- We are designed as a uniquely coordinated, organized structure.
- We acquire interferences with our design through habits.
- We can become aware of these interferences and learn to think ourselves back to our inherent design.
The question is what do we think? What thinking allows us to effect our design in an efficient manner. Conversely, should we do something?
It comes a slippery slope when we decide to use our already habituated self in a physical manner to make positive change. What are the cues that we often utilize to attempt to modify our habit that is already interfering? HINT: The cues are our habits. Bummer.
So back to the dilemma: How to change our inefficient habits into something that reflects our inherent design without using those same familiar, but clearly ineffective habits
In the course of learning, for example, a cha cha routine I was still struggling with the cha cha style. There was so much going on, one (hip action), two (hip action), cha cha cha (thank God no hip action on this one)!
It was so easy to forget that my most important action, in this complex endeavor , was to maintain my WHOLE body as an organizing element. If I stopped tightening the parts of my body that did not contribute to a good cha cha, I could manage the various hip actions/non hip action components that created the rhythm and physical movements required to produce a coordinated cha cha.
I noticed that facing challenges, (i.e. cha cha), provoked an insidious invitation to tighten in places that don’t contribute one bit to a free expression of what I was doing.
I’ve learned that the way around this is to think of what I want instead of my tightening habit, e.g. let my neck be easy, my breathing to continue and my attention to be expansive.
Sending those signals is effectively reducing the tightening habits and viola!, a new foundation is leading the way towards less extraneous tension and more ease . AND strength.
I often think about the simple analogy; a building is not structurally sound without a good foundation.
Our bodies are marvels of design and the most talented, hard working, facilitated dancers among us have issues of interference that can be addressed by learning new thinking skills.
Marjorie Barstow, a student of F. M. Alexander aptly said; “ You have to do the brainwork”.
As a ‘hard working” dancer, what a relief it was to stop doing so much and start thinking more.
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