At PIVOT, we are very aware of the particular challenges of dancers and have personal experience as professional dancers, working with clients who are dancers, as well as dance instructors. Karen is just one of our instructors with deep understanding, from a personal and professional level, of dance and the amazing benefits of the GYROTONIC® Method.
Karen individually tailors sessions for each of her clients based on her extensive movement background and history with exercise. She’s worked with clients recovering from knee, hip, ankle and shoulder injuries as well as a variety of spinal issues and back pain. She’s also worked with many athletes on cross training as well as students looking to have more balance and coordination. She believes that movement can be very healing for both the mind and the body. Sometimes we just need to find new ways of connecting them.
Karen graduated from Cornish College of the Arts in 2006 with a B.F.A. in dance and received an outstanding artist award at graduation. Wanting to deepen her knowledge of anatomy and therapeutic work Karen became certified as a GYROTONIC® instructor in 2009 and actively instructs clients at PIVOT. Karen strongly believes that variety in exercise is essential to staying healthy and happy.
PIVOT is now offering GYROTONIC® classes with focus for dancers and dance teachers Tuesdays at 12:00 pm and Fridays at 10:00 am!!
8 THINGS THE GYROTONIC® METHOD WILL DO FOR YOUR DANCING
This is a fantastic article by a fellow instructor, Allie Christensen.
Dancers are elite athletes both physically and mentally and require extensive training in and out of the studio. Here are 8 reasons professional dancers like Principal Misty Copland in ABT and Principal Mathilde Froustey in San Francisco Ballet are making the The GYROTONIC® Method a part of their training.
1. Injury Prevention
Forcing turnout, tucking, and hyperextension are all stresses dancers put on their joints that can be career ending over time. Injuries like Achilles Tendonitis, achy hip flexors, sore knees, and excessive joint popping are the first warning sign to bigger injuries. Some times the cycle seems endless when you have no time to “rest” and after you do take time off, these injuries reappear. A Gyrotonic session for dancers is a great way to improve these scenarios while continuing with your vigorous class and rehearsal schedule, or while you has to take time off.
2. Increase Range of Motion
A dancer needs to be able to access their flexibility potential in a healthy way that is not damaging their tendons, ligaments, and joints. This means learning how to hold a joint stable as they push their flexibility limits. Some times, dancers limit them selves by using the wrong muscles to turn out or heighten their arabesque, for example. Gyrotonic exercise simultaneously stretches and strengthens each muscle group in a way that is identical to the range of motion needed in dance class, increasing flexibility in a usable way.
Gyrotonic classes are designed to take the body past its current limitations
The way we walk, stand, and bend is a direct link to our success level. Now times that by 1000 and you have dance. Alignment is everything. So often dancers try to mimic what alignment looks like instead of feeling what it is in their body. Holding proper alignment has to do with the balance of strength between muscle groups. Through this system each dancer will learn how to find their perfect alignment to set them up for success.
Balance is perfected with two things: Alignment and strength. Whether you’re a prima ballerina on pointe, or a contemporary dancer moving from one balance to another, you need to have jaw dropping balance. Dancers will not only have one on one time to learn more about what makes their body unique, but with the specialized Gyrotonic equipment and eye of the trainer, it will highlight any inconsistencies in their body that are preventing the best balance possible. And who doesn’t want better balance?!
5. Increase in Strength
Gone are the days of dancers looking “frail”. Dancers are stronger and more diverse movers then ever before. The problem with tradition strength and cross training for dancers, is it’s done in a static or two dimensional plane. Dancers need strength in the every aspect of movement. A Gyrotonic session is designed to strengthen the joint and muscles in its 3 dimensional realm, creating strength at every level of movement. It focuses on the importance of a “connected” body, meaning, your shoulder girdle and pelvis work together to achieve the perfect structural balance. With out both, it’s like trying to build a skyscraper without laying the foundation. Eventually it’s going to crumble.
6. No Gripping
“Gripping” the hip flexors and quads seems like the hardest habit to unlearn. With The Gyrotonic Method it simply and correctly teaches you to use the best muscle groups to lift your leg.
7. Breath Control
Not only does our breathing give our muscles oxygen to perform at the highest capability but also our breath enhances movements. Every dancer has been in a class and told to “breath” or “use your breath” but do you really know how to? Gyrotonic exercise uses different breaths to achieve the maximum strength, extension, and connection through the whole body. Instantly increasing your body’s capability.
8. Built for Dancers
This is the only system designed by a dancer, for a dancer. Julio Horvath was a professional dancer and suffered injuries that were not being fully helped by any specific training method. He decided to come up with his own that meshed best of all worlds together giving us what we have to day: The GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM®