Dance Specialization - Foundation

- A specialized program for dancers and dance students using kinesiological principles to enhance technique and reduce injury risk.

The Foundation Program with Dance Specialization is structured in a summer intensive format. Taught by Karen Clippinger, it is held at California State University, Long Beach, This program is 11 consecutive days featuring lecture, exercise demonstrations, practice, review, testing and a one-day break for study.

This specialized program covers the six modules developed by Rael Isacowitz that are taught in the Foundation Program at other host locations. These modules include Pilates Mat Work, as well as fundamental and intermediate Pilates repertoire on the Reformer, Cadillac, Wunda Chair. It emphasises the kinesiological basis of the exercises and effective cueing. In addition, these modules provide an overview of the skeletal system and muscular system, an introduction to the BASI Block System®, the basic principles of alignment and core stability, and examples of exercise adapations.

The dance-specific principles and repertoire (mat and Pilates apparatus) learned in this program will improve key areas dance technique such as core stability and range, extensions, arabesques and turnout.

The Graduate Program with Dance Specialization follows the Foundation Program, after a short break that is provided for study, observation and practice.

Due to the intensive format of these programs, prior Pilates and dance experience is highly recommended, as well as basic understanding of anatomy.

Please review our Refund Policy before registering for a program (may not apply to Licensee territories).

Program schedule is subject to postponement or cancellation, based on student enrollment.

*All fees are in U.S. Dollars.

Upon completion of the program, you will be qualified to:

  • Understand and apply the basic principles of Pilates in exercise demonstration and teaching.
  • Identify and provide the primary actions of key muscles of movement.
  • Recognize common postural deviations and provide cues for improvement of these conditions.
  • Analyze and understand key fundamental and intermediate Pilates exercises based on anatomical and biomechanical principles.
  • Provide modifications and assists for key Pilates exercises needed for common individual limitations and goals.
  • Understand the components of the Block System®.
  • Demonstrate and effectively teach a wide range of fundamental and intermediate-level classic Pilates exercises, original BASI exercises and dance-specific exercises on the Mat, Reformer, Cadillac and Wunda Chair.
  • Describe unique dance-specific core and lower body strength and flexibility demands.
  • Provide sample progression to assist with the transfer from isolation strength exercises to functional dance movements
  • Identify common errors, utilize technical cues, and provide select exercises to aid the dancer with optimizing turnout.


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  1. Program Structure
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Dance Specialization - Foundation Program Structure

  1. Day 1 - The Fundamentals

    Day 1 - The Fundamentals

    Primary concepts covered include the 10 movement principles of the Pilates method, an overview of the pelvic region, and Pilates breathing. A historical overview of Pilates is presented, plus the BASI® approach, and the importance of safety when teaching Pilates are discussed. An introduction to special considerations when working with dancers is provided. Repertoire taught and practiced includes fundamental Reformer exercises and dance-specific abdominal exercises. A one-hour mat class for dancers is taught.

  2. Day 2 - Anatomy Overview – Part 1

    Day 2 - Anatomy Overview – Part 1

    An anatomy overview is presented that includes: anatomical terminology for movement, types of joints, and the center of gravity. The importance and practice of cueing is discussed. Repertoire taught and practiced includes fundamental Reformer, fundamental Mat, Pole, Ped-a-pul, and dance-specific back extensor exercises. 

  3. Day 3 - Anatomy Overview (continued)

    Day 3 - Anatomy Overview (continued)

    Repertoire taught and practiced includes intermediate Mat and dance-specific hip extensor exercises. Day 1 and Day 2 repertoire is reviewed with special attention to technique corrections. 

  4. Day 4 - Anatomy Overview – Part 2

    Day 4 - Anatomy Overview – Part 2

    An anatomy overview is continued that includes: bones, bony landmarks, muscles, muscle actions, and types of muscle contraction. The BASI format of teaching is discussed and the Block System, created by Rael Isacowitz, is introduced. Repertoire taught and practiced includes intermediate Mat and Reformer, Leg Weights, and dance-specific hip flexor exercises. A one–hour mat class for dancers is taught. 

  5. Day 5 - Review/Practice

    Day 5 - Review/Practice

    Repertoire taught on Days 1-4 is reviewed and practiced with special attention to technique and cueing. 

  6. Day 6 - Posture Assessment

    Day 6 - Posture Assessment

    Primary concepts covered are the principles of alignment and posture assessment. Use of the roll down as a tool for assessment is discussed. Repertoire taught and practiced includes intermediate Mat, intermediate Reformer, fundamental Cadillac, and dance-specific hip abductor and hip adductor exercises. The Anatomy Quiz is taken.

  7. Day 7- Rest and Study Day (No Class)

    Day 7- Rest and Study Day (No Class)

    This day is designated for students to rest and study the material from the previous days on their own.

  8. Day 8 - Core Strength – Back and Abdominals

    Day 8 - Core Strength – Back and Abdominals

    Primary concepts covered are core strength and the relationship of the various muscle groups that make up the core with particular focus on the abdominals and the back extensors. Contraindications, effective exercises, and the importance of understanding your client’s needs and body type are discussed. Also addressed are guidelines for successful teaching, including the importance of flow in a session. Repertoire taught and practiced includes intermediate Reformer and dance-specific hip rotator exercises. A one–hour mat class for dancers is taught.

  9. Day 9 - Exercise Adaptation

    Day 9 - Exercise Adaptation

    A key concept covered is exercise adaptation through the use of assists and modifications. Discussion is focused on how to construct a complete and comprehensive program. Repertoire taught and practiced includes intermediate through advanced Mat, intermediate Reformer, fundamental Wunda Chair, and Magic Circle. Dance-specific exercises are reviewed.

  10. Day 10 - Review and Testing

    Day 10 - Review and Testing

    The Dance Foundation Final Practical Exam is taken. 

  11. Day 11 - Review and Testing

    Day 11 - Review and Testing

    Mat exercises are reviewed. The BASI Foundation Final Practical Exam is taken.

Tuition & Fees

Tution Fees: $1999

Deposit of $500 is required to secure your spot in the program. The deposit includes a $100 non-refundable Application Fee. The balance of $1499 is due by July 15, 2017.

Student discount is available. Must provide proof of current Student ID to receive discount.

Please be sure to read the Refund Policy prior to enrolling.

Teaching Credential

The Foundation Program with Dance Specialization prepares one to qualify for the Mat Teacher Certification, or continue the training into the Graduate Program with Dance Specialization in order to qualify for the BASI Comprehensive with Dance Specialization Certification.

Graduation requirements for the Mat Certificates are:

  • Attendance of all Modules
  • Pass the Final Exam (Online)
  • Practical and Teaching Examinations at a Centralized Location*
  • Observation: 15 Hours (50% can be completed via Pilates Interactive)
  • Student Teaching: minimum of 40 Hours
  • Self- Practice: minimum of 30 Hours

*Additional fees required

For more information go to Examination Process

A BASI Certificate with Dance Specialization requires successful completion of both the Foundation and Graduate Programs with Dance Specialization.