Melissa, our long-term returning staff member, has shared about herself and her favourite warm-up exercise sequence. Melissa trained at the Australian Ballet School and finished her performing career last year. She currently teaches at The National Theatre and various other dance and Pilates studios across Melbourne.
Who are you?
I am Melissa, I have a fascination with anatomy and the endless movement possibilities the body offers. I love intricate details in things and discovering new hiking tracks. I love being energised from nature and helping however I can.
Why did you become a Pilates Instructor?
This is an interesting question as often people discover Pilates as adults, experience the benefits first hand and make the career change to be a Pilates Instructor.
Pilates has been part of my daily life since primary school. It has been complementary to my profession as a dancer and movement educator, and I seamlessly transitioned into studying a Pilates Diploma, which felt right. I also had an in-depth understanding of the method and ideokinesis before transitioning, which meant I made sure the Diploma course I chose had great mentors instructing and I chose to continue those relationships.
Pilates has been the method that helped me through challenging injuries. It is a body practice where I feel I can impart knowledge to others to help them with what their body presents and physical goals that they have. I love helping people and discovering movement potential and ease of movement for people.
What do you love most about Pilates?
Pilates for me began as a part of rehabilitation from injury and then continued as body maintenance for dance. Although what I love most about Pilates is that I’ve discovered it is my form of movement meditation. I am not someone that can sit still and meditate, but focusing on clear movement directions and breath completely clears my mind of all distractions and I leave the mat feeling clear, calm and connected. Whenever I have a little niggle, injury or am overloaded with things I always have Pilates as a way to check in with what my body needs and to move forward from there. The method has helped me recover from disc bulges, rotator cuff injuries, hip injuries, SIJ injuries and stress fractures.
Roll up & Rollover series
“For me this exercise series integrates shoulder stabilisation, spinal articulation and abdominal work. It’s a full body challenge for me but I like to use it in my warm up in a sequential way.”
We caught Melissa playing around on the wobble board with a fusion of ballet and Pilates. Although she claims her balance is not her strong point, her recovery after each little wobble is very impressive and a great testament for the stability and control she has gained from years of Pilates.