Work smarter, not harder—for more expression and less tension.
Dancers are their own instrument. As a dancer, you create your own instrument with your training and practice. You need to be conscious of your habits, because the habits you practice are the habits you will perform. If your daily practice is filled with over-efforting, pushing through pain, and fighting to “get it right,” you will train your self, at the deepest levels, to hold these physical and mental attitudes.
When you turn to remedies for injuries or chronic problems, such as chiropractic, massage, drugs, physical therapy, and acupuncture, you can alleviate symptoms, but you don’t always get at the underlying causes. The ways you habitually use your instrument—your self—may be contributing to chronic pain and other problems. Many healing arts provide wonderful help to dancers who benefit by the release from pain they offer. The Alexander Technique works in a different realm, the sphere of the use of the self—as an undivided organism.
Habitual holding or bracing patterns that were learned in “mind over matter” training or typical dancer education that focuses on external lines and shapes can be un-done. Stripping away unconscious over-effort leads to a deeper awareness of the natural functioning of the self. Habits that don’t contribute to the efficiency and expressivity of movement are let go, as range of choice increases. Specific principles of the head/neck/back coordination that determine the organization of the rest of the body will enhance your way of working. You will refine your instrument—your self—by practicing these principles in your daily life as well as your daily training. Your movement becomes clearer, freer, and you embody your own presence more fully.
These sites provide additional information about the Alexander Technique and dance:
AMSAT Certified Instructor