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Receiving Signals

The more I explore the physical nature of signals, the more I realize the importance of receiving information from the signals I send. When I send a signal usually from different areas of the spine, I must be willing to receive the messages coming back to me. We call it feedback and the mechanical training used to be called bio-feedback.

It seems like by attending to the physical signal, my desire for directed and controlled movement takes over. I leave out the receiving signal and what I lose is the quality of the movement.

Without the quality, it is like a singer that is mechanical because of ignoring the emotion and the hopes for surprise in every moment.

With dancing, the two way nature of the signal is built in to the training. The Ballet class is built around this receptivity experimenting with adding variations to simple movements, with melodic and rhythmic connecting of movement, and with pauses for silent integration.

At each stage of training the importance of listening to the messages from my body and from my self become as important as perfecting a skill. I have to keep coming to terms with another important variation in dancing, different levels of force.

When I improvise, the use of force blends one movement into another. When learning a movement I rely on excessive force with the belief that I can make myself learn the movement if I can just control it.

That is a lesson I have to learn over and over in ballet class, to allow myself to move freely through the variations in the barre and in the difficult combinations. The Ballet class subtly weaves different levels of force into each combination of movements.

My experiment inside and outside class is to explore each of these kinds of receptivity. In my personal practice I vary the speed of my movements, slow to extremely slow and then to faster movement.

In private study I seek out the dance researchers who understand the importance of receiving messages while perfecting the agility in sending signals. For me these are practitioners of Floor-BarreTM, Skinner, Feldenkreis, and Alexander Technique, along with the somatic studies of Body-Mind-Centering and Continuum.

Each of these detailed studies of movement understand the importance of a receptive and responsive stillness defined as Constructive Rest Position by Liz Koch in The Psoas Book.

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Dancer Becomes BMC Therapist

Body Mind Centering Therapist, Margery Segal.

My Story

I began dancing as a young child and continued expressing myself through that voice until I became a professional dancer. I danced more than I spoke. I always watched the way people, animals, and plants moved. In the world of dance a subculture existed of explorers; they were unearthing connections between the mind and the body that were revolutionary. I had the desire, determination and good fortune to study with these articulate genius-innovators.
It wasn’t until I had a child with early health challenges that I found an urgent personal need to break down movement and understand how we learn to move and how much we learn from movement. Through my child’s journey, I explored on my hands and knees, the developmental tasks that formulate the foundation for a dynamic sense of self and the ability to relate to others with fulfillment and equanimity. I experienced a profound letting go through all my body; tissues, bones, fluids, mind and movement– that allowed me to be much more present and enlivened.
I  came away with many questions, most of all; “When does learning begin?”.  This led me me to investigate
prenatal development and the discovery of our early consciousness and the particular way we learn inside the womb and how this relates to how we move and think and bond outside the womb.
At this stage of life all is pure potential.
I love my work, because I get to work with children and adults through the languages of the body, and the body is a place of hope and inspiration. Even when the mind has said, “I’m sad” or “I’m depressed,” the body still hopes someone will listen or sit near by and hold them with their eyes, or offer them comfort, or ease their way through past traumas and grief into presence. The body is an expressive artist with many things to say and many tones and colors. No matter what has happened and what is going on, the body speaks—and in listening, the places of pure movement and mind potential can come together to begin a new way. This has been my journey, and I look forward to sharing this every day with the people I’m honored to work with.