved how Pilates made my body feel. Not only did it relieve my back pain, but I also started to notice my dance technique improve. Movement in all areas of my life became more effortless.” She first moved abroad to London where she met Pilates instructor, Trevor Blount. He inspired her to slow down her daily lifestyle and focus on taking in every moment. It is vital to remember that Pilates is both meditative and strengthening for the body and mind. “Trevor Blount encouraged me to really look at a person’s body and evaluate their movement in more detail.” From London Gemma changed pace and headed to Nicaragua, Central America. She discovered a difference in Pilates there; it was more aggressive and dynamic. “It fused other methods like allegro fat burn which uses the reformer machine and cardio fitness.” Gemma now resides in Hong Kong where she teaches not only Pilates, but dance classes and Xtend Barre. “Xtend barre fuses dance, ballet and Pilates to pop music. It’s an awesome, high energy, fun class. I love to teach it, everyone leaves with wobbly legs and big smiles!”
Gemma told Dance Writer, “Pilates is an intelligent movement form, I look at my clients body and move them in a way that’s specific for them, which helps them live with more freedom of movement. I love catering a class for the individual. We all need to be educated about our body, increase our awareness so we can maintain our bodies and be in control and know how to heal ourselves.”
For those who want to pursue a Pilates career, remember the importance of mindful exercise and enjoy the movements you and your client are performing. Pilates is a workout that renews the body and makes you feel alive—both during the class and after! So make sure you are ready to get people inspired and get the body mobilised!

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