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Human or Transformer

When my grandson was a child I told him that when he became a man he would walk like a Transformer. As it turned out he has taken a liking to both Pilates that takes a malleable approach to movement and Weight Training that emphasizes the compression of building blocks in the body.

My interest is the way that the dancer weaves together the two worlds. The exercise and body therapy world has become fascinated with Structural Integration which I have experienced through the principles of dance and through the study of Craniosacral Therapy.

The premise is that the entire body is a network of interconnected fascia or soft tissue and this fascia acts as one elastic system that pulls the bones and organs into an efficient moving whole. This explains what the dancer and many body therapists know, that pain in one area of the body may be related to other areas of the body. See anatomytrains.com.

What fascinates me about Structural Integration is the dancer’s experience of balance and weight. Movement for the dancer is the springing of the entire body, an experience of fascia as a full body elasticity that requires a minimum of effort. The lines of fascia from head to toe are the study of the dancer who has developed an intricate understanding of the spiraling connections of muscles, tendons, and ligaments throughout the body.

The dancer’s study is to clarify the signals that travel through the fascial network. With dance, the movement of the body is a delicate interplay of both directing those signals and understanding the way signals move. The dance training process is the interplay of sending signals and integrating the signals into networks that increase awareness. A networked movement can then be called on as a way to increase awareness.

The dancer’s approach to balance is telling in this process. As the concepts of Structural Integration explain there is a continuous compression and expansion of the fascia to organize the movement of the bones.

The dancer brings this process to awareness. Each movement is not a forced compression of muscles to get to balance. Instead balance is millions of movements sensing the placement of bones and the continual adjustments of fascia within the entire body. All movement is thus connected no matter how subtle or how bold.

Dance is uniquely placed to understand this process involving also the integration of intention, anticipation, and emotion. This understanding of the way movement is directed and nurtured brought the dancer to the use of the image

The image gives a way to translate the orders and desires of the person into movement. To do this requires an understanding of the way our networks receive and integrate data from each part of the person.

Basic to communication is the ability to receive data in the way it is sent. A parallel is the way different personalities communicate, by attention and empathy. Forced and directed communication must operate in the context of the entire person. This process is what the dancer has grown into an art form using a combination of feeling and visualization in images.
Second is the understanding of patterns of movement. The dancer has trained movement patterns to integrate into the entire body. These patterns network the body’s fascia and also the communication networks of attention and empathy.

This process is not a static set of movements but rather networked movements that are continually adjusting to a refreshed human system of emotions, awareness, and empathy. This is the process of nature that begins with simple movement and adds one variation at a time so the system integrates a pattern that is both a renewing of what is known and a surprise of a new creation.

Each movement is an interaction of compression and expansion continually adjusting as well as the human self receiving and reforming the experience of known patterns and creations of continually expanding creations.

The monitor of all these processes is the human self. We have mistakenly looked to the abstract brain as what needs to be trained. The dancer has developed the perspective of training our experience that includes the physical body and also all the other aspects of the person.
Tim Hurst 10/06/17

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Dancers Network Everything

A dancer’s daily practice is to discover networks that interconnect everything. The goal becomes building networks that increase agility and the ability to go beyond what they can imagine. The result is healthy approaches not only to fitness but also to ways of presenting oneself.

Networks are a series of connections that send and receive signals. The signals can be thought of as data as in Star Trek, as communication as in a conversation, as binary current as in electricity, as emotional and reflective responsiveness as in religious ritual and meditation.

All these approaches to signals meld into one as a dancer discovers fresh connections within their favored networks. The dancers research is not to improve the brain because with each intention and each movement the brain engages in many areas at once. This phenomena also seen with musicians is related to a network approach of responsiveness throughout the entire body and psyche. A level of awareness and agility in one area of a network interacts with all other areas.

Dancers often have an affinity to body workers and therapists who take a network approach. You will find dancers as massage therapist, chiropractors, martial artists of Thai Chi, Qi Chong, Aikido and personal counsellors of all kinds. The dancers approach to networks is the basis for major discoveries in body mechanics tied to physical and emotional training like Pilates, Feldenkreis, Alexander, Skinner, Gyrometrics,

The discoveries of connections within networks is unique to each dancer as they apply their teacher’s approaches to their own bodies and abilities. What seems like repetition of movement patterns is actually a process of discovery based on experimentation.

Ballet is often called the science of movement because of this approach to experimentation and the exploration of an infinite variation of positions, directions, parallel and crossing movements, levels of force, the quality and dynamics of movement throughout the entire body.

Networks are built by training the connections throughout the body and the person. Networks are instantaneous connections that make agility possible whether they be muscular, emotional, intentional, visceral, neural, sensual.

The history of dance is like a map of clarifying different network connections.

Communal, tribal, and folk dancing clarified community bonding and the surprise of making variations of movement, rhythm, and sounds that connect to form melody.

Shamanic dances clarified dance as story telling and also the healing nature of dance defining a relationship to nature and to a creator.

Social dances of each culture clarified dance as a metaphor, as a statement capturing the energy and delight of entire cultural groups.

Ballroom dancing expanded group dancing into couple dance forms.

Ballet created a fusion of all these dances with group and couple dancing, martial art principles, storytelling, and the experimental principles of simple movements that are combined and varied to reveal surprising results.

Tap Dancing created a fusion of rhythm and melody from the communal roots of African and Celtic cultures and identified a United States culture blossoming as Street Dancing, Vaudeville, and Jazz.

Jazz Dancing created a fusion of Ballet and Tap with Jazz music and expanded the power of Broadway Dancing. Sensual networks were emphasized exploring the body and personal expression.

Modern Dance expanded the range of possibilities of Ballet studies and expanded experimentation into personal improvisation.

Contact Improvisation clarified the networked energy flow throughout the body and how two dancers could interact following that energy flow. Falling and aerial movements were expanded.

Street Dancing clarified personal improvisation and the use of energy flow in Wave, Popping, and arial forms that expanded the use of the body.

Body Mind Centering clarified the networking of memory stored in the cells of the body through study of movement and awareness since birth and even neonatal. Pioneering research identified many networks including connections between organs and emotions.

Continuum Therapy clarified the relationship of micro-movements to brain processes related to trauma.

Rewiring processes clarified networks that allow for undirected movement applied to clearing movement patterns and trauma.

Floor-BarreTM clarified the training of signal networks defined by Ballet.

11217. Tim Hurst