the winding path
Good Movement is Efficient Movement.
Good Movement is Logical Movement with Strategies for Success.
Good Movement is Beautiful Movement.
Good Movement reveals the Dynamic Relationship between the Physical, Emotional and Spiritual qualities of the Body Moving through space.
"Working with Suzanne Koucheravy I have noticed remarkable changes in my scoliosis. As a ballet dancer I feel the Scolio-Pilates® has made a huge improvement on my strength in ballet. Working new muscle groups has made a positive effect on my technique and as a result has given me new confidence with my back.
I am now more aware of how to correct my posture, both in ballet class and when completing day-to-day activities, which I feel has helped prevent pain I would usually experience and has also reduced the number of injuries in dance I would receive as a result of my curves.
The most noticeable improvement with the Scolio-Pilates work is the aesthetic appearance of my back. Because I am now aware of how to correctly align my imbalances, I can see in photographs huge changes in my body which I once thought was impossible."
Bethany Headland, dancer
Photo by Alex Fine
Where to begin?
We will begin with a conversation.
A conversation about your journey - your winding path - and how Scolio-Pilates® can be part of the rest of your journey.
We will find the best path starting where you are right now.
You may have just been diagnosed with scoliosis or you and your unique curve are old friends.
Scolio-Pilates® will be part of a team of experts helping you understand your scoliosis to make the best decisions for your path.
WHAT IS SCOLIOSIS?
Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine that effects 2 – 3 % of the general population. Most curvatures, called idiopathic scoliosis, are noticed during adolescence and the reason for the curvature occurring remains unknown. Scoliosis can also be caused by disease, pain or injury. The resulting muscle imbalances and compensatory movement patterns can cause poor posture, pain, and in the case of a more severe curvature, cardio-pulmonary restrictions.
There is no cure for structural scoliosis. However, there is much that can be done to alleviate pain, improve poor posture and enhance quality of life through exercise as part of the treatment for scoliosis.
Source: National Scoliosis Foundation www.scoliosis.org.
WHAT IS SCOLIO-PILATES?
Scolio-Pilates®, developed by Karena Thek, builds upon the foundational work of the Schroth Method to address the three- dimensional impact of scoliosis. Scolio-Pilates® incorporates foam wedges to bring the body's imbalances caused by scoliosis closer to a neutral position. Scolio-Pilates® scoliosis specific exercises build core control, elongate the spine, improve breath function and posture. The process begins with an assessment followed by either private sessions or an intensive weekend. Together we will develop a personalized home program of strengthening and restorative exercises to bring the spine back to a more balanced placement. For more information about Scolio-Pilates® visit
SCOLIO-PILATES PRIVATE SESSION
The first session will be an assessment of your scoliosis curve, a review of your medical history, spine imaging and goals.
Subsequent sessions will:
Incorporate wedging to bring your curve toward neutral.
Build scoliosis specific exercises to elongate and strengthen your spine.
Develop a system of breathing to assist movement to neutral.
Create movement strategies for your daily activities and life.
I prefer to meet weekly for the first 6-8 weeks to create a Scolio-Pilates® scoliosis specific program for you to continue at home. Then we will decide what is the best frequency of sessions to help you maintain your Scolio-Pilates® exercise program. The important part is for you to understand your scoliosis and be comfortable with your exercise program.
An intensive is another option when weekly sessions are difficult due to time or distance. Working in person is preferred and the most effective way to help you feel confident working on your own at home. The intensives are generally 3-6 days in length working 3-4 hours per day. A typical session would be 2 hours in the morning, followed by a lunch break and then one to two hours in the afternoon. We will do what is best for you. It is important to spend enough time together so we can create an effective Scolio-Pilates® exercise program that you are comfortable practicing at home.
The intensive will:
Assess your curves, review medical history and spine imaging and goals
Incorporate wedging to bring your curve toward neutral
Build scoliosis specific exercises for strengthening and elongate your spine once placed toward neutral
Develop a system of breathing to assist movement to neutral
Create movement strategies for daily life
"As a dancer with TWB, my scoliosis is the one attribute that causes the majority of my difficulties and injuries. Under Suzanne's extremely well-trained eyes, I have gained strength and a sense of balance that I have never know before due to the natural imbalances in my body structure. I leave each session (feeling long and strong) with a new sense of how to balance my spine, as well as with the unique sense of working with someone who puts such a high level of care and passion into my treatment and instruction."
Stephanie S. dancer, The Washington Ballet
"If only I had found Suzanne and Scolio-Pilates® sooner!
I danced with a chronic ankle injury for 2+ years, and no amount of physical therapy could fix the nagging pain. It was only after working with Suzanne that my ankle pain resolved permanently. My eyes have been opened to the advantage of understanding the idiosyncrasies of the body as an athlete. Now, I can’t go more than 2 weeks without checking in with Suzanne and working on my alignment!"
Sarah S. dancer, The Washington Ballet
"I underwent spinal fusion for scoliosis as an 18 year old in 1997. I have been trying multiple treatments to manage pain and discomfort ever since. Scolio-Pilates® has been a fantastic addition to my routine, which also includes physical therapy and massage. I've had the pleasure of working closely with Suzanne and the Scolio-Pilates® program on a weekly basis for a few years. Not only has Scolio-Pilates® improved my strength, mobility and flexibility, but it has also given me an overall understanding of how to work with my curves and function on a day-to-day basis. I'm grateful to Suzanne and her work and I look forward to continuing my scolio journey."
Allyson J. business owner
"After my reconstructive hip surgery Scolio-Pilates® was instrumental in getting me back on stage in even better shape than I was before. As a professional ballet dancer hip surgery recovery can prove to be very discouraging, however Suzanne made it fun and rewarding. Waking up those seemingly nonexistent ‘baby’ muscles have truly helped me to work correctly going forward and will help prevent future injury. Every day in ballet class I have Suzanne’s sweet voice reminding me of ‘champagne bubbles’ and ‘snugging my curves’! If you want to know more about what that means then make an appointment!!
Ashley Murphy-Wilson dancer with The Washington Ballet
AUTHORIZED MASTER SCOLIO-PILATES® INSTRUCTOR
For more information about Scolio-Pilates® and Scoliosis Specific Exercise click on:
Return to full performance level
Optimize your potential
Understand the demands of dance
Develop your specific exercise plan to achieve your goals
"I am passionate about the exploration of movement to create Benemotus for my clients.
Clients who have scoliosis will understand the three dimensional aspects of their unique structure and the relationship to their movement patterns. They will become empowered to make changes in their posture and quality of life.
Clients who are dancers will develop strategies for clean, efficient technique to maximize their potential."
Suzanne is certified by Polestar Pilates and Pilates Method Alliance and has her B.S. in Theater from Kansas State University. With a 25 year career in performing and teaching dance (Academy for Classical Acting at GW, Maryland Youth Ballet, The Washington Ballet, George Mason University), she is perfectly equipped for what she does today: using Pilates and Scolio-Pilates® as a tool to rehabilitate and strengthen her clients. She has successfully helped many dancers and non-dancers overcome the complications of scoliosis to reach their goals on the stage or off.
Her passion is to educate and empower each of her “curvy” clients to manage their scoliosis for health of mind and body.
B.S. in Dance Kansas State University Suma Cum Laude
Certified Polestar Pilates Practitioner
Authorized Scolio-Pilates® Practitioner
Master Scolio-Pilates® Instructor
Body Dynamics Inc. Falls Church, VA.
Scolio-Pilates®: Scoliosis and Spine Center Alexandria, VA.