The Origin Story of PBT: How One Dancer's Progress Sparked a Ballet Technique Revolution

PBT, or Progressing Ballet Technique, is a game-changing training method that's been making waves in the dance community in recent years. This technique zeroes in on core strengthening, balance, and stability, and has been embraced by dancers of all levels to refine their skills and elevate their technique. 

Marie Walton-Mahon OAM and young students.

What is the history behind PBT?

The origins of PBT trace back to Marie Walton-Mahon OAM, a distinguished ballet teacher and choreographer known for her work with dancers around the globe. In the 1990s, Marie observed a concerning pattern among her students. Despite their talent and dedication, many struggled with elements like turns and jumps. She recognised that the root of these challenges was a lack of core strength and stability, which hindered their ability to perform these movements correctly. 

Determined to resolve this, Marie began exploring various training methods aimed at developing core strength and stability. Drawing inspiration from Pilates, yoga, and physiotherapy exercises, she experimented with multiple approaches. 

Through this process, Marie created what she termed "Progressing Ballet Technique" (now commonly known as PBT). Her exercises were purposefully designed to help dancers fortify their core muscles, thereby improving their technique and performance. 

The impact on Marie's students was remarkable. They experienced smoother and more controlled turns and jumps, and executing complex movements became easier. 

In 2005, Marie began testing these exercises—forming the core of the PBT program—with 16-year-old Daniel Roberge, who had no prior ballet training. Practicing PBT daily alongside his ballet classes, Daniel showed extraordinary progress. Just two years after his first ballet lesson, he passed all senior ballet exams and earned a silver medal at the Genèe International Competition in Singapore. The following year, he joined Washington Ballet. Marie believes that while good ballet training is irreplaceable, PBT significantly accelerates technical advancement. 

Daniel Roberge

Today, PBT is celebrated as one of the most effective and pioneering training methods in the dance world, taught in thousands of schools across 40 countries. Dancers and teachers alike endorse its power to enhance technique, build strength, and boost performance. 

PBT has evolved into a vital training tool for dancers aiming to hone their technique and performance. Created by Marie Walton-Mahon, this method has empowered countless dancers to strengthen their core, improve stability, and elevate their dancing prowess.

Marie Walton-Mahon OAM at a PBT teachers workshop
Marie Walton-Mahon OAM at a PBT teachers workshop





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