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Our Unique Story

Besides the Fairytale “The Steadfast Tin Soldier” by Hans Christian Andersen – one doesn’t tend to associate Ballet Dancers with Soldiers - although there are in fact, more similarities in our training than one might have imagined.

Being Ballet dancers, we are forced from an early age to acquire many specialized skills. Ultimately, we are required to obtain elite levels of fitness, high amounts of self-discipline, forced to continuously push physical boundaries, expected to handle hard critic on a regular basis, as well as have the ability to overcome injuries and invest in endless training for the prevention of injuries. We are elite athletes and our careers rely on being in the best physical shape.

Dancers have been using Pilates as a rehabilitation method for decades. However, Pilates was actually originally created during World War 1, where the Founder of the system, Joseph Pilates, used his method to rehabilitate injured soldiers. Unlike most, Pilates would not see a bed ridden amputee as a disabled man with only one leg, but a highly skilled, fit young soldier – with 3 perfectly working limbs. Using his vast experience in physical training, he wasted no time in getting these men back exercising on a daily basis, by quite simply reworking the structural aspects of the old style hospital bed frames, removing and reattaching springs - therefore allowing the patient to apply movement and resistance to muscles - despite the fact that they were bed bound. The results were outstanding. The Soldiers experienced far speedier recoveries, as well as significantly improved body alignment, increased core strength and more refined coordination and balance.

Almost 100 years on, a heavy influx of wounded soldiers were being sent home to Denmark with monstrous disabilities and amputations. Worrying reports were highlighted within the media, concerning the lack of rehabilitation efforts, and it was impossible to sit back and do nothing. With the support of The Royal Danish Ballet Foundation, a small group of dancers decided to approach ‘Rigshospitalet’ with a proposal of offering our help. As well as being elite ballet dancers – my colleague Jessie Lee and I, are also certified Pilates Instructors and wondered if we could use our expertise as movement specialists, to train the soldiers in Pilates, a biomechanical and anatomic movement system designed to improve motor control and functional movement of the body.














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