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Whole Body Networking

Today I experiment with a macro view of the entire body moving at once.

Since signals of all kinds move through our bodies all the time, my question is how do dancers network the entire body as one unit with many divergent purposes and directions.

I take my exercise with hips on top of a small ball to loosen my hips. The goal is to lift and lower my legs feeling the heaviness of their weight and using a minimum amount of force. I feel a degree more freedom of movement in my hip joints in this exercise.

I have already discussed my discovery of the dancer’s use of weight as floating up as well as falling down. This image along with my own of the double helix seems to require little effort and increases my freedom of movement.

While moving my legs, I want to unify signals traveling through my entire body. Many variations happen within one dance class connecting movement of the legs and arms, the erect spine, and the head and neck.

First I make specific variations on my leg movements with bent and extended knee. I lower and raise my legs with whole leg and with specific parts such as ankle, arch, heel as I lower and raise my legs. I circle my legs in these different postures.

Then I add my arms extending as a semi-circle out from my body. With each movement of my legs I coordinate the arms out and in. This regulates my breath into an effortless inhale and exhale.

Dance continually trains the two way movement of energy through the spine and out the top of the head. My movements have a new lightness and ease as I send pulses of energy from different areas of the spine upwards and down through my feet. This engagement of the whole body is a different experience from moving only the legs. I feel more liveliness and more anticipation before each movement.

Adding variations of head and neck movement with each expansion of legs and arms became yet another experience. I especially liked my reminder to connect the top vertebra of the spine with a slight bobbing motion of the head. Doing this I relaxed my neck muscles around my spine and even my jaw before tilting or swiveling my head.

All this networking is essential to me with my tendency to clamp down my movements with extra tension. Establishing these networks of connections help me to move more freely and with less effort.
Tim Hurst 10/04/17

Pulsing my outer hip muscles engages the pelvic diaphragm

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My Inhale Walk

My walk today was in 95 degree noon day sun. I had to take a slower pace to savor the shade and not push too hard in the sun. Already needing a nap and needing to eat as well, I had to find ways to rejuvenate my energy.

My eyes were being shocked as I moved from shade to sun. I began rejuvenating my eyes in the shaded areas. Allowing my focus to wander through the flickering light of tree leaves calmed me and my eyes were being kind of rocked in the light cool breeze.

When I moved into the hot sunlight, my eyes would go into a rest state as if they were riding the cool breeze of the shade I can just left behind.

To rejuvenate myself, I slowed the pace of my body into an easy rise and fall along with my breathing. Then I realized that even with a slow overall body speed, my feet were speeding up to get to the next patch of shade.

I slowed my feet by catching the weight of my legs in a rise and then releasing their weight into a fall. Even the arches of my feet took this easy rise and fall pace. My breathing was heavy but deep and easy. I wonder if the air drafts under an airplanes wings were this kind of catching weight upwards and then weight lowering through air drafts when the craft slows.

A clear sensation began to form. Each cell of my body opened in anticipation of the next inhale. I felt like a ballon with trillions of air sacks to lift me as I walked in this slow rising and falling rhythm.

My study of dance came clear. Ballet lowering and rising is the experience of opening every cell for the next inhale. The visceral anticipation opens my curiosity to the next moment of fun and interconnection. The nutrients and oxygen on the way is a kind of reward for the hope I hold before me. All I can think of is to ask for the delight of my next breath.

Finding a deep shade on the sidewalk, I completely yield to a dance of following energy curves in multiple directions and shapes. I bank and dive into roller coaster curves with ever so slight and unnoticeable dances.
Tim Hurst 09/20/17

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Leg Lift Ease

I Experiment today with a way to practice lifting my legs with ease. Dana Lewis is working me back into Ballet with Pilates exercises. I want to loosen my hips and have fluid movement in my pelvis and legs.

Every morning I rest my pelvis on a 10 inch ball while moving my legs. Ann Arneau of The Pilates Studio in Austin demonstrated how I can use the weight of my legs to loosen the entire area. Without effort, I feel my weight rise and fall. The rise of course is a little trickier to feel the weight on the top side. I use an image of a spiral that rises above my leg and then falls below my leg so that the weight helps in both directions.

So I was doing this exercise this morning and I remembered Dana’s suggestion that while laying down I extend one leg under the other and lift gently with the bottom leg. Wow. The sensation was of ease! Combined with the image of weight rising and dropping, both legs engaged and the bottom leg was a gentle assist to go further in my hip flexors.

I did this with legs straight, bent, and in deep v or frog position. I ended with broad circles returning to legs parallel. Then it is back to Barre to integrate with Reverence and stillness at the end.
Tim Hurst 09/04/17

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Weight Buoyancy

Another image I have been studying is weight as buoyancy. The study came from many perspectives. Weight as effortless movement. Weight as rising and falling that reverse the placement of gravity on the upside or downside of a wave form. Simple muscle action becomes springing that takes place in an image before a movement.

This study changes every move I make because I have networked the experiences of weight into paired areas of my body and with different qualities of movement. Once the connections are made, they need only be nurtured with daily attention and experienced in a variety of dance situations.

The advantages are access to simple commands that activate any area of movement and personal experience. I can vary the sensation of power or vulnerability that ripples through any self instantly. I can vary the size and weight of the smallest or the largest movement. I can shift from completing a movement to adjusting and experimenting with different parts of the movement.
Tim Hurst 09/06/17