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Geoffrey Delahaye – Pilates for everyone, even musicians!
Geoffrey Delahaye is a Pilates instructor and Gaga dance. His discovery of these two arts came from his struggle to relieve pain. He found his calling, and now teachers his skills to others. But some background first…read on…
What is wrong with musicians?
In the category of artists suffering from chronic muscle pain, musicians are often forgotten. They practice for hours on end, often obsessing over a single section, soliciting the same muscles again and again… The physical energy required when performing on stage is similar to that of an elite athlete. What is more, musicians have to carry their instruments everywhere they go, which can cause additional injuries and strains.
Just what the doctor ordered
Elena Gasenzer, MD, of Witten/Herdecke University in Cologne, led a study on this subject. She asked 8,000 professional musicians to participate in an online survey, and answer a series of questions related to their experience of pain.
The results showed that 66 percent reported suffering from chronic pain.
The most common pain was reported in the back and the upper extremities.
Some of the recommendations to avoid painful injuries for musicians include better sleeping habits, as well as taking regulars breaks when rehearsing. Other suggestions mentioned were reducing stress to diminish muscle tension, and practicing good posture. Enter Pilates.
What is Pilates?
Through a series of low-impact exercises focused on the core, Pilates works by gently strengthening the body’s muscles, resulting in improved postural alignment and flexibility.
In 1926, the founder of the movement Joseph Pilates arrived in New York. His studio happened to be in the same building as the New York City Ballet. Over the years, he developed a long-lasting relationship with the dance community, and Pilates became part of the dancers’ training. To this day, Pilates is still used by many professional dance companies.
The Royaumont Foundation, in the outskirts of Paris, renowned for its residencies both in music and dance, has extended Pilates to their musicians too. In July 2019, a Geneva-based Pilates instructor, Geoffrey Delahaye, was invited to participate as a faculty member to provide a masterclass for harpsichordists.
Meet Geoffrey Delahaye
Geoffrey Delahaye is not just any Pilates instructor, he is also a Gaga dancer. Don’t be fooled by the name! Gaga is a dance technique created by Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin, whereby dancers guide their movements by listening closely to the sound of their bodies.
Geoffrey Delahaye discovered Pilates after suffering from severe chronic back pain due to his profession as a hairdresser, which he still practices today (see below for more details). He walked through the door of a Pilates studio in search of relief. A few years later, he walked out a trained Pilates teacher. He studied alongside Romain Mancini, from Usine Opéra, and Olivia Plisson, who cofounded the Movement Factory studio, together with Sabrina Moser.
In 2017, he specialised in Fascia Pilates, at Studio Namaha, alongside Celina Hwang. This method unravels the underrated function of the fascia, a web of connective tissues that run across our entire body, linking muscles, bones, and organs. It dives into the complex body system as a whole, by releasing and cleaning the emotional memory stocked deep within the cells, as well as focusing on muscle tension relief and postural alignment.
Versatile and multitalented
Geoffrey Delahaye is a dedicated and patient instructor. His passion for people and music has been a driving force throughout his entire life. His experience as a hairdresser, a Pilates instructor and, in his youth, a musician with the French punk band Les Grognasses made him realise that:
“Despite our differences as human beings, we are united by the forces that drive us. Our expectations may differ, but at the end of the day, we all share similar preoccupations, and need to fill the same needs.”
If you want to take up Pilates with Geoffrey, you can follow his courses on Zoom. Simply sign up by sending him an email to email@example.com. More details can be found in our cultural agenda, published on April 6th, under “Le Petit Truc en Plus”
Now that hair salons are open again, you can book an appointment with Geoffrey at Dom Hairstyling in Geneva.
Unfortunately, Les Grognasses‘s album has sold out. However, Geoffrey still has a copy of it somewhere at home…
Pain Management, by Richard Robinson
Flowing together, by Juan Siliezar