Lane Cove Local Identity – Graham Rowe Renaissance Man and Pilates Instructor

Graham Rowe is a very interesting Lane Cove Resident. He is a well known and respected Pilates Instructor and Remedial Masseuse. However many of you may not know that Graham was at one stage one of Australia’s best male ballet dancers. He has also treated some very big names!! We asked Graham a series of questions for our local identity series.

Why did you decide to become a ballet dancer?

The reason I became a ballet dancer started as a joke – some friends dared me to come and do a jazz ballet class. After the class the teacher suggested I come and try a ballet class, which I did and just knew this was for me.  Before that, I was a good tennis player and if I had not gone to the dance class, I may have taken up tennis professionally.  Tennis and Ballet both require good footwork.

Which ballet companies did you work for?

I firstly danced with the Australian Ballet, then English National Ballet, The Deutsche Oper Berlin, London City Ballet and The Sydney Dance Company.

Which famous people did you meet?

While I was dancing I met Princess Diana, The Queen, Darcy Bussell and Rudolf Nureyev.   Princess Dianna was a regular at the English National Ballet and she used to have private lessons.
Since I stopped dancing, I have treated David Bowie, Linford Christie, Daniel Day Lewis, and Brett Lee.

How long have you been into Pilates and how did you get into that field?

I first started doing Pilates in the late 80’s when I was dancing as a strengthening technique but more commonly as part of exercise rehabilitation when recovering after injuries. Having done Pilates for over 15 years, by the time I retired from dancing, it was an obvious choice to combine Pilates with the other exercise rehab, core conditioning and Sports/remedial massage techniques I use when I set up Pilates First.

I have a varied range of clients from as young as 12yo to nearly 82yo. All coming in with a very wide range of conditions, injuries and physical ability.  Pilates is for both men and women.  The All Blacks and the Welsh Rugby Union Team both incorporate Pilates into their fitness regime.


Which famous sporting teams have you worked with?

I have worked with members of The British Athletic Olympic team, Chelsea Football Club, British Bob Sled team and I am currently working with the Sydney Kings basketball team and the GWS Giants AFL Team.

What should people be aware of before they take up a sport (particularly when you are not a spring chicken!)

Preparation is the key to going back to a sport, whether it’s just between seasons or longer. It’s very common for anybody over 35 to get injured in the first weeks of a new season or taking up a new activity. Planning ahead and making sure you have around 6 weeks to gradually condition yourself before starting back is so important.

For many people, and in particular men, a lack of mobility and flexibility leads to many injuries. Pulled hamstrings, torn calves and Achilles etc can often be put down to a lack of flexibility more than a lack of strength. So also start your stretching 6 weeks out to help make sure you are fit, strong and flexible for the start of your new season.  Come and see us and we can talk to you about some conditioning work before you start your later life athletic career.

Why do you like living in Lane Cove?

There are so many reasons I like living in Lane Cove – Lane Cove Public School where all 3 of my kids went, the general sense of the village community and knowing lots of people from the cross over from all the kid’s sports.

What is your favourite thing to do in Lane Cove?

My favourite part of Lane Cove is the easy access to all the bushland and water front space around the area. Getting into the bush for a run or walk or taking the dog for a swim is just so easy.

Pilates First

Pilates First
23 Osborne Road, Lane Cove NSW 2066
Phone: 0413 759 420
Email: [email protected]

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