My journey in movement started through dance. I trained as a ballet and contemporary dancer specialising in Limon, "Release" and Cunningham techniques. I was introduced to Pilates during my dance training to improve performance and I found it very beneficial to understand kinesiology and embodied anatomy.
I trained as Pilates instructor and specialised in strength, motor skill, balance, flexibility training and rehabilitation for dancers. I am passionate to help dancers improve performance quality through a scientific-based training.
Markella holds a BA degree in Dance Education, an MSc in Dance Science and a Certificate of Accomplishment in Cunningham Technique. She is a qualified Pilates instructor through BASI Pilates. Markella works at the Royal Ballet School and The Pilates Clinic in London. She is BASI Pilates Faculty member teaching the Global Comprehensive Program and her original workshop "The Foot - our base of support" focusing on foot strength and mobility. She offers dance-specific Pilates workshops. She is an Onassis Foundation Scholar.
Pilates is one of the most well known exercise methods. It is recommended by medical experts for injury recovery, pain reduction, posture improvement and strength gains.
As a very versatile form of exercising, Pilates is an ideal body conditioning method for dancers. Nowadays the choreographic demands are very diverse and dancers are expected to perform various different styles and techniques. Training in a physically demanding environment may create muscular imbalances, postural compensations as well as fatigue. According to research, dancers have a high risk of injury occurrence, and recovery time is sometimes limited, which can lead to injury recurrence.
Pilates can help dancers to...
identify imbalances in their bodies
re-train the body to improve imbalances
improve strength, mobility and flexibility
prevent the possibility of an injury
correct neuromuscular patterning after an injury
strengthen and regain mobility the affected area
Dance Science is a fast growing area studying a variety of fields underpinning dance like anatomy, physiology, nutrition, biomechanics, psychology and somatics to name a few.
Scientific research is very important to explore new possibilities, expand knowledge and improve performance potential as the demands in dance increase. The dance population is very complex to study scientifically since it is incorporating the physical demands of sports as well as artistry and expression. Dance scientists use quantitative and qualitative methods to measure, combine, and compare the various aspects researched and they draw information from other physical and artistic areas such as sports, music and performing arts.
Dance Science is offering valuable information to dancers, dance teachers, choreographers and rehearsal directors on how to improve their practice in order to pursue the best possible outcome. It spans from strength and balance tests measuring physical performance, to psychological tests focusing on the mental well being of the dancers during stressful periods of training and rehearsals.