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Pilates and its Synergy with Modern Dance

Joseph Pilates and Hanya Holm had a professional relationship that began in the 1930s. Holm was a German Modern dancer who had studied with Mary Wigman. At the same time, Pilates was a fitness enthusiast who had developed a unique exercise regimen that he called "Contrology" (which later became known as Pilates).

Holm was one of the first dancers to incorporate Pilates exercises into her training, and she quickly became a devotee of the method. According to some sources, Holm was instrumental in introducing Pilates' work to the dance community in America. She invited him to teach at her New York City dance school, where he worked with many of the leading dancers and choreographers of the time.

Some accounts suggest that Pilates was, in turn, influenced by Holm's approach to movement and dance. He modified his exercises to suit the needs of dancers better. It is difficult to say definitively who influenced whom more. So, this mutually beneficial relationship between Pilates and Holm helped to popularize the Pilates method in the dance world.

Today, Pilates continues to be one of the most effective forms of exercise for dancers and non-dancers alike. It is only logical to offer Pilates Mat classes as part of MontionalCORE's offerings, as Steven Gray's dance training is rooted in the styles of Mary Wigman, Hanya Holm, and the Nikolias/Louis school.


- "Pilates and the Dancer," Dance Magazine, March 2002

- "Joseph Pilates and the Evolution of Pilates," IDEA Health & Fitness Association, August 2012

- "Hanya Holm: Pioneer of American Modern Dance," Dance Spirit, August 2015

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