Experiencing joy through movement has always played a significant role in my life! After taking my first ballet class at three years old, I haven’t been able to sit still ever since! Movement isn’t so joyful however when you are injured! I experienced the healing benefits of Pilates when I had a stress fracture in my foot. It helped me get back to doing what I loved!
A young dancer
I was introduced to Pilates as a young ballet student, by a former Royal Ballet Dancer and certified Pilates teacher. She had recently returned to New Zealand from the UK and opened up a fully equipped Pilates studio. I still remember my first lesson so clearly. I was mesmerized by the beauty of each piece of studio apparatus!
Pilates for the stress fracture in my back
While dancing at the Australian Ballet School in my teens, I developed a stress fracture in my foot. It left me unable to walk without pain or step inside a dance studio for almost four months! Consistent Pilates lessons throughout the lengthy rehabilitation journey kept me motivated and optimistic. Finally I was able to return to the ballet studio and stage, physically and mentally stronger than before my injury. The experience also gave me a much greater appreciation for the resiliency of the human body and mind.
Pilates rehab for pain and injuries
This pattern of injury and rehab continued throughout my career. Frustrating and occasionally lengthy dance injuries prevented me from training and performing with the rest of my friends and colleagues. So I would head back to the healing sanctuary of the Pilates studio. In that safe space I could escape to a different environment. Calming my nervous system, and allowing me to focus purely on what my body and mind needed each day without any external expectations or pressure.
From Dancer to Teacher
I eventually retired from dancing and transitioned to teaching ballet and Pilates while living in London. When I returned home in New Zealand, I completed my full training in All the Pilates equipment with STOTT Pilates. My love and appreciation for Pilates has only strengthened. I’ve experienced first-hand in myself and amongst friends, family, and clients the infinite healing benefits of Pilates. It allows the individual to move optimally and mindfully, and obtain greater mental clarity. It helps us all to lead our most fulfilling lives, supporting us to achieve whatever sparks the most joy for us outside of the studio!
My plan for when I’m 100 years old
I passionately believe that Pilates is for absolutely everyone, no matter where you are in life… I plan to still be doing Pilates and hanging from a Cadillac even when I am 100 years old!
By Amelia Hutchinson