Portrait of a Pilates Master as a Young Ballerina
Before turning to Pilates as a career, Jillian Hessel studied at George Balanchine's School of American Ballet and at the Harkness House (on full scholarship) in New York City. For four years, she danced in Europe with the Balanchine-affiliated Geneva Ballet in Switzerland and then with the Frankfurt Ballet in Germany. Upon her return to the States, she attended New York University, where she was introduced to modern dance. She went on to perform with Ballet Hispanico of New York, Boston's Dinosaur Dance Company, and Dance Miami.
Photographs from Jillian Hessel's Dance Career
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There is an erroneous impression that Pilates exercise was created by a dancer specifically for dancers, but nothing could be further from the truth. Joseph Pilates was not a professional dancer, nor did he create his workout regimen specifically for dancers. However, if you want to move with the grace and style of a dancer — and sport the strong sculpted muscles and flexibility of a dancer — Pilates may be the perfect workout for you!