Hello my friends,
Thanks for stopping by. I’m dancing in my chair again, waiting to be on my feet and thinking about freedom. My feet may not be ready for the floor but my spirit is free and my mind is practicing non-stop. Mental dance practice may work; I will let you know!
What we see and think goes into the body. I’m watching the best dancing I can find; all types. Argentine Tango and Swing, Ballroom and Ballet. I feel it in me, I feel my body wanting to stretch and move. Keeping the dancer inside alive…
Everyone has a little bit of dancer in them, but they may not believe it.
It’s our thoughts that limit us, “I can’t dance,” “They’ll laugh at me,” I’ve got two left feet,” “I’m shy.”
That was me; shy. I was too shy to dance with boys at a birthday party when I was eight years old. I didn’t know how to dance and was shy of boys, so three of my girlfriends took me into a private dance space; the bathroom. They taught me some version of the latest dance. We danced in the tiniest space, three or four girls in a phone booth sized bathroom, bobbing up and down. I relaxed and laughed and was happy now that I knew how to dance. I danced with my girlfriends at the party, but I was still reluctant to dance with boys. I held onto the chair with all my might when a boy asked me; shy.
I was just afraid of looking bad, and not knowing how or what to do.
One of Alexander’s discoveries is that he was tightening along his spine and into his joints. He was contracting and pulling inward and that locks up movement. I don’t know if he ever danced, but learning to release out through the spine and out through all the joints, including and especially, the toes, makes a great foundation for movement in dance.
Some people are stiff and others are loose-limbed. I was in pieces; doesn’t matter. You still need freedom in your joints even if it means you need to add more tone to have a beautiful line.
Tension is not the answer, yet that’s what we tend to do! Hold your shoulders down! Keep the dance frame!
We tighten up, trying our very hardest to do well and it backfire. We shorten the line through tightening up and ultimately our “look” has a degree of tension rather than freedom.
F. M. Alexander discovered a way to release excessive tension while still maintaining the upward thrust along the spine. Yes, of course muscular activity happens, but you can learn to turn down the dial on tension and still be poised and free.
Free like a hummingbird to stop in mid-air, then change direction and take off mid-flight.
My exploration has been to apply this in dance.
I’m always looking for this place of poise and readiness for movement, as if suspended in air. Sometimes I find it…
One of my students found freedom in her joints today. She trusted – that’s important – to trust your own body! She trusted and was able to RELEASE in the JOINTS and she ALLOWED her arms to BE moved.
My student said, “Kind of nice; nothingness.”
She felt the Nothing.
Drawing her attention to her ankles, she was able to allow the nothing.
We did this while walking and also just being still and moving her arms.
She liked it.
This is my mission; to help dancers find this special place of freedom in their body…of effortless alignment…a sense of peace as well as enhanced ability to control line and movement…so they can express themselves fully and BE the music. So they can dance from the inside out rather than muscling through from the outside in.
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