Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Body Check In

I feel good. I feel better every semester. I was a little apprehensive coming back this semester after my knee injury, but I feel great and my knee very rarely hurts. What a wonderful thing! This semester I worked hard to take care of myself physically and mentally. I found some challenges along the way, but I am choosing to look at them as opportunities for growth rather than obstacles.

My change in eating habits has made the most profound difference on my physical health. Since becoming a vegan I eat more balanced meals and I have finally stopped skipping meals. I feel clearer mentally and in better shape physically. I have lost weight slowly and healthfully and without focusing on weight loss The change in my body has helped me to be less self conscious.

My focus on taking care of my physical health has bubbled over into my mental health. This is obvious, but when I take care of myself physically I feel better mentally. That fact has given me tools to start working on my mental blocks. I can push myself a little more because it is not as scary. The great gift is the more I push myself the easier it get, because I see the benefits of past successes. The CDs give me a chance to step back and slow down, something I desperately need in my life.

Sometimes it is easy for me to forget about the progress I am making as a whole person. I get caught up thinking that I am not improving and I'm not making any progress, but that is not the truth. That is simply a lie that I have the habit of telling myself to keep myself stuck. The truth is I have made progress and the more I remind myself of this the more progress will come.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Transitions

The in between movements are more important than the shapes at the end. Moving through the ends of the movement is impossible when I am in my head. I can only see the shapes and create the shapes when I am in my head, because that is what I am focused on. When I get out of my head and dance I think that it comes naturally. I think our bodies want to move through the movement. There is something about moving completely, through the ends of the movement that feels so good to my body and mind.

I also find that when I move completely the transitions are easier. It is when I stop to think that I stop moving and I get lost.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Lengthening Beyond the Walls

This is one of my favorite things we have done so far. There was something about thinking beyond the walls of the room that helped me to get out of my head. I loved doing it and I love watching this movement as well. The moment it was the clearest was when I went to see the Joffrey. During the first piece a simple step was done where one of the girls reached off stage. She did this movement repeatedly across the stage. My attention was continuously drawn to her. Despite all of the beautiful complex movement going on I couldn't help but watch her. Her arms seemed stretch the length of the stage. It was amazing how something so simple could be so impressive when this concept is applied.

There is something about this that feels comfortable to me. I feel safe when I apply this when I am dancing. It helps me not to worry about the people around me and what they are thinking. It feels like theatre to me, or performing. I am not limited when I apply this concept.

Awareness

I enjoyed the exercises we did in class to help us work on our awareness. The walking backwards towards our partner was a great first step, but it is difficult to translate into a performance. Once we started dancing and moving more while trying to be aware it was much more helpful. It is easier to aware when the people around you are aware. I think that is one the difficult things in dance, even life, trying to be the one remaining focused and present when those around you are not.

Awareness can help us in so many ways. I love walking in and seeing a class that is dancing in unison, not in a robotic way. This can only be accomplished when we are aware of ourselves as well as our classmates. This works on the stage as well. The companies that move as one on stage are the ones who have dancer who are aware.

Awareness is an essential quality in a dancer. I think sometimes as students we become so caught up in memorizing a set of steps we forget to dance. We do not get lost in the movement or allow or entire body, mind and spirit to be present in the moment. I think the most beautiful dancers are ones who completely abandon themselves to the dance.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Dusan Tynek Dance Theatre

I absolutely loved Dusan Tynek. The entire experience was amazing; taking class, listening during the seminar, and watching them perform. I wish that I was able to see them perform more than once. I felt I was missing so much only watching them once. They were always on. Even when they were sitting on the side of the stage in chairs I wanted to watch them. Throughout their performance you could tell they all trusted each other. This enabled them to commit to the step without fear of falling off the chairs. It was beautiful. Technically they were wonderful, but at times I don't think that mattered. They brought 100% of who they were to the performance and because they were so present I don't think it would matter as much if they were a little technically off (which they weren't). Taking class with them you could see they were a humble group and that humility came through in their performance. No one person stood out, they all shined in their own light. Usually I find myself drawn to one person when watching a dance performance and that was definitely not the case with this company and I really enjoyed that.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Parts to Whole

The week we focused on whole body was my favorite week so far. I felt like a light bulb went off and I began to understand . I love when the movements are slow and I can take my time and think about every aspect of it. I have the most trouble when it speeds up. It seems the faster the combination the more I tense up and stop dancing. I found that when I concentrate on my core the rest seems to come naturally, but when I concentrate of the step I second guess myself. I am trying to think about using my core in everything I am doing. I find this is easier when I am sure about the combination. I think that I have a tendency to go into robot mode. I tense up and just do the steps. This makes sense to me because that is the way I am in life; often tense and serious. It helps when I take a deep breathe before I begin any exerciser and think about my core. It also helps when I relax and just dance and stop trying to be perfect.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Body Check In

I feel good. It is nice for a change. My eating habits have drastically changed since last semester and I think this change is responsible for change in my physical and mental health. Most of the time last year I was not able to give 100% because my eating habits were so bad. I regularly wouldn't eat most of the day and use sugar and caffeine to keep me going. This diet had me on a roller coaster of emotional and physical ups and downs. Since I have gone vegan I feel so much more balanced, body and mind. I do have challenges some days. If I take to many classes and don't eat enough I feel it immediately. My body is not resisting. I think it is so thankful to finally be treated right it is celebrating. It seems so obvious, but dance is so much better when I feel good. I feel like I am much more in tune to my body and it's needs and because of this I am becoming a better dancer. When I don't feel 100% in class I can now look back on the day and think about what I am putting into my body. Was it balanced? What do I need more/less of? I also noticed I have much more energy without caffeine. Now that I am not preoccupied with my weight and trying starve myself I am able to relax in class, and not be so preoccupied about my body. I am free to focus on my dance.