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