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Signal Inventories

What are signals to me today?
My Basics
System One
I experience everything rising and falling, everything turning, everything stacking top down and bottom up.
System Two
I experience specific signals initiating from my spine, radiating instantly through my pelvis, head, and my limbs.

My Access
I choose today which signals are easily accessible and which ones are nudging me to explore.
I choose how much awareness I can personally accept given my state of mind, body, emotion, and spiritual appetite.
I test my readiness to access every part of myself by observing both slow and faster motion.
I experience my willingness to see and feel and calibrate every motion.
I recognize my sending and receiving of connected signals as my song, my story, my dance for today.

My Challenges
How far can I take my signals today?
Am I willing to spend the time today to follow the signal and repair what I might strain?
Am I willing to drop physical and mental habits that limit my exploration of signals?
Am I willing to deal with a level of disorientation as my discoveries of clear signals conflict with established patterns of thought and body?
Am I willing to observe and respond to my building and rebuilding of my self?
Am I willing to enter states of vulnerability and certainty where my unknowns and errors are as important as what I know as my current level of skill and experience?
Tim Hurst. 03.13.17

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Dance Experiment Yes

Yesterday I tried to describe a daily dance experiment. It became a boring play by play of another exercise system with a now I do this and then this. Unpublished that and spent a day writing about the brightness that is dance to me, to my teachers,and to choreographers and performers that explore the depths of dance every day.

My passion is to share this process of delight and diligence that as dancers we enter every minute of our lives. My 15 year old grandson describes me with the word exuberance that he defines as “overly excited to the point of being obnoxious.” And I have to admit I have been that exuberant when I want every party to be Ballywood with every one dancing and singing. Or when someone says, “I can’t dance,” and my energy fires up. Or when a choreographer has only a small audience to join their performance of excellence and new discoveries about the human spirit.

My search is for a common denominator that we all obviously share when it comes to dance and music. I will walk into any storm to support every person with an inclination to dance. At this moment I am looking at all the storms I have come through. What I see are layers upon layers of interconnected experiences that are obvious and fully described in the art, the lives and in the words of dancers.

Yet to clarify the processes and principles we express, my words turn to mush and I tear my hair at our denial of the massive influence dance has on our lives both as participants and beneficiaries.

The beauty of dance is that each individual samples its juicy delights and digests it in different ways. The nurture of those dance morsels emerges as a person who is more curious, more aware, more tuned to delight and despair. This nurture is available for the dancer and for those who join with the dancer on their explorations.

This is my search, for a place we can all enter this nurturing world of dance. In my life, I follow the trails to dancers who know this delight and who enter it fully. I find this ability to enter dance in the five year old as well as in the professional, in the social dancer as well as the brilliantly dedicated pointe dancer.

Within my search, the questions and the lists read like a composite of restaurant menus from all over the world and from the camp fires of our earliest ancestors. My main focus is, how do we enter what we know as dance, instant connection of everything we are, instant fun, a second wind insisting we dance forever.

As with any endeavor, the range defines the degrees of entry. The range is from a process and a procedure to the individual experience of the process. We sometimes think of dance as learning a form like Ballet or HipHop or Salsa. Yet when we taste the delights of the actual experience, we only want more.

Entry at this point is when the experience shapes the structure of the dance. In other words, the dance becomes yours. You shape the dance to be you rather than the steps and techniques being the only goal.

Dance is unique. The entry point is instantaneous. The first steps of a child instantly turn to dance with music. The beginner learning the waltz can feel the dance within them even if the body is trying to catch up.

The uniqueness of dance is a lifetime study. A particularly interesting point of entry is the activating of the personal monitor. It has something to do with the play between awareness and a generalized sense of everything working together. Dancers confront their internal emotions and traumas as well as their external interactions.

The monitoring is subtle signals or messages or conversations between the person and every part of their life. Dancers often describe their experience as spiritual or as meditative. I suspect that the reason is this aspect of monitoring that is a personal connection with insights, anticipations, and moments of creating new cells and new points of view.

Dance and music ride the line between the known and the unknown similar to religious ritual and meditation. Structure and form are there to develop processes like personal monitoring to navigate these sometimes challenging seas of uncertainty and vulnerability.

As I describe my exploration and experiments, my intent is not to create a structure or a way to dance. My hope is to find an entry way to making the kinds of connections that dancers and dance teachers make every day.

Will these entry points give you more access to yourself and to dancing? Will they give choreographers and teachers clearer ways to state the importance of their explorations? Will more audiences join choreographers to explore new discoveries of themselves? Again, my hope is to give insights for each individual to find the brightness within themselves where dance resides.

All along the way I could say, build your connections, “Do not do as I do.” As a consummate beginner of dance, I am the perfect person to delve into these murky waters that seem so confusing to explain. It takes me years to absorb a structure, relearning each time I return. Learning patterns requires sometimes hours of improvisation and play with the different pieces of a movement. My system sometimes overloads and freezes my ability to move. One of my Pilates teachers says, “You think too much.” My Floor-BarreTM instructor says I need more fluidity as I am learning the movements.

So my qualifications in doing this study are not what I do or can do, they are my passion to find the entry points that bring delight to every movement.
Tim Hurst. 03.12.17

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A Dynamic Vision of Dance

Welcome to a Dynamic Vision of Dance

Dance and music are time capsules from the first humans. These capsules are unique and go beyond our imaginations to explain. Artists say do not explain us because everything is said in our art. Educators or at least politicians say music and dance are extra curricular activities for people who want to become artists.

A Dynamic Vision of Dance is my experiment to find the simplicity of a dance process and a common thread of vocabulary that helps to understand how our dance capsules affect everything in our lives.

The benefits of music and dance are obvious. An ice skater who is a dancer is immediately recognizable. The crowd applauds loudly. On the other hand, it is more difficult to distinguish the influence of dance in a gymnast whose leap suspends her abouve the beam before making an elegant landing.

We experience the fun of dance and music. We become proficient, even exceptional. We connect the power of our capsules to everything from religion to addiction. We label them either brain food or exercise.

We feel the power of our music and dance time capsules or we deny they ever existed. The problem is the contents of these capsules are hard to describe.

We can say our capsules work powerfully. Music and dance can symbolize an entire generation or the innovation of an individual. Yet we are adrift when trying to explain the scope of dance alone with its power to blend emotion and movement, to influence learning, athletic skill, injury and disease prevention, and a full range of personal and body therapies.

In actuality dancers and musicians know the experiences in their time capsules. As teachers and choreographers they share the content of their capsules every day. Dancers know their experience in all its simplicity and complexity. They teach it. They perform it. Even with so much clarity and the ability to capsulize a personal vision and a vision of an entire generation, the benefits of music and dance are explained away as a mystery.
Tim Hurst. 02.03.17

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What is Human Power

Accessing Human Power
How much power does a human have? The basic question is how much access does the person as an individual and as a group have to human power?

Let’s look at an abbreviated inventory of the power of the human:
Synthesizes light and air into nutrients.
Assimilates and adapts to natural and synthetic nutrients.
Assimilates data and perspectives in the presence of nature and other people.
Cycles and recycles through challenge and self encouragement.
Has an intricate system of monitoring, adaptation, and defense for harmful substances and chemical imbalances.
Forms and reforms self healing adaptations to rejuvenate the entire human system.
Filters all circumstantial changes through a network of what we divide into physical, mental, psychic, and spiritual processes.
Activates a sensual network from smallest particle to intricate interconnections throughout the entire person.
This sensual network activates warning systems that translate signals through a wide range of messaging options. The easiest message to interact with is pain. Prior to pain are more subtle messages that have their own networks for attuning human perception to sensations, calibrations (of chemical and electrical status, of balance, agility and spacial placement), initiation and momentum, anticipation and hope, balance points of synthesis internally and externally, and the translation of each attunement into visions, verbal cues, and interactive conversation.
Actively modulates along many spectrums gauged by the contexts of vulnerability and certainty.
Negotiates with the internal and external push and pull of self interest and group survival.
Encapsulates large amounts of data into concise formative projections and artistic renderings.
This list of human power is filled to infinity with the individual and group experiences of all humanity past and present.

The practice of accessing all these powers began with the earliest humans and are preserved in the study of dance, music, and interactive prayer. The source of human power is life itself.

The process of accessing all the power available rests on the willingness of the human to enter the power of life. Entering life requires both vulnerability and certainty, qualities that humans constantly stumble over. Our entire systems prefer to operate on a narrow range of options that are controllable and predictable.

Dance, music, and interactive prayer open areas of experience that point to the variability of life. They codify ways to approach the building blocks of life so we can begin to digest principles and points of view beyond our imaginations, beyond our thought processes.

Just a simple example of the variability these forms bring into our experience. One of the elements of life we can see is the wave form that is continually varying along many spectrums. Each form, dance, music, and interactive prayer, bring an intimate experience of the wave form into every system of the human. The entry brings instant access to powers of life that are automatically given to the human.

The purpose of human life is to activate those powers by discovering access points and the courage to enter and experience the powers on deeper and deeper levels.
Tim Hurst 03/25/17

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Must Rest Dance

Today I am exhausted and inspired beyond my ability to absorb it all. Yesterday saw Alexa’s choreography featuring Lynette Garcia at Ballet Austin. Then saw a rehearsal of Sharon’s choreography, Las Cuatros Estaciones: The Story of Human Trees. Incredibly moved. Inspired by the personal commitment of each dancer to become more of themselves.

Canceled all meetings and plans for today. Exhausted to the bone. Read Harry Potter number six until had to sleep. Slept. Woke. Hydrate. Nutrition support and juice.

Back to rest. No supplement was going to work. No reading. So I prayed and saw my life, each phase as a connector between people, ideas, inspiration. I have followed what I have been given.

Entered our living room space for dancing, singing, praying. One move and I knew, only dancing will do. And singing. Took out a reserve pair of ballet shoes. They fit me so well. They become a part of me.

Yesterday’s performances carried me. The dancer’s lifted turns sent delight through me. Realized I would not go to that level in Ballet because my belief was so strong that to learn I must direct everything.

Taking a sense of Alexandra foot work, Eurythmy agile collar bone, Floor-Barre roll from a turned out hip joint. There I was rising into a turn with the delight I wait for. A small beginning. A slight sense of the technique yet a huge experience of inspiration.

My cranium calls for hydration. My body no longer fatigued, released somehow. Now I can rest in dance or in the day’s sunshine or in a book (not Moby Dick today). Rest I can.
Tim Hurst 03/24/17

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Live Performance

To The Dancer
After seeing Sharon Marroquin’s Las Cuatros Estaciones: A Story of Human Trees.

When I experience your creation, my neurons not only mirror a creation, my mirror is of you, of each performer, connecting everything.

Thank you for the bravery of your dance to touch the anguish of a repeated life, the resplendence of clarity, the despair of conflicting lives, the freshness of new birth.

A scientist can record the pathways in you, in me, mirroring every second of your creation.
Yet you and I are the experience of everything connecting, an experience beyond any pathway.

My mirroring of your creation creates a garden of seedlings exponentially unique in myself. Together we create a fresh garden of seedlings that create structures that connect us all in unique ways.

We build worlds with each dance that speak for themselves and create fresh worlds.
Tim Hurst. 03/24/17

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Using Signals in Pilates

Returned to Pilates for the first time in several months. It is always a delight to diagnose areas that are more agile and others that are responding less.

Today I felt an unfamiliar sense of ease. It reminded me of a comment by master dance teacher and Pilates instructor Dana Lewis. One of her main goals is to make movement effortless.

Something has changed in me allowing more freedom of movement with less of a forced quality. My instructor is Rebecca, a former professional ballet dancer. I responded to each of her suggestions with less grit and more lightness than usual. I was able to relax my neck, open the focus of my eyes, and take long deep breaths. Rebecca noticed immediately and gave me an image of the rib cage easily opening and closing like a bellows.

What has changed? By exploring the image of signals forming networks, I had to concentrate less on specific actions of pulling up to maintain posture or keeping the motion consistent when pushing or pulling. I applied two actions simultaneously that connected areas throughout my body. For connecting the torso to my pelvis and legs, I activated a single signal from the psoas connection to the mid-spine at the bottom of the rib cage. Along with that signal, I pressed together the sides of the hips at the muscle tissue just outside the protruding hip bones. This activated the psoas at the lower spine connecting the torso to my inner legs and joints all the way to the area under my toes.

To make sure, I am getting the lift and the immediate flow of signals, I pulse both these areas as I initiate every repetition. A network has formed so that I can free my focus to attend to the entire body and to an open attitude of brightness rather than extreme effort.

The results were surprising. I spent the rest of my day in an easy settled state.
Tim Hurst. 03/23/17