Hello my friends,
I learned something about changing my bad dance habits. Hope this helps you!
In a recent post, I showed a video of a backwards bicycle and talked about how you need to think differently to use it.
How can you use this thinking process to move differently than your habit, in dance?
What does it take to UN-learn a pattern of movement?
In theory, it’s simple:
A – you have to realize what you are doing, and decide that it is not producing the result you wish.
B – you really need to stop doing whatever that is. It’s not easy, because we tend to move on auto-pilot.
C – put in what you DO want in terms of movement.
Children can do this more easily than adults. They haven’t had as many years to learn wrong movement habits
It’s also because children are willing to play! They’ll try things that feel different and they don’t always take everything so seriously.
Changing movement patterns takes thinking into your body, and in addition, it takes truing up your body awareness so what you ask your body to do, is what it does.
You have to convince your MIND that your BODY is wrong, because our inner sense and habit is usually what rules.
In my case…”Dana, don’t twitch the free leg.” Shh…telling my secrets…
I have to THINK it very strongly as well as get used to a different sensation, because it happens before I know it, underneath my sense register; I stick out the free leg to reach for a step and interfere with my dance partner. Not good!
So I have to think and think and think, till I’m retrained.
Have you ever felt pain in your foot? I have a sensitive area at the ball of my foot. At some level, I anticipate pain in my toes and unconsciously avoid putting pressure in that area. Then I move incorrectly and I feel pain which reinforces the anticipation of pain, the next time…
Oddly enough, when I’m perfectly aligned, I can be up on my toe and in a huge shape and not even feel pressure on my foot. My partner puts me on my toe in readiness and there is a pause…the delicious moment before movement…
It may not feel “normal” but it does feel good.
I want to help dancers find this place and feel something wonderful in their body that feels…like no words can say…amazing…
…to give them a sense of peace as well as control that lets you direct both line and movement… to feel a sense of space in the body …the ability to release on command, but not to collapse… You can control the letting go, too, you know…
..it’s an amazing sense of expansion; I don’t even have words…
The Zen of dance, a non-doing-ness yet all is in flight.
*Alexander Technique is about connecting thought and muscular activity. It increases your body awareness and gives you the power to change how you do, what you do, as you do it.