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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 Unpublished that and spent a day writing about the brightness that is dance to me, to my teachers,and to choreographers and performers that explore the depths of dance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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Letter to Lovers of Life

Intelligence is being discovered in every area of our bodies, in every system within a human person, and in every interaction with our world, This intelligence is both understood as basic human nature and seen as unreachable within extremely stressful circumstances.

This confusion about intelligence as both useful and elusive can be seen in a growing worry about suicide even in our teenagers. Confusion about gaining and applying personal strength reveals a disconnect in understanding our experience of life.

Our language and survival tendencies limit our agility to discover information beyond what we have catalogued. We label the entire realm beyond our comprehension as the unknown, or as mystical, or worse, we claim that one day in the future we will know everything that we do not now know.

The realm of the arts and religion label these unknown areas as layers of experience. Both disciplines explore many realms of experience. They show us clearly what these experiences look like in music, dance, ritual and the other arts. They engage us, involve us, and take us into their newly discovered territory.

Arts and religion do not stop with focusing our attention on different layers of experience. They describe in detail a process of discovery that can be applied to each individual and each group.

The power of the arts and religion is easily shaped to justify any opinion. The arts and religion can be used to promote an opinion or a product to sell. They can justify any group wanting to dominate any other.

When a person connects a powerful experience available through the arts and religion with survival instincts, many paths are possible. Most,of these paths lead to the entanglement of domination or the disillusion of addiction.

This collusion of the arts and religion as an open realm of discovery with the practical application of power leaves a vacuum. In this vacuum rise the voices that discount the arts and religion as outside the necessary areas of study. Others call them mystical or redefine their purpose as another way to improve the static brain or to improve exercise or to cure disease.

The reality is that the arts and religion engage every human system and give access to experience that builds strength and understanding of the process of life. Far from challenging science and math, they are ways of experiencing the depths of life that both science and math describe.
Tim Hurst 081617.

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Sourcing Dance

The source of life is the source of dance. I can only ask to participate in either. The joy and the fire are gifts that recreate me every moment.

The correctness of my movement does not matter as much as where the movement came from and how much of an echo the movement sends back into me as a human system.

The echoes of my dancing collaborate with my freshest creation of myself to become more than I can imagine.

I want to say that dance is the doorway.
Yet If I do not approach the doorway with humility and awe, distraction and addiction replace both the joy and the fire that dance offers.

The source of life is the source of dance. I can only ask to participate in either. The joy and the fire are gifts that recreate me every moment.
Tim Hurst 07/01/17

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Like a Dancer

I Join the creation of myself, the delight, the balance, the reach.

I Join the love of the moment that is creating me with you, all of you.

I Join the subtle rise and fall of life becoming more and then less.

I Join the building of strength that is me in perpetual motion.

I Join the nuance of qualities carrying me into worlds of never ending surprise.

I Join my listening cells for every opportunity to catch a wind into more life.

I Join my alternating focus between building my know how and exploding the moment beyond everything I know.

I Join myself in assembling a focus that recognizes the variation between joy and distraction.

I Join the rhythm of my trillions of waves hoping in the rise and riding the pauses of flight.

I Join my millions of counter spirals to my closest and nearest destinations.

I Join my dearest melodies to experience the echoes of myself amongst friends and foes.
Tim Hurst 07/01/1

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What’s a Dancer Do?

I stand in the presence of dancers in awe of the worlds that they experience every day. Not that dancers are different from anyone else. It just the level and quality of their experience touches me.

In my rough understanding of mathematics, there is this elegance of binary shifts that balances everything. Dance is not only shifts in the intricacies of physical experience but also shifting between different levels of focus and an agility to move between different dimensions.

My search then is to experience all those different kinds of shifts. I choose Ballet as a starting point because of its completeness as a discipline and because I come as a relatively fresh beginner. My love of metaphor gives me a perspective on the detailed use of imagery in Ballet. Flights of fantasy I try to reserve for my poetry yet I will push the patience of the experienced dancer. In any case, I hope my experiments raise questions and maybe even alternate responses from dancers both beginners and professionals.

My belief is that dance instruction challenges each dancer to build a composite of imagery that fits their body and their personal learning style. I explore what that composite is for me.

What drives me to experiment, even as I venture into many ambiguous areas, is the delight and exuberance I see in dancers from the toddler to the professional. I see a brightness that inevitably gives their bodies a sense of springing. I see an agility to change directions physically as well as in thought and emotion. I see their bodies as an integrated network, connecting and reconnecting every moment. I see the inner workings of curiosity based on anticipation, experimentation, and surprise. And most of all I see the formation of a growing self with a new hypothesis every moment.

Needless to say, I am inspired by dance and by dancers.

I can not leave out what is most important. When I watch dancers preparing for a class or a performance, I see the attention of a dedicated yogi. The dancers meditative focus is light and malleable while attending to the detail of how their body is working that day. It seems that within every part of dance training there is built in injury prevention.

I want to experience that agility to direct my body while listening to every nuance of sensation and information from every part of myself.
Tim Hurst 07/13/17