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Dance as Network Model

Dance as a form of movement and training is a model, a template that networks the entire body.

The model has two basic operations. One is to switch focus from the micro view to the macro view of the entire person as a series of connected networks. Another is to manage the continuous networking of signals within the human system as both directed and surrendered through awareness of both processes.

To assist these operations dance uses two types of imagery. One is the categorization of signals that manage both the directed and the surrendered networks. Another is a master image that signals can pass through to network the entire body brain and to make detailed adjustments to specific micro areas.

To simplify the networks, dance offers an understanding of the sections of the body that can be networked together by signals passing through a master image. These body sections are called diaphragms or platforms. Each section has a purpose as a connector with its paired diaphragm and as a part of the entire body brain network.

It is my belief that dance is the repository of all this information due to the evolutionary growth of the human. Dance as a networking form grew from the earliest humans, from their imitation and communication with other life forms and from their insistence on communication within the unknowns of spiritual experience. I would conjecture that this is the reason dance has been able to contribute to and absorb the discoveries of every movement form including athleticism, martial arts, and religious ritual. I also believe this is the basis for the power of dance along with music to symbolize the experience of entire cultures and entire epochs of human history.

This is also the reason why dance as a form is offering so many innovations in the understanding and managing of disease and rehabilitation.
Tim Hurst 08/24/17

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Signal Inventories

What are signals to me today?
My Basics
System One
I experience everything rising and falling, everything turning, everything stacking top down and bottom up.
System Two
I experience specific signals initiating from my spine, radiating instantly through my pelvis, head, and my limbs.

My Access
I choose today which signals are easily accessible and which ones are nudging me to explore.
I choose how much awareness I can personally accept given my state of mind, body, emotion, and spiritual appetite.
I test my readiness to access every part of myself by observing both slow and faster motion.
I experience my willingness to see and feel and calibrate every motion.
I recognize my sending and receiving of connected signals as my song, my story, my dance for today.

My Challenges
How far can I take my signals today?
Am I willing to spend the time today to follow the signal and repair what I might strain?
Am I willing to drop physical and mental habits that limit my exploration of signals?
Am I willing to deal with a level of disorientation as my discoveries of clear signals conflict with established patterns of thought and body?
Am I willing to observe and respond to my building and rebuilding of my self?
Am I willing to enter states of vulnerability and certainty where my unknowns and errors are as important as what I know as my current level of skill and experience?
Tim Hurst. 03.13.17

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Dance Experiment Yes

Yesterday I tried to describe a daily dance experiment. It became a boring play by play of another exercise system with a now I do this and then this. Unpublished that and spent a day writing about the brightness that is dance to me, to my teachers,and to choreographers and performers that explore the depths of dance every day.

My passion is to share this process of delight and diligence that as dancers we enter every minute of our lives. My 15 year old grandson describes me with the word exuberance that he defines as “overly excited to the point of being obnoxious.” And I have to admit I have been that exuberant when I want every party to be Ballywood with every one dancing and singing. Or when someone says, “I can’t dance,” and my energy fires up. Or when a choreographer has only a small audience to join their performance of excellence and new discoveries about the human spirit.

My search is for a common denominator that we all obviously share when it comes to dance and music. I will walk into any storm to support every person with an inclination to dance. At this moment I am looking at all the storms I have come through. What I see are layers upon layers of interconnected experiences that are obvious and fully described in the art, the lives and in the words of dancers.

Yet to clarify the processes and principles we express, my words turn to mush and I tear my hair at our denial of the massive influence dance has on our lives both as participants and beneficiaries.

The beauty of dance is that each individual samples its juicy delights and digests it in different ways. The nurture of those dance morsels emerges as a person who is more curious, more aware, more tuned to delight and despair. This nurture is available for the dancer and for those who join with the dancer on their explorations.

This is my search, for a place we can all enter this nurturing world of dance. In my life, I follow the trails to dancers who know this delight and who enter it fully. I find this ability to enter dance in the five year old as well as in the professional, in the social dancer as well as the brilliantly dedicated pointe dancer.

Within my search, the questions and the lists read like a composite of restaurant menus from all over the world and from the camp fires of our earliest ancestors. My main focus is, how do we enter what we know as dance, instant connection of everything we are, instant fun, a second wind insisting we dance forever.

As with any endeavor, the range defines the degrees of entry. The range is from a process and a procedure to the individual experience of the process. We sometimes think of dance as learning a form like Ballet or HipHop or Salsa. Yet when we taste the delights of the actual experience, we only want more.

Entry at this point is when the experience shapes the structure of the dance. In other words, the dance becomes yours. You shape the dance to be you rather than the steps and techniques being the only goal.

Dance is unique. The entry point is instantaneous. The first steps of a child instantly turn to dance with music. The beginner learning the waltz can feel the dance within them even if the body is trying to catch up.

The uniqueness of dance is a lifetime study. A particularly interesting point of entry is the activating of the personal monitor. It has something to do with the play between awareness and a generalized sense of everything working together. Dancers confront their internal emotions and traumas as well as their external interactions.

The monitoring is subtle signals or messages or conversations between the person and every part of their life. Dancers often describe their experience as spiritual or as meditative. I suspect that the reason is this aspect of monitoring that is a personal connection with insights, anticipations, and moments of creating new cells and new points of view.

Dance and music ride the line between the known and the unknown similar to religious ritual and meditation. Structure and form are there to develop processes like personal monitoring to navigate these sometimes challenging seas of uncertainty and vulnerability.

As I describe my exploration and experiments, my intent is not to create a structure or a way to dance. My hope is to find an entry way to making the kinds of connections that dancers and dance teachers make every day.

Will these entry points give you more access to yourself and to dancing? Will they give choreographers and teachers clearer ways to state the importance of their explorations? Will more audiences join choreographers to explore new discoveries of themselves? Again, my hope is to give insights for each individual to find the brightness within themselves where dance resides.

All along the way I could say, build your connections, “Do not do as I do.” As a consummate beginner of dance, I am the perfect person to delve into these murky waters that seem so confusing to explain. It takes me years to absorb a structure, relearning each time I return. Learning patterns requires sometimes hours of improvisation and play with the different pieces of a movement. My system sometimes overloads and freezes my ability to move. One of my Pilates teachers says, “You think too much.” My Floor-BarreTM instructor says I need more fluidity as I am learning the movements.

So my qualifications in doing this study are not what I do or can do, they are my passion to find the entry points that bring delight to every movement.
Tim Hurst. 03.12.17

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A Dynamic Vision of Dance

Welcome to a Dynamic Vision of Dance

Dance and music are time capsules from the first humans. These capsules are unique and go beyond our imaginations to explain. Artists say do not explain us because everything is said in our art. Educators or at least politicians say music and dance are extra curricular activities for people who want to become artists.

A Dynamic Vision of Dance is my experiment to find the simplicity of a dance process and a common thread of vocabulary that helps to understand how our dance capsules affect everything in our lives.

The benefits of music and dance are obvious. An ice skater who is a dancer is immediately recognizable. The crowd applauds loudly. On the other hand, it is more difficult to distinguish the influence of dance in a gymnast whose leap suspends her abouve the beam before making an elegant landing.

We experience the fun of dance and music. We become proficient, even exceptional. We connect the power of our capsules to everything from religion to addiction. We label them either brain food or exercise.

We feel the power of our music and dance time capsules or we deny they ever existed. The problem is the contents of these capsules are hard to describe.

We can say our capsules work powerfully. Music and dance can symbolize an entire generation or the innovation of an individual. Yet we are adrift when trying to explain the scope of dance alone with its power to blend emotion and movement, to influence learning, athletic skill, injury and disease prevention, and a full range of personal and body therapies.

In actuality dancers and musicians know the experiences in their time capsules. As teachers and choreographers they share the content of their capsules every day. Dancers know their experience in all its simplicity and complexity. They teach it. They perform it. Even with so much clarity and the ability to capsulize a personal vision and a vision of an entire generation, the benefits of music and dance are explained away as a mystery.
Tim Hurst. 02.03.17

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Movement Poems

4:44 am
Young man I see your aligned spine
Straight as the day is narrow.
Your step vibrant and strong.

To my fault I see your forgotten memories,
The childhood tilts as an airplane,
The spins that set your mind right.

I wish for you and me the play of the diving Crow, the Bear cub, the Dolphin.
We could at least prepare for the unexpected slight that one day takes our breath away.

4:53 am
Young child I see your memory fade away.
There was a time when we all danced and sang with you hours upon hours
Our camping fires flickering the night with delight.
Our joy burst from us and joined on a path that knew no bounds.

So much harder it is now for you to touch the precious in yourself
And even harder to say, yes life is for living and I am life.
Tim Hurst 12/12/17

4:56 am
Young dancer I see you moment by moment opening memory,
Memory of the curious, asking of the moment to open.
I am inspired by each surprise you find behind each asking.

I wish for you and for me to move in agility until all our memories open.
Tim Hurst 12/12/17

5:02am
Young worker sitting at your arduousness, I see you.
Yes your body complains year after year kindergarten or CEO.
Sitting may as well be called stilling because we and even our meditators
Instill a force upon ourselves to sit still.

Of course there is a purpose of stillness, to move our thoughts, or our fingers.

To my fault I see the cascading memories of movement fade away each moment. Gone is the memory of our selves as continuous and agile movement like music, like a dance.
Tim Hurst 12/12/17

5:15 am
The breath of the singer is a study of agility.
Wish that I and we could open in like anticipation
Of the beauty we can find within.

Our bodies would know the memory of a yawn
That opens every cell in preparation for so much oxygen.
We would again welcome a lifting of ourselves
While spreading our ribs and wings to make space for breath.
We would remember that each breath awakens toes and nose.

We would remember the thankfulness of heart and chest rising like meeting the sun.
Our throats would open as would all the openings surrounded by our collar bone.

All the breath we have welcomed will rush through raising soft palates, bringing a surprise Ah to our throats. Our backs become new born freshness with breath expanding our edges.

At the top of breath we peak at what the next moment can be, rollercoaster or glider. At these moments all cells speak with movement, nasal passages quiver, third eye’s nurture, cranium bones prepare to release geysers of life from their top most joints.

All this is the life of one breath for the singer. We sit and wait for a rendering of sound vibrations revealing this one singer.
Tim Hurst 12/12/17

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Cranium for Healing

Today I simply want to be present with my weakest and now infected area, the bladder. The sensation points in the area are the pelvic diaphragm and the lower vertebra of the spine. I gently move these areas to establish a general area of the irritation.

I image the entire area floating in three dimensional space and in continual motion. My attention can move through the image to identify areas that can use specific movement.

I want to send supportive signals from other areas of my body. This involves the body as a network that naturally sympathizes with a hurt area and can limit its movement and its ability to support the harmed area. I want instead to minimize the spasm of other areas contracting because of hurt in my bladder area.

The area I choose is the Thorasic Inlet surrounded by the collar bone and the spine of the scapula. These are the guard rails of the highways of blood vessels, nerves, and muscles that connect the head with the lower spine and body.

By relaxing this area and lifting my head, inhale and exhale come easily and signals can gentle be sent to my pelvic region. A natural reaction takes place identifying specific areas of the Cranium and how I can use them for healing.

First is the Cranial base releasing the hyoid bone opening the lower jaw and bobbing the head around the top two vertebra.

Second the back of the throat opens expanding the breath begun by relaxing the Thorasic Inlet. The soft palate at the top of the mouth softens and raises in the mouth almost as a surprise response.

These growing responses from below the throat to the balancing top vertebra to the throat opening and the palate rising, bring a quality of lightness to the lifting of my head. Almost as a celebration of these connections, I send signals from these area to my pelvic area.

The two way signaling to the hurt area builds awareness and multidimensional signals for clearer support.

One other area revealed itself with a specific image. The Meditative Diaphragm begins at the Third Eye and sits in front of the pineal gland before the meditative spot at the back of the head housing the Fourth Ventrical. This entire area is named the Centrum by John Upledger founder of Craniosacral Therapy.

I have activated this area before but was surprised by the intensity of its energy. Today I experienced a new image that relates to the calming nature of this area. The image is a germinating seed about the size of a fig. The image of a seed is unique because it is growing and preparing to sprout but all this is happening slowly.

This is a perfect image for meditation because there is nothing to do but be present with the potential of the seed. So while dancing I can bring up calmness by focusing on the growing of strength and clarity. The Ballet develope becomes a different experience from,this place.

For my current concerns my hope is that this meditative space along with the joy of dancing will lower my blood pressure.
Tim Hurst 12/11/17

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Healing Proceeds

Spinning with slower double helix for sensation to the outer edges of the pelvic diaphragm.
Connection of double helix to Dancers Diaphragm and to Cranial Platform and top vertebra.

Healing is proceeding slowly. Pain goes away with movement but infection still nags me.

I realize that healing is not dependent on my step by step process. Healing has to do with my clarity of asking, recognizing, and accepting the signs and responses necessary for healing. I have to ask myself to wake up to that process and not wish my actions were the cure.

Secondly, I think my image of the double helix is very powerful and my vision of interlocking bands may be too forceful. Changing the double helix to rays of light open my perspective to a broader view and an enlivening one.
Tim Hurst 12/10/17

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Resisting Healing States

As I proceed in my quest to massage and free my bladder from pain, I come across a resistance. I know this well especially when trying to slow down my movement, my thought, or my runaway energy.

In meditation as I begin to slow down I want to move around. I sometimes must have the car radio on or some activity to keep my mind occupied. All these are my resistance to slowing down and receiving calm or even a basic care for how I am doing. Too tired, hungry, frustrated, in pain, all these elude me as I resist slowing down enough to respond.

So this morning I am spinning following the gentle spiral of a double helix image. The image is my massage tool to encircle and undulate the bladder area. Yet as I slow down to receive messages from the area, I feel the urge to keep the speedy spin going. Acceleration is exhilarating and it seems easier to feel the entire body engaged at once.

Yet when I slow down, my whole system want to urge me to speed up. I can only surmise what this feeling is, a deference to my directed system of body brain or a fear of knowing too much or a lack of responsibility to respond once I am asked to respond. Whatever it may be I have only one approach other than forcing myself to be still in meditation or increasing the intensity of my focus on moving slowly.

One approach is to follow the movement. In meditation we are encouraged to follow the breath and allow energy to flow through us. In dance, acceleration and deceleration are two ends of a spectrum so the approach is to simply follow the movement to the end of the spectrum of slowness and then stillness. This is a specific study in dance and feels normal.

These are procedural answers that seek to by pass the resistance. My problem is that if I have to keep thinking and conjuring up ways to get around resistance, that takes away energy and throws me more toward the forcing of myself to sit still or moving slowly.

Instead I always revert to one basic approach. I ask. This is more elusive and comes with more responsibility. I ask myself to accept the slowness. I ask my body what it needs to release. I ask to receive strength, care, and clarity from the basic processes of life within me.

Asking and willingness to receive is called surrender. This is a different network of brain and body that has no goal, only to receive. Challenging? Confusing? That is why most people do not pray to know and respond.

Surrender is an open space with no guarantees, only the freedom from direction to receive what we need. Of course the warning is that as humans we jump to conclusions and deceive ourselves. Comes with the territory and means for me more asking and more listening. Argh. I do not want to make the mistake from deceiving myself. I do it anyway and get back to clarifying my question so that I can recognize the next message as clear.

This is more information than any of us wants to know. So we choose our piece of the pie that we can live with and ignore the rest. That has got me here with a compromised system allowing my blood pressure and bladder to respond to my busy life. More asking now and more surrender to an open view that allows agility of movement to prevail. Tim Hurst 12/08/17