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Hovering Torso Prancing Legs

Today at the Lake Travis beach, Ginger and I went for a walk. I explored an experiment that had occurred to me two days ago. Today I identified what the image is.

My torso is hovering over my legs like a glider that is banking and swiveling in every direction. I was able to feel the hovering sensation because I had recently discovered what it really meant to lift the torso up away from the hips and legs. I had also not understood in Ballet class about the hips operating as a part of the legs.

The discoveries are so interesting because I am fascinated by the way a dancer initiates any movement with a sense of delight. Also I am convinced that dancers training and personal imagery is directed towards clarifying the signals that pass through the body.

This is important for me today because I have strained all the muscles on the right side of my torso. Sarah Brumgart a dancer turned massage therapist spent an afternoon identifying all those aching and painful muscle connections that I could not bring my self to stretch.

This particular experiment was important because I began signals at the lower torso and passed signals through the most painful areas to areas of the back that could easily move.

My hovering torso seems to originate in the suspended diaphragm under my arms in the back. Dana Lewis distinguishes the movement across this area as spreading which is an expansive, extending movement.

With a lifting motion, that Dana also insisted I learn, I initiate a supportive network of signals from the pelvic floor that connect under my ribs all around my body. Shifting the focus of my upper torso felt fluid and made it easy to tilt to a diagonal and bank into a turn that curved my entire body all the way around.

The amazing sensation was that all this movement is initiated in the hovering torso. My legs were tripping along following the movement coming from above. I lifted my torso as if it were independent of my legs and my legs felt free to spring quickly to catch the fluidity of my torso.

This is entirely different from the way I walk. I could not imagine returning to my usual heavy lumbering ahead movement lifting and lowering my legs. As subtle and small as my movements were, my legs felt as if they were flying, a similar image to hovering in my torso.

Of course, my sensation of seeing and thinking was different as well. This is harder to describe. My eye brows expanded. The base of my skull pulled a little up and slightly back freeing also my top vertebra to tilt and bob with every movement.

All these movements reminded me of an experimentation I did with the image of the Gypsy Poney. I paired the movement of my feet springing while lifting the back of my head like the bowing of the Poney’s neck. This is a new sensation of pairiing prancing feet with a raised and arched neck.

My focus widened at my brow and I notice the sensation of my upper torso riding above, like the hovering image, while my feet pranced lightly changing direction easily. My widening focus was a different state of connection between movement, thought, perception, and emotion.
Tim Hurst 10/16/17

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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

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Dance Experiemnt Goals

A current summary of my goals for daily experiments.

I experience dancers as models of agility who experiment daily with a range of variations for specific results in skill, attention, focus, and exuberance for learning.

I want to experience how the dancer can access every part of the body brain.

I want to experience the dancer’s curiosity and surprise with each set of variations.

I want to discover how dancer’s build signal networks throughout the body.

I want to experience signals as instantaneous connections that build networks throughout my body.

I want the agility to vary the qualities of signals as bundles of physicality, emotion, sensation, perception, and rejuvenation.

I want the agility to alternate my focus between a micro and a macro view within every system of myself.

Likewise I want the agility to direct my self formation and also to release my attention to interconnections too complex for the body brain to conceptualize.

I want to experience continuous movement as forming myself in relation to other life.

I want the agility to apply imagery as a way to shape the forming of myself.

I want to experience my movement as melody and rhythm to build ongoing synopsis and markers of my growth.
Tim Hurst 07/31/17

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Pelvic Floor Test

Test one, A ballet class for teachers way beyond my level. I want to see and feel the difference, to experience being in the middle of greatness grown over a life time.

Of course I was inept, searching, following key people. In the later part of the barre my frappe was very small and feeling the rhythm more than doing the movement.

Oh yes, the pelvic floor test. I expanded my focus to the whole body out of necessity. Did not feel or direct the pelvic floor. The awareness of a broadness was there, definitely a floor all the way through my body to the outer edges.

Signals easily passed into my standing leg as the other leg worked outwards. Develope and extensions felt more certain even with my limited agility.

What I did feel in a more full way was the rhythm and the melody as a context of every movement. Watching the center work my body grew a voracious appetite for the delight of melding personality and melody into dance.

Of course the beauty of each person had to be meshed with the struggle between clarity and error. So I saw the “I am not enough” yearning of the experienced dancer reaching for more.

Dear dancer, It is always an honor to be in the presence of your courageous process. You are a delight to experience in the rough and in the polish.
Tim Hurst 05/06/17