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Dancing Refresh

A common phrase used when trying to understand the refresh process of dance is “It’s more than an activity, it is a way of life.” This phrase is used mostly to try and find some certainty that there is one way of life that works to keep us encouraged and productive.

The essence of the dancing process is the “refresh” that happens every moment. Refresh rather than one way of life is a moment by moment play between vulnerability and certainty, between strengthening toward a goal and the open-ended reflection on the surprises that occur in the process.

Refresh is not one way of life but a way to navigate the meeting of many “ways of life” at once. Refresh is both gathering all that “works” and integrating the unknowns of moment by moment surprises. What this means is that each moment is “a way of life” that asks to be integrated into all the other ways of life from our experience and from the experience of our ancestors.

The dance process integrates both processes into one activity as does music. Yet one derail element of this central refresh process is our love for distraction. Distraction is a part of our tool kit to rest and rejuvenate. Yet our weak link is a desire for self deception. Usually it is a belief that “I know what is best no matter what consequences to myself or others.” At its extreme we call that approach insanity or for everyone else, we call it distractions or addiction.

Dance classes happen as a group. That is not a mistake. The dance learning process is as much a mirroring of our teachers and fellow dancers as it is our own discovery. Our tendency to deceive ourselves is always brought to the next moment of vulnerability that is the insistence that we engage fully and integrate information as we go.

The human system is built for the intricacies of these binary shifts on many levels at once. What the human system is not built for is the avoidance of error or self deception. This is clear when we look at what we value more than our opportunity to refresh each moment.

Our most intimate inclination is distraction. In our multiple shifts between goal specific focus to a broader unifying focus, we shy away from the broad integrating focus sometimes called the day dream or meditation or prayer. We replace the vulnerability and unknowns of the broad focus with a temporary certainty that our distractions and addictions are more important than any future consequences. See Dancing Refresh Model to continue reading.
Tim Hurst 01/01/18

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Dance Binary Basics

Dance and music are unique realms of study. They train the body to experience three simple processes.

The first process is a way to distinguish one experience from another. The simplest element of both dance and music is the distinguishing of short from long. Both begin with long extended movements or sounds. Both learn to mix short movements or sounds with the long. This is the basic binary learning that becomes an experience of the entire person creating and responding to movement and sound.

Another is to connect one experience to another. As in music each sound and each rhythm is a part of a phrase. The connecting of one sound to the other is built on a detailed study of the curve. A curve in dance and music bends down and bends up. The experience is of a series of loops that blend separate elements into a whole. Notes that appear all alone create a different experience than notes that connect in a phrase. The same is true with dance. A single movement by itself becomes a different experience than a movement phrase. The dancer and the musician learn to think in phrases of connected elements. This again is binary learning that is easily integrated in body brain networks.

The other is to play with simple variations that define a new experience. This is the process of discovery by experimenting with a combination of elements. This is the essence of curiosity and creation. In dance a beginning movement is to lower and rise called in Ballet the plié. This movement combined with articulation of the feet and coordination of the entire body becomes a jump or a skip or a leap. Each movement is a different experience that came from combining simple variations to the plié.
Tim Hurst. 12/28/17

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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

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Enter Healing States

Today I am challenged by my illness and my body wants to lay down and cry. Everything wants to tense around the internal hurt of a compromised bladder.

As usual I begin to move and immediately shift to a dance state. How are all those grungy feelings erased? They change as I raise and lower through my entire body and as I rotate around my spine in every possible variation.

My focus shifts between my whole body with all its emotion and specific areas like the pelvic diaphragm that alternately expands and lifts. I use a simple pressure point on the side of each hip to encourage this movement.

Then I shift the double helix image into vertical and horizontal placements to keep a gentle rotation going while I focus on the nurture of specific areas.

In healing, I have to keep reminding myself to receive signals as much as I send them. My eyes are the best teachers for receiving, releasing, and refreshing myself. The eyes naturally receive images except we direct and focus our eyes to match our desire to push toward more.

When I relax my eyes and slowly follow a hand or follow a tilt of my spine, I experience a refreshed lift in my attention and in my hope for the next moment. Then as I allow my eyes to circle in an opposite direction from my facing palms, the movement is calm and releasing to the muscles of my eyes and to my breath.

The healing state is one of receiving strength, hope, care, and joy. I experience the dance state as a methodical process of entering the healing state.
Tim Hurst 12/08/17

An explanatory view.
I enter Healing states to experience movement as agile, supple, and supportive to my entire body. The basic principle of connecting body and brain is to move slowly. Signals with in my body will move at lightning speed yet my attention is on slowing everything down. Slower means more integration of healing signals and more ability to receive healing signals.

Whether I use the defined center spine movement of Ballet, the counter rotations of Tai Chi and Chi Gong, or the spinning of the child and the Sufi, I enter a healing state.

For me this is a dance state trained to access every section of the body horizontal and vertical. The dance state interconnects all the body sections while setting up networks of signals between them.

Especially for healing it is important to not only build connections but be able to receive signals through those connections. Instead of pushing the body with a singular focus, it becomes important to receive strength, to receive the warnings and the care offered, and receiving the joy that comes from entering the dance state.

The moment I begin dancing I feel my emotion and body join. I anticipate the next movement, the next insight as a precious surprise to be nurtured and shaped. My hope is to respond to the calls for help and for celebration from every aspect of myself.
Tim Hurst 12/08/17

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Fractal is Dance

Fractal geometry is characterized by self similarity and endless iteration. Using dance, the human experiences the fractal as a simple form that varies by repeating an infinite range of combinations. Using this experimental process, dance interrelates all the human systems and has the outcome of simplifying the entire experience in a melodic form of metaphor.

Dance is a friendly entry point for using the fractal. Actually dance is already built on the fractal with its full experience in every direction, every mood, every dynamic, every rhythm.

Dance is defined as the principles that were selected through evolution and hard wired along with music into the earliest humans. Dance movement is similar to music which uses only twelve notes and is infinitely able to express in melodic statements the unity of a person, a generation, a people.

The artistic process like the scientific process is built on simple elements that are combined into an infinite number of experiments. Dance deserves our focus because it uniquely interconnects every human system physical, personal, motivational. Dance goes beyond mechanics to the quality of movement and to the interrelationship of emotion and the building of the self.

Fractal concepts are applied in dance by the use of pattern, interconnecting signals throughout the entire person through perception, rhythm, timber, and melody.

Pattern are added to pattern down to the smallest size and to the slowest speed. Basic shapes are triangles and spirals.

Signals are differentiated through the nervous and limbic systems. Signals initiated from specific areas of the spine define movement qualities and dynamics of mood and emotion.

Quality is defined as variations of initiation and extension giving concepts such as sustained or staccato, flicking and floating.

Dynamics is a use of increase and decrease, emphasis to initiate force or ease.

Anticipation precedes initiation with either arc or continuing line. The variations interrelate the processes of perception, integration of new forms as they emerge, and the process of metaphor to simplify and express the building of the self and the community.

Rhythms are constructed of sound and silence. Rhythms are visualized with shape using a binary mode made of short and long durations.

Timber is identified with imagery of sensation, color and taste.

Melody is the formation of a metaphor to represent a person, a people.

Perception differentiates incoming signals and builds awareness and interconnection of each human system. Perception may begin with the eyes, ears, nose, taste, skin, then progress to the sense of chemical and electrical modulations within the body, then may become interrelated to the processes of anticipating and initiating transformations and finally to the building of the self through metaphor. Perception may be within a range of both familiar or unfamiliar experience. All experiences are integrated through fractal processes of identifying simple forms, varying these forms in infinite repetition of combinations.
Tim Hurst 09/06/15

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What’s Movement to a Dancer?

What appears to be physical changes of position and poses is for the dancer a refining of complex networks of signals connecting, dissolving, and reconnecting throughout all the systems of the person.

These signals travel in curved pathways that have been understood by dancers for centuries and are now studied as Structural Integration. It is the curved pathways of signals that a dancer experiences as continuous movement of sensation, anticipation, initiation, completion, and transition into multiple directions at once.

The dancer’s tools of compression and extension are related to signals that are continuously in motion. What appears as stillness or a pause is actually another state of movement.

An audience can immediately identify the delight of a dancer’s simple movement. For the dancer also the movement is an instantaneous connection of physical, emotional, and intentional signals.

From the viewer’s point of view, the movement looks automatic as if a body memory has taken over. For the dancer, there is a rapid shifting of many kinds of focus. One type of focus is from the micro view to monitor a specific skill and the macro view of the entire person at once. Another type of focus is in the awareness which shifts the view from foreground to background.

Even though it may seem as if some movements are directed and others automatic, for the dancer patterns are variations of experience that work at levels sometimes called heightened awareness and sometimes requiring less attention. Both levels of the patterned skill are interconnecting with each other, the difference is the focus on foreground or background.

The dancer’s view is more of a malleable system that is in continual responsiveness. Automatic movement and muscle memory do not adequately explain their complex process.

For the viewer and often for the choreographer, the pattern is seen as a repetition, a replica of a specific movement. For the dancer, the pattern is also a malleable experience that is varied by the thoughts, emotions, and energy of the moment. This is one of the reasons that no two dance performances are the same.

Another astonishing perspective is the dancer’s ability to alter the experience of any movement with a set of modulators. A physical analogy is a musicians sound board. Any sound can be modulated and blended with dials that give more or less of different qualities.

The dancer modulates not just speed or duration but also the qualities that bring emphasis, heaviness or lightness, subtlety or boldness, to name only a few. Like the musician the outcome is a confluence of emotion and interpretation of melodies, rhythms, and harmonies.

Imagery is a tool to assist the dancer with the complexity of shifts in focus and with interconnecting the centers of movement, emotion, and formation of meaning. Signals are shaped and managed with imagery.

Also the anatomy of the body is managed with imagery. Physically, the dancer is also working with the body as a malleable system. To do this the dancer has developed imagery within a training processes for understanding the body movement.

Imagery is often indicating the direction of energy flows. Using the image of signals different areas of the body can be viewed as signal initiators and receptors. Rather than commanding a body part to move, the signal begins at a location and travels back and forth to other sites in the body. These specific locations are interconnected into networks.

Signals move between different areas of the body are called diaphragms and platforms. They usually cross the entire body and give the perspective of the dancer as moving three dimensionally and in every direction. Each one is a major sending and receiving point for many nerve endings and flows of energy.

The platforms are the arches and surfaces of the feet, the palms of the hands, the collar bone and scapula that suspend the shoulder girdle, the base of the skull, and the Fontanelles or meetings of the cranial bones at the top of the head.

The dancer makes detailed studies of each platform to refine the nerve and energy flows to and from each area. Then they connect their access to each by establishing networks between them.

The diaphragms are muscular and give clues to the dancer’s detailed training of large and small muscle groups. The diaphragms are the pelvic diaphragm also known as the pelvic floor, the lower rib cage diaphragm also known as the respiratory diaphragm, the mid chest diaphragm also known as the dancer’s diaphragm, and the Centrum Brain diaphragm with one known moving part the soft palate.

The diaphragms are the dancer’s keys to lifting up from feet to head, to spreading the body horizontally to engage front and back muscles, to arching and rotating the spine, to connecting the torso and the spine to movement of the legs and articulation of the knees, ankles, arches, and toes of the feet.

What difference does the dancer’s perspective make? Movement is a springing motion rather than a pounding one. A balance of extension and compression takes less effort and training goes past the desire to try too hard. The shifts of focus bring a sense of delight to movement. Every area of the body is accessible and trained as a supportive network.
Tim Hurst 10/09/17

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Human or Transformer

When my grandson was a child I told him that when he became a man he would walk like a Transformer. As it turned out he has taken a liking to both Pilates that takes a malleable approach to movement and Weight Training that emphasizes the compression of building blocks in the body.

My interest is the way that the dancer weaves together the two worlds. The exercise and body therapy world has become fascinated with Structural Integration which I have experienced through the principles of dance and through the study of Craniosacral Therapy.

The premise is that the entire body is a network of interconnected fascia or soft tissue and this fascia acts as one elastic system that pulls the bones and organs into an efficient moving whole. This explains what the dancer and many body therapists know, that pain in one area of the body may be related to other areas of the body. See anatomytrains.com.

What fascinates me about Structural Integration is the dancer’s experience of balance and weight. Movement for the dancer is the springing of the entire body, an experience of fascia as a full body elasticity that requires a minimum of effort. The lines of fascia from head to toe are the study of the dancer who has developed an intricate understanding of the spiraling connections of muscles, tendons, and ligaments throughout the body.

The dancer’s study is to clarify the signals that travel through the fascial network. With dance, the movement of the body is a delicate interplay of both directing those signals and understanding the way signals move. The dance training process is the interplay of sending signals and integrating the signals into networks that increase awareness. A networked movement can then be called on as a way to increase awareness.

The dancer’s approach to balance is telling in this process. As the concepts of Structural Integration explain there is a continuous compression and expansion of the fascia to organize the movement of the bones.

The dancer brings this process to awareness. Each movement is not a forced compression of muscles to get to balance. Instead balance is millions of movements sensing the placement of bones and the continual adjustments of fascia within the entire body. All movement is thus connected no matter how subtle or how bold.

Dance is uniquely placed to understand this process involving also the integration of intention, anticipation, and emotion. This understanding of the way movement is directed and nurtured brought the dancer to the use of the image

The image gives a way to translate the orders and desires of the person into movement. To do this requires an understanding of the way our networks receive and integrate data from each part of the person.

Basic to communication is the ability to receive data in the way it is sent. A parallel is the way different personalities communicate, by attention and empathy. Forced and directed communication must operate in the context of the entire person. This process is what the dancer has grown into an art form using a combination of feeling and visualization in images.
Second is the understanding of patterns of movement. The dancer has trained movement patterns to integrate into the entire body. These patterns network the body’s fascia and also the communication networks of attention and empathy.

This process is not a static set of movements but rather networked movements that are continually adjusting to a refreshed human system of emotions, awareness, and empathy. This is the process of nature that begins with simple movement and adds one variation at a time so the system integrates a pattern that is both a renewing of what is known and a surprise of a new creation.

Each movement is an interaction of compression and expansion continually adjusting as well as the human self receiving and reforming the experience of known patterns and creations of continually expanding creations.

The monitor of all these processes is the human self. We have mistakenly looked to the abstract brain as what needs to be trained. The dancer has developed the perspective of training our experience that includes the physical body and also all the other aspects of the person.
Tim Hurst 10/06/17

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Cymatics Rhythm Dance

I am very excited to discover Cymatics and the study of brain rhythms by Gilley at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Two areas jump out for me. One is multiple signal interconnections in the brain of the drummer and the other is the curved flows of energy between parts of the brain that establish networks of signals.

This is the clear language I am looking for in my study of signals networking the entire body in the study of dance.

Another exciting insight is the mathematical models that establish curves in the shape of the brain that verify a line through the center of the cranium, a cross-section of the brain.

This line is a mathematical model of what I refer to as the Centrum Cranial Diaphragm. I am interested in the ways dancers learn to pass signals through horizontal planes or diaphragms of the body and connect these diaphragms into signal networks.

These networks pass signals within and between diaphragms that build the interconnection of awareness and the creation and variation of patterned manifestations in movement, sound, and light.

My interest is in the fluid ability of musicians and dancers to create and continually reshape patterns in capsules that represent the complex nature of the human networks both individually and as groups. This is the work of the artist. I am delighted to see scientific research discover the importance of this process for activity in the brain and for the importance to understand learning and rehabilitation for all ages and types of humans.

With dancers, I believe that the areas of melody and rhythm are keys to all these studies. These studies of the brain rhythms are very exciting. Dance is important because all the complexity of the drummer’s motions and rhythms are being created within and outside the dancer. The dancer builds networks in each tiny area of the body and brain. These networks are called on to operate simultaneously in different directions with different intensities and coordinating all systems of sensation, emotion, intention, and continual support and repair.

In order to manage all this interconnected complexity, the dancer must also train the focus to shift between a micro and a macro view of all human systems. Understanding how the dancer does all this is my passion for looking into all realms of the experience of the dancer as well as the scientific and metaphysical study of those experiences.
Tim Hurst 08/25/17

Here are my notes from Cymatics and Brain Rhythms. My minimal understanding of science and math means I must catch the simplicity as I understand it in reference to my own study.

Cymatics
Oscillation of shape and sound
Water droplet levitations
2nd harmonic. Duple
3rd harmonic. Latin off beats
4th harmonic. Latin off beats in duple
5th harmonic. Equal emphasis all directions
6th harmonic. Equal shimmer in triple
7th harmonic. Shimmer in all directions
8th harmonic. Shimmer rhythm creates a circle

https://truth theory.com/2017/08/03/neuroscience-drumming-researchers-discover-secrets-drumming-humanbrain/

Rhythm and the Brain: Superorganism
Studies of the drummer’s brain.
Brain Rhythms: functional brain networks mediated by oscillating neural coupling
firing: synchronization: neural connectivity
Wave forms above and below a line: bottom up
Two areas of the brain establish a curved energy flow connecting below and then completing an ellipse connecting above.
Complete categorization of brain rhythms

My postulate of a Centrum Cranial Diaphragm
Line through the Cranium
Beginning at Brow between eyes: Top of soft palate: Temple area connecting Sphenoid internally and at Cranial Base: Pineal Gland: Hippocampus complex of brain: Completing at Occipital Sutures and Fourth Ventricle.

Sources used to support a Centrum Cranial Diaphragm
Cymatics identifying spirals as a basic shape in all nature from cells to universes and in all organisms: mathematical models that divide these spirals into ellipse and lines
Spiral in the Cranium: modeled as sets of triangles and One line passing through the center of the cranium edge to edge cross-section; through center of brain.
Tim Hurst 08/25/17

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Networked Movement

As I experiment with my feet finding a balancing place between all the extremities, I realize how my signals work. Neurobiologist believe that these micro movements in babies are random twitches.

My experience is that signals are always at work connecting, disconnecting, and reconnecting networks. That would mean that the many signals I feel in my feet are going in all directions at once doing their work to sort out relationships and functions like weight transfer and balance. These signals may be called random but that does not account for the purposeful relationship with the entire body as a network that includes the brain.

I studied Rewiring movement from Nina Martin, professor of dance at TCU in Texas. We were asked to lay on the floor and to allow signals to come from our spine that would slightly move different parts of our body.

The image Nina used was of a baby just before going to sleep. Often the baby will go through a series of twitches like an adult might do when ready to do something but being very frustrated. As I have mentioned neurobiologists study these flurries of signals as random movements essential to making connections in the brain.

Nina was not dealing with random movement but with the flurry of movements exploring all directions at once. When our brain kicked in to make the movements into patterns, Nina suggested we follow the pattern briefly and return to the exploratory flurry of signals initiating our movements.

My work with Nina Martin gave me ways to experience these signals to gain a perspective on the ways I move and how I can vary signals to affect my habitual and learned movements.

What this means to me is that the signals to and from my feet are always networking using exploratory movement. Patterned, learned, repetitive movement is another layer that can be adjusted with an awareness of how my signals work.

Deborah Hay innovated ways for dancers to disengaged from patterned movement so they can discover the layer of signals beneath. At this layer all systems can be engaged at once with movements that are directed and non-directed, physical and emotional, intentional and surrendered.

The method that Deborah used was the image of the individual cell having its own intelligence. As the dancer tunes to each cell a greater awareness develops of a complete network throughout the entire body. The necessity to plan and execute movement gives way to another kind of inner communication akin to meditation. Deborah can then give an image or a brief movement idea as a template for the cells to follow. The necessity has been transformed to listening to the cells rather than to our thoughts.

So with my feet I first become aware of the micro level of signals at work continually. Then I move into that micro level slowly enough to build awareness of the connections being made as networks. Then I can both follow and direct the networks individually and as full body networks.
Tim Hurst 08/23/17

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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