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How Dance Culture Continues to influence Pilates, with Josselyn Levinson-Dustin

Episode 58:

How Dance Culture Continues to influence Pilates

On today’s show we talk with Josselyn Levinson-Dustin about the huge influence of the dance industry on the Pilates world. Even though Pilates instructors may not always realise it, the dance industry has impacted Pilates in movement and business practices. We discuss the aesthetic influence Pilates has inherited from dance, despite Joseph Pilates’ own somewhat staccato movement style. The dance aesthetic has permeated the way some instructors cue, move, and even think about the technique behind Pilates exercises. But is this influence the right way to create a joyful movement experience with the best outcomes for our clients? Josselyn explores how the dance business mindset has carried over into the Pilates world, emphasizing that it is possible to live your calling and make a comfortable living.

What You Will Learn:

  • How dance and Pilates influence each other
  • The aesthetic impact of dance on the Pilates realm
  • Why supporting your clients, no matter their shape or size, is the priority
  • Cultivating a positive business mindset
  • Why profiting from your passion is absolutely fine!

Positive Impact of Dance

The effect of the dance world on the Pilates realm is well known, particularly in terms of the expectation on form and body shape. Creativity and flow are positive attributes to have in the Pilates world, and can be attributed to the influence of the dance industry. However, it can be tempting for instructors to hold clients to unrealistic movement and aesthetic standards. Today we discuss why it’s important to resist moulding our clients to fit an ideal so that we can better serve them, helping them to achieve their wellness goals while finding joy in movement. Join our conversation with Josselyn as she shares what she’s learned about teaching movement to all body types via her experiences in both the dance and fitness industries.

Aesthetic Effect

When dancers enter the fitness realm and Pilates in particular, they bring with them certain expectations of what is considered aesthetically pleasing. Josselyn joins us on the show to discuss why that aesthetic continues to impact the Pilates realm even when there is a disconnect between the theory of what form should look like and whether or not it helps your client to live a life of robust and joyful movement.

Business Mindset

Pilates instructors often struggle with the idea that they make money from their passion. This mindset that we shouldn’t earn a living from what we enjoy has spilled over from the world of dance, but it’s something that we don’t need to carry forward with us in the Pilates industry. When we flip the narrative and get into the headspace of understanding the value we offer our clients, we’ll move past any hesitation we have over charging well for our skills.

Dance and Pilates

References and Resources mentioned in this episode:

About Josselyn Levinson-Dustin:

Josselyn Levinson-Dustin is a movement lover, anatomy geek, wife, mama, Pilates student and teacher, and the owner of Root & Limb Pilates in Berkeley, CA. She holds a BA in dance and an MFA in Performance and Choreography with an emphasis in the Alexander Technique. After dancing professionally for many years, Josselyn became certified through the Kane School of Core Integration in NYC and began teaching Pilates full time in 2010. Her mission as a Pilates teacher is to empower people to find strength, confidence, and joy in their Pilates practice and to move fearlessly through life.

How to Connect with Josselyn Levinson-Dustin:

About Raphael and Cloe:

Raphael Bender, CEO, Breathe Education

Raph believes everyone deserves the opportunity to transform into a better version of themselves. His main strength as a teacher and movement professional is the ability to distill complex research findings into a simple, science-based approach to help people move fearlessly, thoughtlessly, and painlessly. He LOVES running, weights, cycling, and Contrology.

Raph holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology (Rehabilitation), a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sports Science, Diploma of Pilates Movement Therapy, and STOTT PILATES full certification.

Cloe Bunter, Trainer, Breathe Education

With 8+ years in the industry, both teaching Pilates and nurturing new instructors, Cloe is passionate about empowering new and seasoned instructors to think critically and move fearlessly. Empowered instructors empower their clients, and in turn, change lives.

She finds great joy in building connections with clients, students, colleagues, and the broader movement and rehab community. Co-hosting the Pilates Elephants Podcast, with Raphael Bender, has provided an incredible platform to bust common Pilates, movement, and rehab myths whilst creating a worldwide community of critical thinkers who are elevating health literacy.

Cloe is fascinated by movement in general, and its ability to enhance our lives, at any age. Her own movement practice includes Contrology/Pilates, running, weights, and kettlebells. She has a Diploma of Clinical Pilates, Cert IV in Pilates, and Cert IV in Training and Assessing.

How to Connect with Raphael and Cloe:

3 Myths About Posture in Pilates eBook:

  • You can find the eBook here

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