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Our Tension Matrix

Every person has their ways of storing tension. After a while the tension becomes pain or a troubled system like digestion. We often ignore the discomfort allowing it to get worse or confronted it with massage, medication, or a vacation.

There are many other ways of dealing with tension. I prefer to change my habitual ways of responding to stress. The three most powerful ways of changing the way I think, feel, and act are through the study of dance, music, meditation, and prayer.

(Each of these rewire the signal networks and manage the energy flow through the body, intention and thought processes.)

A favorite tension matrix for accumulating stress begins at the spine between the shoulder blades and goes up into the head. We experience grabbing sensations in the shoulders, chest, neck, and jaw.

I feel this gathering of tension when I concentrate on a project and grab with my facial and eye muscles. These tensions call on my upper body to join in the fun, and there I have it, lingering tension.

My mentors deal with tension by waking up the energy flows in the entire body. Using the help of the arts and meditation, dancers and musicians rewire the networks connecting intention, emotion, thought, and the body.

This upper body tension matrix gives way to changing the energy flow. Piano players concentrate the energy flow through their upper torso into their fingers. The agile changes of focus on musical melody and rhythm relieve the tension.

Singers connect the energy of breathing with openings of the inner cavities of the throat and the soft palate. This openness of energy flow combined with vibration in the head seal the experience of refocusing the stress.

The disciplines of meditation and prayer have ways of altering energy flow using different brain waves. These affect the entire body and open up centers of focus like the “third eye” at the middle of the forehead.

Dancers have a comprehensive approach to combining all the benefits of these disciplines plus a detailed study of energy flow through the various human networks.
Tim Hurst 05/18/18

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Our Legacy Dance

Our Legacy
What is the legacy of each generation of human life? There are three that are basic to promoting healthy and vibrant community and individual life.

One is the will to live. One is delight in living and learning. One is the willingness to heal the physical and emotional trauma of confronting our limitations and challenges.

Each generation takes responsibility for transferring these three basics of life to the young and to the community. In our culture, we insist that the young find their own way of defining their character and their vocation.

The result is waves of anxiety, depression, and addiction. The solutions we are offered give competing approaches to survival that often provide results with as much harm as help

What Do We Have in Common?
My interest is in finding where the three basics of life have made the most impact upon us as humans.

One assumption I make is that along side our necessity for survival and competition is an equal force toward the three basics of a will to live, the delight for growing, and a willingness of the entire system to face the challenges with regeneration and healing.

I have chosen the similarities of dance, music, and religion because they were seen by early humans as one and the same experience. All of them addressed the three basics of life and all were performed as one event. From them grew rituals and healings that were clear capsules of the community life.

The importance of these events gave us a way of marking the growth of the community and the place each individual took within the community. As the individuals grew and with the changes of time, the markers and the character of the events would change maybe slightly, maybe radically.

Questions of Dance
To look at the basics of life, I begin simply by looking at the dancer’s experience. Dance is a good place to start because it is the least understood and stands outside much debate. Dance engages all areas of the person forming a sense of self and uses many of the principles of music and religion. The obvious fascination of children with dance is the best recommendation for the study of life as a part of delight.

The questions are simple but elusive to find all the connections within the individual and the group.

What is the anticipation a dancer feels before entering a dance?
What is the delight a dancer experiences in the process of dancing?
What is the dancer’s approach to rejuvenation of trauma in both the body and the psyche?
Tim Hurst 05/12/18

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Sustenance in Melody

Singing today I fell in love with the overtones that connect a musical melody into a whole.

Since the qualities of dance and music is so close, I wonder what the connecting elements are for dance in a movement melody.

With musical overtones, the resonance of one tone fills the spaces of one note to the other. Their is a continual flowing movement no matter what rhythmic spaces occur for emphasis and anticipation.

Dancers also know how to fill a movement with different levels and qualities of resonance. Each movement, each part of the interconnected body, each cell and organ, fills with a resonant energy that continues like music through any rhythmic space into a melodic phrase.

Yet there is something more basic below the energy. That is the movement of the curve that dancers understand as connecting any transition from one movement to the next. The curve can be a loop that can double back into what seems like a line. The curve can be a continuous spiral that intertwines with other spirals from many areas of the body, the emotions, and the intentions of the person.

The basis is of course the wave that makes up sound and light. The wave like the dancer extends to a peak and rides the curve into a rejuvenating exhale before receiving another inhale at the lowest point to rise again.

Each point along the way connects in millions of ways with the next points changing direction into a fresh movement. The dancer studies the wave form as the sustenance between each movement and the sustainer of the melody creating an imprint of the individual and the group of dancers.
Tim Hurst 02/06/18

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Dance Music Surprise

There seems to be much surprise that music and dance are helpful to people with all kinds of ailments and diseases. Some reference is made to the processes of the brain.

This surprise is curious since most people have an immediate response to rhythm, to melody, to dance. Obviously dance and music are important parts of our well being.

The effect of dance is easily recognized. When an athlete makes especially clear movements, the are called graceful like a dancer. The influence of dance technique and phrasing is easily spotted in a gymnast or a skater.

Why then the surprise of the importance of music and dance as a major connector of areas of the brain? Or more to the point, why do we have so many qualms about arts as a part of hard core education? And to continue the inquiry, why have we ignored the learning of dance and music that centers around building experience as a major part of learning?
Tim Hurst 12/28/17