Photo by Jayme Thornton

Fitness fads come and go, but one has stood the test of time: Pilates. Dancers swear by this full-body workout as an effective cross-training regimen. The low-impact moves are easy on any nagging injuries and help keep you lean, toned, centered, and flexible. Dance Spirit turned to Youn Kyung Lee, owner of 21 Pilates in NYC, for four mat-based exercises that'll serve your dancer bod best.

Photos by Jayme Thornton. Modeled by Alicia McGinty.

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Health & Body

June 19th marks the start of NYC Dance Week 2014—a.k.a. a huge perk for dancers spending their summer in the Big Apple. For 10 days (until June 28th), NYC Dance Week offers free(!!) and discounted dance and fitness classes throughout the city. So if you're in or around NYC, be sure to check out these highlights:

Contemporary class at The Ailey Extension
(Photo Kyle Froman)

Channel Elle Magazine’s recent fashion feature and stop into an Ailey Extension class at the Ailey Studios. This Friday, TweetBoogie is holding a free hip-hop class from 6:30–8:30 pm. The Ailey Extension is also offering an extra free class to any studio newbies, and returning students can take advantage of discounted class cards.

STREB in rehearsal for Human Fountain.
(photo courtesy City Center)

Other major studios are also getting involved: Peridance Capezio Center, Mark Morris Dance Center, Ballet Academy East and Gina Gibney Dance Center are all offering free and discounted classes. But you might consider stepping out of your comfort zone—the classes are free after all. Get your flipping, tucking and Parkour-ing on with a free session at STREB@SLAM, the home of Elizabeth Streb’s company STREB EXTREME ACTION.

Want to add in some fitness? There are countless Zumba, yoga and Pilates classes on the list—great for cross-training to prepare for your summer intensive. And if you have any questions about an injury or nutrition, bring them to one of The Harkness Center for Dance Injuries free Q&A and injury prevention seminars.

For the full list of events and classes in styles ranging from capoeira to Bollywood to tap to something called Ballet Gymnastics (um, yes please!), visit the NYC Dance Week website. See you in class!

Dance News

Dancers pack a lot of gear—leotards, tights, shorts, tops, skirts, sweaters and tons of shoes. And that doesn't even include workout clothes! To lighten your load, check out these crossover pieces that work anywhere.

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