Saturday, January 21, 2012

Dance of the Animals.

It's cold, wet and rainy (finally) where I'm at. But as soon as it warms up a bit and the ground is less mushy, I think this type of movement is a great use of lawn space!

Animals move with a grace all their own.What are we but animals ourselves!

I'm a late bloomer to the benefits of bodyweight training. Better late than never!

I love to move! Okay, I also love to sit on the couch and watch mini marathons of shows like "Weeds" and "United States of Tara". What do I love as much as I love moving (and mini Showtime marathons)? Teaching other people to love movement. When I do get my move on, I love to explore the flow of movement in one direction and then see what happens when that impetus is forced to stop, recoil, redirect. Connecting movements and steps that can go from two feet on the floor, to the ground and back up again. Contrasts of sharp staccato against soft, flowing legato, and all the flavors in between.

When I started teaching lyrical dance a few years ago I was finally, after many years, able to embrace who I was as a dancer, an artist and a person. My classical ballet technique became a tool I could use in expression through movement, rather than just an indelible mark on my movement signature (everyone is designed with their own movement signature). Too bad some lessons of the mind and heart can't coincide with the physical agility and flexibility of youth.

Many times what may look great and easily executed in my head can feel tight and stilted in its actual execution. Many times I have found that I have to design progressions to build up to executing a particular step that I want to use in choreography or pass along to my dance students. Particularly my Lyrical dance students. Sometimes I luck out and find an awesome breakdown on YouTube. Regardless of where a progression, or series of steps is gleaned from, a constant and key feature is almost always a combination of elements: core strength, agility, form, and timing. Those same elements are key features of fitness and everyday functional movement.

If you don't want to wait for the welcoming grasses of spring (I certainly don't) to tap into the benefits of  bodyweight training (resources!), just make sure you have plenty of space around you, whether at home or at the gym.

Enjoy the dance that is life!

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