Posted on

Dance Basic Ease

Today i need to quiet myself from being busy and worrying. I follow my process of slow circular movement crossing the midline of my body. I do not need the busy activity of the spin but instead gently move arms, palms facing, back and forth across my spine.

My head is networked to balance on my spine with a slight bobble as my eyes and head move the opposite direction of my hands. My hands face each other, arms easily outstretch away from my body. Signals from my spine lift my elbows and soften my hands as they travel in spiral movements up each vertebra of my spine.

My experience is connection of my entire self, a sensation of ease.

It is this study of ease that make up my experiments to find a balance of directed and collaborative movement. The networking in today’s movement comes from Tai Chi but I understand the principles from the detailed training of Ballet and Modern Dance.

I keep trying to verbalize the simplicity of the Ballet learning process. I try to trace the principles in action.

The basis is that energy must be allowed to move through me. A dance image allows my arms to float up. My arms lift from energy traveling from my spine, under my shoulders and around my arms. The action is more than muscles moving from mental direction or from intentional force. .

The pathway of the energy is a spiral traveling through my arms and beyond each finger. The palms facing activate the connection of energy between each hand.

Basically an energy field is created between my arms and energy connections of my torso that begin and end at my spine.

The training of energy movement is the focus. Anatomy is adjusted to encourage the easy flow of energy. Arms are softened by the spiral of energy passing through. Elbow, wrist, and finger joints are flexible from energy passing through their gently curved positions.

The result of this focus is an approach to anatomy as alignment to foster easy flow of energy. Maintaining an erect spine is no longer the commands to hold myself up and pull my shoulders back. Each vertebra is balancing within a flow of energy that is traveling through and spiraling around my spine.

This detailed understanding of movement is why Ballet and Modern Dance have been at the forefront of innovation in training for both flexibility and strength. The effects are a deeper understanding of injury prevention and movement rehabilitation.

One goal is an ease of movement in any direction responsive to any variation of speed, intensity, and quality such as lightness or heaviness. Another goal is the networking of energy signals that create a continual energy loop through the horizontal plane of the arms and the vertical one of the spine. The image of energy loops are applied to every area of the body to respond as a supportive network.

The image of spiral energy is one key to dance as a way to generate delight by engaging the entire person.

I experience the image of spiral energy as a way to generate new connections, a way to go beyond my limitations, and a way to respond to strains to avoid injury.
Tim Hurst 03/25/18

Posted on

Enter Dance Delight

Enter Dance Delight
Entering dance is entering delight. Dance is a way to engage my whole self, a way to focus all my attention on a full range of experience.

Dance has many forms that use basic principles. Ballet is the science that has organized dance principles into a progressive system of learning. The power of Ballet as a science has been its ability to add to and influence discoveries in other disciplines. Using the term dance applies to all dance forms and refers to the codification of movement by Ballet.

To fully engage, dance begins with simple movements using an image that guides the building of networks that interconnect the entire person.

Similar to the tradition of Tai Chi, dance imagery is the falling and rising of the body as one unit. This simple image will be applied to every area of the body and to every system from emotional to cognitive.

Also like Tai Chi, dance begins with slow movement allowing time and space for the body brain to record the movement and distinguish it from other movements.

When I lose the sense of delight in dancing, I simply return to the falling and rising. In Ballet it is the plie. In Tai Chi it is the basic lowering of the entire body by bending the knees and lowering the arms from an outstretched position.

In both Ballet and Tai Chi, this is a basic movement that prepares for many other movements from stepping to leaping. The slow connected movement is the gathering of power and the integrating of position in space.

Enter Dance Hope
Dance is the process of anticipating more life revealed in the connection of movement. The experience of anticipation is a recognition of the process of creation and growth in our cells. The cells divide as a creation of more life. Neurons interconnect by the creative process of sending and receiving signals.

Hope is the process of anticipation, response, and integration that brings us to an active curiosity.

Anticipation prepares to recognize the surprises and the shifting of these different networks.

Enter Dance Networks
Dance is a way of training our focus to manage creative connections between our different networks. One network related to focus is the specific goal oriented focus that can identify specific actions and proactively adjust them. Another network is the broad spectrum focus that oversees full person acting at once.

Another pair of networks are the directive and the collaborative. The first is specific and directional while the last is reflective and integrative.

Enter Dance Image
The image simplifies all the complex work of the body brain and empowers the person to wield an instantly changing focus.

One key image is energy. Energy in dance, as in sound and light, can be varied to many levels of force, speed, intensity, and quality.

The dancer uses imagery to shape energy that goes beyond their limitations physically, emotionally and mentally. The interaction and interconnection of energy is studied both within the individual and between members of a group.

Dance is a way to build the curiosity of anticipation and the images as tools that can apply to the uniqueness of the individual and the unity of a group.

Enter Dance Complexity
Dance is a process of beginning with simple movements, adding variations that are easily distinguished, and integrating the movements so they can be combined in multiple ways.

The unique realm of dance is to distinguish the connections within each different network encompassing the entire person. This process recognizes not only skill development and structures of mathematical, geometric, and motor calculations. Training distinguishes experiences of intention, malleability, and states of network collaboration. Building the care for the self as an interactive part of life is at the center of all learning.

Enter Dance Power
Dance is an experience of power from many different perspectives. Clarifying signals through all the types of entry mentioned, the dancer creates a moment by moment portrait of their experience in the form of dance. This portrait is changeable with the wide range of qualities and states of experience. Claiming and building this dance of the self represents a long journey of entering dance.

The source of power is the interactive nature of our systems that receive and send signals allowing the person to evaluate their location in space, the intensity of force they are applying, and their relationship to emotion and intention.

Two other aspects of power are important. One is the openness to surprises that may exceed any expectation. The other is the willingness to ask for help and to experiment with the help given.

Asking for help may be a personal action of specifically asking within the self for the attention and courage to recognize the help that is offered and for the vulnerability to fully receive it.
Tim Hurst 03/24/18

Posted on

Two Sides of Me 2017

Even my sweetheart Ginger straightens me up as my lean to the right revisits me in moments of fatigue. Or perhaps the lean is always there throughout my hours of dancing. With all my awareness and my dancing there are clearly two sides to my movement and distinct sensations. Perhaps my feeling of having to direct every new learned movement is correct times two.

Today I will honor two different worlds. On my left is the world of steadiness, a whole sensation throughout. There is vague sense of having to hold on, a clue from Rachel Meador that my left foot was always gripping the floor as if I were going to fall to the left. On my right is the world of collapse, yielding somehow to a deep sensation of trauma.

There is a reluctance to both sides that do not want to be stirred. One Feldenkreis session with Matt Williams ended with his observation that he had to bypass lots of resistance, find alternate routes to move my legs.

I did not pursue the sessions out of a fear to face the ache I would find there from previous trauma. The reluctance is still there, aches not wanting to be touched but the rewards of movement call too strongly to resist.

So today I enter the delight of the dance with a bit of caution. I know that the echoes from past traumas will ache to not be stirred. Or perhaps they will gladly yield to movement as they want to do.

The image that will replace my caution is two versions of the wave down and the wave up, the rising and falling at the core of a dancer’s awareness. On my left I will introduce a spongy loosening of the firmness. The emphasis will be on the downward wave. For my right side I will introduce a springy playful emphasis on the upward wave.

As I move, the sensations are both very distinct. My left side seems to be in new territory, having to release in new ways to feel the downward wave. My right is likewise a little unsure like it has always relied on having a buddy leading on the left.

I explore the double helix image differently for each side. On the left, I shape the image as collapsing vertically to allow a spongy quality to the movement. For my right, the shape is the rising buoyant nature of the rotating double helix. The quality of springy is a continuous upward feeling.

The images come and go from my awareness giving me the clue that either I do not want to go there or I need to allow the image to work outside my awareness to go past the fear. I gently bring the images back and observe. I will have to repeat this experience many times to get a read on what is actually happening.

My movement on the other hand is very demonstrative. My ankles give way and respond to my arches in very fluid ways. My movement is more sweeping and my looping floor patterns are surprising. I welcome all the movement and notice the ending of phrases going into twists that engage the rotation from hip, through the mid back to the opposite shoulder.

I follow this rotation as I build awareness in turns that move forward into the cross body twist and then into a backward version of the twist for the opposite side of the turn. The 360 degree quality in my body is very satisfying.

Moving side to side I engage the rotation in the Dancer’s Diaphragm under the arms while sensing the rotation in the opposite hip,leg, and feet. My hope is that these movements will give me more awareness and access to the leaning into my right side.

More sessions will tell. I can integrate the experience at the end of the rotations and even feel the echoes of trauma in my hip. Standing still afterwards causes me to avoid the sensations. Perhaps in another session a portabrae will help.
Tim Hurst 12/30/17

Posted on

Nurturing Back Strains

Today I nurture my Quadratus Lomborum (QL), the little square of muscle connecting my pelvis bone the iliac to my spine and to my lower ribs. I have again strained these very tense and unforgiving support muscles. At its worse, I could not straighten my torso and had trouble rising from a sitting position.

Lifting from my pelvis and sending signals to lift under my rib cage has given me freedom to undulate my spine and to swivel around it in all directions.

Counter rotations of paired arms and hips with head added a freedom to slow my visual focus and to internally follow my full body experience.

Then I add an image of a double helix that passes signals from pelvic diaphragm through my QL, through my center spine diaphragm at the lower rib, through my suspended diaphragm between my shoulder blades crossing under my arms, through my neck and cranial base and out the top of my head.

The image of a double helix is two spiraling strands crossing and recrossing from my lower spine through the top of my head. The purpose of the double helix is to organize the signals connecting my entire body. This image allows an instant broad view of the intricate connections of each system of muscle and bone and intention and emotion.

In other words, I can simply visualize the double helix through my body and allow the integration of signals through every system. I can vary size of the double helix to surround only my spine or expand it to encompass the outer circumference of my body.

Today as I purposefully nurture my QL I allow gentle signals to pass through and keep my entire body supple and responsive to initiation of movement that includes signals of many qualities.

I feel lightness and a bright curiosity with each signal passing through my lower and upper torso. I can lift in one area and support the other in a curve forward, back, and diagonal. My QL goes along for the ride without seizing up or complaining with pain.

The counter rotations seem to ease my mind and foster a flow of focus through my entire body.
Tim Hurst 10/17/17