Dance

Work smarter, not harder—for more expression and less tension.

As dancers, we are our own instrument. We create our own instrument with our training and our daily practice. We need to be conscious of our habits, because the habits we practice are the habits we perform.

Constance at 51, still dancing.

Constance at 51, still dancing.

If daily practice is filled with over-efforting, pushing through pain, and fighting to “get it right,” we train our selves, at the deepest levels, to hold these physical and mental values.

When we have injuries, especially chronic ones, and go to chiropractic, massage, physical therapy, acupuncture, etc., we alleviate symptoms, but don’t always get at the underlying causes. The ways we habitually use our instrument—our psycho-physical self—almost always contributes to chronic problems. Many healing arts provide wonderful help to dancers who benefit by the release from pain they offer. But the Alexander Technique works in a different realm— the use of the self, as an undivided organism. Self discovery and training in this field of somatics can be a missing link between dance training, self care and living an embodied life.

Habitual holding or bracing patterns that were learned in “mind over matter” training can be undone. When dancer education emphasizes external lines and shapes it can miss the inner proprioceptive awareness needed for deeper embodiment. Stripping away unconscious over-effort leads to a deepened experience of balance, support and qualitative expression. Habits that don’t contribute to the efficiency and expressivity of movement can be let go, and range of choice increases.

We refine our instrument by practicing these principles in daily life as well as daily training. Movement becomes clearer, freer, and we embody our own presence and expressivity more fully.

Constance offers Workshops for Dancers:

When Your Body Needs Help!

Alexander Technique Workshop For Dancers 

Whether you have injuries or just an over-worked, stressed body, come for a practical exploration in how the Alexander Technique principles can be applied to working with your self in your daily life, in your daily technique class and in performance.

As dancers, sometimes we think that the harder we work, the more we will achieve. Alexander Technique teaches that how we work becomes just as important as the level of physicality at which we work.

Bad habits can accumulate over years, from using our bodies poorly in daily life as well as injuries. Unless we are mindful of how we use our bodies in regular life, bad habits can seep into dance class.

Head moving up off the top of the spine, while the torso lengthens and widens, legs and arms moving away from the torso, these are classical ballet ideals, and also principles that Alexander work clarifies in a practical way.

Everyone will receive individual hands-on guidance, group feedback and practices to help you work on your own.

 

Free Neck/Floaty Head/Elongated Spine—

Introductory Alexander Technique Workshop for Dancers

Do you ever look in the mirror, and see your lumbar spine too short, but are unable to lengthen it without tightening or tucking? Both these options reduce freedom of movement.

Does your dance teacher ask you to relax and you try to, but immediately tense up again?

Would you like to increase speed and jump height without pushing?

Join Constance for practical brain/body experiments in the most efficient way to gain a flexible, lengthening spine in daily life, in technique class and in performance. 

The Alexander Technique specializes in an integrated head/neck/back/breath relationship. When the head balances spaciously and the spine lengthens in initiating movement, then breath opens and limbs have more ease and freedom of expression. The key is in understanding and practicing simple principles that work to free up the body into length and width and expression.

Everyone will receive individual hands-on guidance, group feedback and practices to help you work on your own.

 

Constance also offers Hawkins Technique Class

In this Hawkins Technique class we practice flow and pausing the flow, contraction and de-contraction, rhythm and stillness, centering and off-centering, spirals and lines, momentum and being in the moment.

We cultivate a sense of ease rather than effort in movement. We practice what Erik Hawkins called “think/feel”—kinesthetic awareness from the inside out; we become more in tune with our own body mechanics and neuromusculoskeletal system. We explore the dynamism between pelvic and peripheral initiation and what Hawkins meant in his quote, “The Body is a Clear Place.”

Class is structured with the classic Hawkins series of floor exercises designed to awaken the central axis, spine and pelvis as initiators. Standing center work moves through pllies, tendus to developes with focus on efficient support and postural integration. Full bodied across the floor movement connects the technical with feeling and flow and dynamic rhythmical combinations.

Fall 2017—Hawkins Modern Dance Class—Tuesdays, 9am-10:15

Lindsay Kaufman Studio.  1700 Tahquitz Canyon Way, Suite 206, Palm Springs, CA 92262 

Basic Ballet, infused with Alexander, based on the Corvino Approach—Thursdays, 9am-10:15

Lindsay Kaufman Studio.  1700 Tahquitz Canyon Way, Suite 206, Palm Springs, CA 92262 

Read an excellent article about the Alexander Technique and Dance