MEET AMY, OUR RESIDENT BELLY-DANCER

By Amy Shoog, Core Pilates Student-Teacher

I had always worked in an office full time, and expressed myself physically and creatively outside of work through belly dancing. Soon, my passion for belly dancing evolved into paid weeknight and weekend work, which on top of my full-time day job, required many hours of rehearsal. This saw me sit for eight hours a day, then rehearse for 3 hours at night in extreme ranges of motion. Pairing this with the occasional ballet and yoga class really took its toll on my body. I needed a career change!

I left my day job and began to study the Diploma of Professional Pilates Instruction through Pilates ITC full time, whilst continuing belly dancing. My initial consultation at Core Pilates (Pilates ITC Qld) with Lisa Jackson showed the damage my body had suffered as a result of lifecycle. I suffer bursitis in my left shoulder; let’s just say the array of belly dance props I used including veils, balancing swords and shamadan on my head didn’t help! Lisa advised I had pelvic instability and was weak in this area. I was overusing my lower back to create movement. I am also guilty of favouring one side in my dance which has left me with rotation in my pelvis and asymmetry.

A large part of the Diploma focuses on “self-mastery” of the Pilates repertoire. I attend two studio sessions per week and practice at home. My mentors and teachers, Lisa and Lisia, have been very patient with me as I have slowly worked through the Pilates repertoire, and I am so grateful for their dedication and persistence.

Since starting Pilates, my body has changed dramatically. I have found stability in my pelvis, reducing my lower back pain, and strength in my shoulder girdle, which has significantly relieved my shoulder pain. It is astounding to me to recall those exercises that I once found impossible – I have improved so much. I have also seen a difference in my dancing as I draw more power from new strength.

I love that Pilates is for every body and every age. Everything is adapted and personalised for the client! Of course, I especially love the cross training it provides for athletes and dancers.

My own journey of self-discovery within the Pillates studio, has ignited my passion to empower women in their bodies; to help them feel strong and capable no matter what their physical condition. To me, Core Pilates Brisbane offers a safe space where I am not judged for my physical weaknesses, but carefully challenged and progressed at a pace suitable to me. I feel this has given me an advantage in my journey of learning to become a teacher as I can understand this process first hand. I’ve also been able to witness incredible transformations in all body types during my observation and teaching hours at Core Pilates Brisbane, which is a Work Experience Facilitation Site.

The supporting online course material is extensive and precise, providing everything you need to get into the studio and begin contact hours. The course covers exercise planning and programming of the extensive Pilates repertoire. I’ve learned matwork techniques and how to get the best out of an array of equipment including the reformer, Cadillac, Barrels, Wunda Chair. I’ve also learned an incredible amount about anatomy and physiology, including muscle structure and function, special conditions, postural assessments, workplace health and safety, and importantly, professional communication in the Pilates industry.

The fellow students I have met in the studio have been incredibly supportive and we spend a lot of time practising the repertoire and teaching each other. It is invaluable having other students around you – particularly in person – who are completing the same course. We have a beautiful studio available to us with everything we need. I have made some great friends and have learnt a lot from them. I encourage anyone thinking about enrolling in the course to take the next step!

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