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Dancers secret move

Dancers know a secret to dancing that is a learned skill and is different from all the work to perfect every movement they make.  Ballet dancers use this skill to allow themselves to be picked up like a solid toy doll, to be flung like a rag doll, or to be lifted as if they were weightless.  There are actually many skills involved but one is simply allowing the body to be moved.

This skill requires a whole new brain mapping not acquired by ordering the body to complete a task and perfecting the execution.  Sounds simple but if you have had a massage and the masseuse said, “Let go of your arm.  Let me move it,” you would find that it might take a few tries to actually let the arm be moved.

The same skill is used by the follower in Ballroom Dancing and in the Scandinavian “he goes-she goes” turning dances. For many dancers, allowing themselves to be moved is as important and as difficult as directing the action of their movements.

Dancers have made many discoveries exploring this skill of allowing their bodies to be moved by others.  Modern dancers have explored the inner intention of Tai Chi and the concepts of momentum.  Systems of movement have developed such as Skinner Release Technique and Alexander Technique that explore movement that begins deep inside the body.

Steve Paxton developed a new dance form called Contact Improvisation that explores the balance of two bodies allowing the movement to emerge between them.  Deborah Hay explores the movement of the cells as an image to get in touch with an inner wisdom of the body.

Today the hands on work of Craniosacral therapy is a direct way for the body to understand how to move to its internal rhythms minimizing the planning and locomotive areas of the brain.

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Viewing Julie Nathanielsz improv rehearsal

Julie, Bev, Hel, Meg  Improvisations   September 21, 2008 Anna Hiss

Poems by Tim Hurst,  Thanks for including me in your dance space.  From my Hay and Mettler training, I always consider myself a part of the dance and allow myself to work along with you in words.  The words then become movements and rhythms and the sense has to come from that rather than the rhetorical structure or whatever words normally do.  Here are the poems:

I am a murmur.  Never mind the waterfall pounding from my eyes.  Four bodies shaping the air creates water body, water air, play, sounding together, washing multiple brain waves bouncing everywhere.

Exploring the sound of moving, all moves are me speaking to me, connecting stasis, wading thigh deep in loud brain synapses.  All whip and lift catches cortical beats clearing one habit and embarking on another.

This us is once rustled, once truffled in canter pace before banter on the long walk.  After once tuggled, before tumbled, tuckled in to, then coupled.  Once ten’d, twentied toe nails brushed, then the round goes through, the up rolls into, the couple spills over space into.

Split second.   Speed.  Change we need.

Nested in a long string, happiness again.  Relationships set quickly, allow extended finish or more change within.

Rock two bodies in knee.  Lock stop.  Two winged and antlered, frame a two whistle middle.  Ram sent to corner where partners four puddle in Arabic.  Now far away in a line lifted, spelled, pelled.  Fingers spring back a cog wheel.  Elbows rise.  Capesh.

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Dance is the secret opening

Dance is the opener and the connector of areas throughout the brain.  Dancers train themselves to go to neutral to allow dance to do its work without personal resistance.  Neutral is open.  Open is the place where learning connects everything.  Open is the place where the body heals itself without muscle relaxers.  Open is the place where passion pours through without getting caught on ego or negative beliefs about whether we can “do it” or not.

Dance is a methodical trainer for this “open,” this opening.  It is not a surprise that dance activates areas and builds connections throughout the brain. 

Open then is the learning that is totally commited and willing to take the hard knocks of making mistakes and being criticized in order to reach excellence.  Is this not the place we try to reach in learning all skills, academic, athletic, and occupational?  And do we not put a huge value on passion when it comes to going for what we want to achieve?

We see this opening in actors and singers who know how to let skill happen within them and allow their emotions to show through.  In academics we see it in the scientists on PBS Nova who are totally commited to their passion and totally delighted with each new discovery.  Of course, in athletes they must use every ounce of commitment to complete their goal.

I have been on a continual search to find this openness and to talk myself into allowing this openness into my daily life.  Of course, the openness is a natural state that I avoid with busyness and struggle.  Somehow it is difficult to believe that the openness is right in front of me.

Dance for me is the most direct route because it demands everything inside and out.  It is the way I learn to open and then I apply that experience to my relationships, my business, and of course my spiritual life.

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What the stars say from Dancing with the Stars

Here is a paraphrase of comments from celebrities on Dancing with the Stars:

Being here has changed my life…

This is the greatest experience of my life…

I am a girl…

People recognize me more as a dancer than as a football player…

This has been so much fun; I am going to continue to grow from here…

I have gotten so close to everyone.  It has been a great experience…

I have learned so much about myself.  It has really changed my life…