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Expanding My Space Dance

What is my dance today? Expanding Space

I live within an image of my spine as a whole unit from inside my cranium to the bottom of my sacrum.

Expanding space my image surrounds the fluid sheaths around my spine and surrounding my brain.

From these vulnerable territories my movement emerges as gentle, microscopic, and undulating as gentle waves on a shore.

Spreading sensations from surrounding areas emerge meeting the outside air at the edges of my body.

My torso rotates around my spine through the sensations of inner space. My arms and legs follow the pathways of my spine raising and lowering, waving and suspending.

My head bobs into outer space carrying my entire body into spirals in every direction.

The energy filling me moves beyond my body approaching trees and people who emanate their own unfamiliar energies. Returning to my spine I craft waves of movement to offer a meeting of energies.

Dance Tools I Seek
Continuous spiraling energy distinguishing itself as internal and external.
Tim Hurst 06/22/18

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My Expanding Dance

What dance am I today? Expansion

Expansion becomes spreading becomes extension becomes movement.

From top of my spine, my sensation awakens lower brain, throat, jaw.
Spreading through center brain to meditative silence, palate, back of eyes.
Extending in rolling curves to memory of delight and the roaring of energy through the top of my head.

Each section of spine extends to awaken a vulnerable collar bone, an expanding chest, a spreading back, the widening of diaphragms respiratory and pelvic.

Networked energies culminate in the spine’s extension into exploratory extensions as arms, as legs. as head.

Tools of Dance I Seek.
Fluid shifting of focus from single points to connected energy centers.
Tim Hurst 06/22/18

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What’s a Tree to You?

I saw time lapse photography of a tree seed sprouting and growing into a seedling.

The roots spread down, then out the sides.
The sprout formed at the top of the seed and nudged its way through the earth’s crust.
Growing straight up, a curved frond formed and from that two leaves formed.

This is the moment that woke me up. The frond went into a waving motion to unfurl the leaves.

Wait a minute? Does this mean that the tree is waving while it is growing.

I thought of a tree as a tree. A standing and stationary thing that I looked at.
I know they change by changing color, losing leaves. I know that in Spring their new green is fresh and surprising.

But every moment a new tree? How could I have missed that?

Oh my, my. Do I think of myself and you like a tree? Something stationary.
If I really you were a fresh new group of cells every so many hours….how many hours is that?
Tim Hurst k05/13/18

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Tree One and Two Poem

Tree One
Does the tree nuzzle the breeze like the breeze nuzzles the tree?

Does the tree love me like I love the tree?

Tree Two
Does the fresh new sprout squeal like the child meeting the air for the first time?

Does the trunk of the tree celebrate each new branch?

Do I even know the branches I grow?
Tim Hurst 05/13/18

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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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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

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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

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Dancing Beyond Experiment

My study is to dance beyond what i know by preparing for the surprises in the movement of my physical body, my intention, emotion, and sensation. I work with energy as the basis for building signal networks in all these forms of movement.

I do this by working directly with the shift of focus between making specific connections to build signal networks and a focus on all energy connections happening at once.

Concentrating on the brain body ability to make distinctions between two connections, I concentrate on finding the simplest connections and vary the connections in one way to find new connections.

Dance is the perfect model for me to follow this process of simplicity growing into complexity by adding variation.

The principles of dance are directed toward this study of focus. The binary approach takes two realms of study and compares them. I am specifically interested in the variations between more and less force, circular and spiraled movement, extension and elevation of movement, directed action and imagery for moving energy.

My study is centered around my weaknesses of trying to force my movement and direct every action and my resistance to patterned and structured movement that seems to emphasize those weaknesses.

My process is derived from Ballet and Modern Dance and informed by study of many forms of technique, therapy, and improvisational dance.

Every day I set out with the goal to renew connections of energy and to discover new connections.

I lay on the floor and I stand. I move my entire body with each movement establishing support networks to move in every direction, with different levels of speed, intensity, and dynamic quality.

I use simple movements initiating from spine signals that go outward and inward.
i vary the directions of signals to go in the same and opposite directions.
I vary the movements from vertical with the spine to horizontal crossing the spine.

I establish a central image of spreading and elevating by following the action of my diaphragm expanding for inhaling and rising for the exhale. Then I transfer this image by pairing the breathing diaphragm with other diaphragms and platforms throughout my body.

I use spiral imagery of the double helix to enhance changing focus within continual movement and intimate relationships between different networks.

I check myself to make sure movement is a process of entering delight. If I am struggling and feeling strain, I simplify the connections and experiment with changes in the size and speed of my movements.
Tim Hurst 03/23/18

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Dancing Beyond

Dancing Beyond 032318 Tim Hurst

My experience of dancers and dancing is entering delight. Delight is the curiosity and anticipation of connecting everything that I know of myself and a willingness to prepare for any surprises I have never known before.

Movement is the agility of transforming energy much like cells dividing to create more life. The characteristics and qualities of movement are much like the sound wave and the light wave that is in perpetual variation and combination of color and intensity.

My shaping of energy is entering this realm of creation and recreation. My experience is agility of connecting and reconnecting energy.

Agility is the readiness, the awareness, and the willingness to move within all the types of energy that I represent as my self.

Agility is my movement as a person. My experience is like balance of human erectness that goes beyond the wobble, like breathing that goes beyond the actions of inhaling and exhaling, the emotion that goes beyond self control, the initiation of thought that goes beyond the physical circumstances.

What emerges is intimate relationship with every form of energy inside and outside myself. My experience is like an image of the spiral, the double helix of DNA strands. Every movement is a relationship that fosters connection of energy.

The character of movement is life giving and life receiving, energy expended and rejuvenated, energy spreading and rising into the new life of the spiral.

The study I seek is to enter this realm of life that is perpetually interactive within the experience of intimacy that is given and received. Within this realm, there are all the continuums of more and less, all the spectrums of light and sound.

Entering this realm is facing the changes from certainty to uncertainty, boldness to subtlety, confidence to vulnerability, The basis is reaching into the unfamiliar while embracing the familiarity of the self.

Simply, we act and we reflect. We gather and we sort. We shape a self that reflects as concise imagery and physical movement.

Where I find this study is in three disciplines that have grown from the same source, music, dance, and religion.

Each of these disciplines deal with the agility to interconnect every form of energy. They choose as their focus the shifting point between the goal and the image beyond the goal.

This shift of focus between self energy and other energy is the basis of their study that is skillful yet goes beyond any expectation.

The demands of each discipline is rigorous because the human system wants certainty, stability, and predictability. For this reason, today’s culture attempts to both stand in awe of dance, music, and religion while at the same time explaining them away as minor realms of study.
TIm Hurst 03/23/18

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Double Helix Dance Image

The double helix image is very helpful when I a learning new movement and when I am correcting old habits that create strain.

The problem I have is concentrating too much on one spiral at a time. My mind can conceive of only one spiral at a time unless I conceive the entire image at once slowly spiraling through my entire body. The image is applied only once from head to toe and allowed to move gently and continuously.

My thinking wants to follow a single spiral but that does not give me the agility to adjust. The problem this causes is I have to focus my specific thoughts on one area of movement.

The advantage of the double helix is that I can switch the entire image to a broader focus and allow it to operate as one part of my networking. The image itself does not require my attention or direction.

Rather than thinking the image, I can grasp the image as a whole and make slight adjustments to improve the range of my experience and my movement. Said another way, once the image is an active part of my entire networks, I can adjust a range of actions to affect the quality of my sensations and my movement.

My actions are first to adjust the shape of the double helix. I can narrow the space between the two spirals to surround specific vertebra and clarify signals to different areas of my body. I can expand the two spirals to the edges of my body for a more three dimensional experience and instant changes of direction and dynamic.

I then can add another specific image to the double helix since my focus already conceives of my full self in action. For example I can add the image of spreading and rising to specific horizontal areas of my body and emphasize the action with the double helix with larger and smaller space between the strands. I can connect the body sensations of my breathing diaphragm to the image of spreading and rising.

By adjusting specific areas of the double helix, I can connect platforms and diaphragms from my feet spreading and rising all the way through my body, up each spinal vertebra, through the top of my head. The double helix only has to be widened or narrowed in the areas that I am connecting.

All this is done while the full image is in continuous movement through my body. Any adjustments are making changes to the actions and connections of the double helix image.
Tim Hurst 03/07/18

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Ballet as Simple

The more stressed I become with running a business and worrying about money,the more I search for ways to release the stress in my body. It has taken many years to understand the instant relief that dance gives me.

Trying many forms of dance I decided that my body was not going to do what I asked it to do. So I became an improvisational dancer. I learned about the qualities of movement without worrying about precision.

Searching for more control of my body, I studied Pilates as a form of exercise based on Ballet and Modern Dance. I discovered that I do not have the concentration or the memory structure to make ten commands at once to make my body move correctly. Something was not connecting.

Then I discovered that Ballet simplified commands for my whole body into a network of movements. The very beginning movement, the plié, seems like simple movements of bending the legs, lowering the body, and lifting the arms. When I discovered the basis of this simple, whole body movement, I knew this was the clarity of learning I was looking for.

Pilates identified one principle of Ballet that looked hopeful. They call it the Core, meaning the musculature, nerves, blood flow, around the skeletal center of the body, the spine. Pilates strengthens and stretches the muscles around the spine using an exercise model.

When I began to take Ballet, the Core became related to movement of my whole body with simple commands. Those commands were signals originating at the spine. This sounds a little detailed but I had to have a way to connect my movements that seemed to ignore my commands.

The more I studied the simplest Ballet movements I realized three things. Ballet teaches movements as signals that start at different areas of the spine. A network of signals can move my whole body with one command. And third, when several networked movements are bundled as a phrase, I learn how the effort of one movement supports the next movement.

So my study of Ballet is to train my spine to send and receive signals that guide my body movements. This seems to work because my muscles surprise me by releasing to let the signals pass through.

An added benefit is that watching other dancers learn, I am able to identify the networks that should be connecting for me. For me to get to the networks, I have to go into much more detail than the average person. This drives my Pilates teachers crazy with so many questions and requests to understand what connects to what. Ballet teachers move us through the phrases and ask us to experiment with balance and different speeds to get the connections between movements and to build networks of signals.
Tim Hurst 02/07/18

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The Dancer’s Imprint

I have often wondered why the dancer has been satisfied to create intense experiences that are not recorded well even in photos and film.

My experience of dancers and their choreography is of their imprint as individuals and as groups. The imprint they create is every aspect of their experience as a person.

That imprint can not be reproduced mechanically. Their imprint is created within and in connection with fellow dancers, dance students, and audiences.

In neurobiology, this imprint is referred to as the mirror neuron. The mirror neuron not only records the experience of the dancer but also creates its own version of a sound from music or a movement from watching dance. This all sounds mysterious but it is a process that we respond to and recognize easily.

What the dancer is doing is sharing an imprint of their experience through their creation of dances. That imprint is replicated in many different ways in the fellow dancers, their dance students, their families and friends, and each audience that chooses to share that imprint.

This is of course only the beginning. Each person that experiences a dancer’s imprint reflects their own perspective by building on their excitement with slight variations. These different perspectives and moment by moment growth of delight and intensity are what we see as audiences.

Then as audience we amplify the delight, the anticipation, the excitement of the imprints we are witnessing. We are taking the dancers’ imprints and making our own which can explode into laughter or sighs or sometimes personal distress.

At the end of the performance, no person present is the same. Imprints have been created and recreated, shaped and reshaped. Each person’s experience has been expanded or compressed in some way.

This experience after a performance is often more than we can manage. Sometimes I do not know what to say or what to think about this new person I have become and my witness of new creations emerging before my eyes. What has just happened?

This is not the same thing that happens when watching a mechanical representation in media. In a live performance, I can access the real energy and the varying pathways taken by each dancer’s of their experience.

Basically, that performance with that group of dancers and that audience is a unique experience that will never happen in the same way again.
Tim Hurst. 02/06/18