Week 12: Deborah Lohse and an intro to BMC


I hope you all had a nice weekend and that some were able to catch David Zambrano’s performance on Saturday. Please remember that your critical response papers are due (if you have not yet already submitted one) are due this Wednesday, April 18. Let me know if you have any questions about that.

I know that some of you have interacted with Deborah Lohse last week in ballet and/or Improvisation. Her residency continues this week and tomorrow, we will hear her speak about herself and her work. We will meet in Zelazo 171 tomorrow, Monday, April 16 at 9:00 instead of our usual class. Here is her website:


On Wednesday, we will dive into an introduction to Body-Mind Centering (BMC) which is the work of Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen. Please check out the website for BMC. And, for a more comprehensive look, read Bonnie’s book: Sensing, Feeling and Action: The Experiential Anatomy of Body-Mind Centering.


Have a great week!


7 thoughts on “Week 12: Deborah Lohse and an intro to BMC

  1. I found it interesting that Gerald started class by having us look like an embryo and then evolve into different animal forms and finally to standing like a human. It truly made me think about why every living thing moves. We all move in order to get what we want, need, and most importantly, to survive. Human movements are not too far from animal movements because we all need to move in order to eat, to find shelter, to escape from bad things, and for our bodies to function properly. All of these movements that are made in our daily lives have inspired people to dance and create choreography since dancing has first started. I found it exciting to look at different movements in our exercises today and connect them to animals, everyday movements, and other things we have been learning throughout the semester.

  2. This week we had Deborah Lohse for improvisation. She had us do an exercise in which we got into groups and one person at a time in each group had to stand in front of their group and invite the group to see them. We were not allowed to fidgit and we became aware of mechanisms that we use to hide ourselves. When we were standing, we were asked to make eye contact with the group that was sitting and to send the people that were watching us kind thoughts of gratitude and respect. In return, the group watching the individual also needed to send kind thoughts to the person standing. I noticed that when we sent each other kind thoughts, that it gave a purpose to standing still and watching someone stand still. As someone who was standing, I felt more confident knowing that the group supported me and wished me well. I also felt like I could sense or see the thoughts of others when I looked at them, like I could see their mental energy. This connects to another idea Deborah Lohse gave us about being transparent. She explained when we are dancing that others can see what we’re feeling, thinking, and what our attitude is, even when we think that we are hiding it or that nobody is noticing. This exercise provided an example of how what we are thinking impacts and changes our movement and the way we use our bodies.

  3. The reasons we move, for shelter, food, survival, are things I have never thought about when I dance. It is indeed true that dancing has derived from this constant movement to find shelter, food, and to survive, yet it never crossed my mind. Starting class going across the floor and basing it off this thought of ‘evolving’ was something new and interesting because I had never thought about bringing the idea of evolution into my dancing.

    I very much enjoyed having Deborah Lohse in improv class and ballet on Friday. She had very different ideas than those I have been focusing on, yet they all related to each other. She focused on spirals, but she had a different way of working on spirals than I was accustomed to. In improv, she focused on watching others and how we react to being watched or mimicked. This is important because in life, we are constantly being watched and we need to get in tune with ourselves so we can know how we react to being watched, whether or not we are uncomfortable or nervous. If we react in a bad way, then we need to be conscious of this and work to fix it. Throughout the time Deborah was here, I learned a lot of things I hadn’t previously known about spirals, watching, and being watched, and I connected them to what I am learning now and how I am practicing.

  4. I never thought about why people or animals for that matter move. Where did movement come from, and why did movement start happening in the first place? I had always thought of movement as something that I enjoyed doing, like dancing or walking outside on a sunny day. But I never thought about how movement can be used as something to avoid danger, find food and shelter, find a companion, explore new areas, etc. There are so many reason why people move there bodies, and I had never considered them before as an inspiration for my own personal movement. If people had never thought of moving for food or to avoid danger, would there even be dancing? Also, I found it an eye opener when we went across the floor starting as an embryo, then pushing off our partners feet, to crawling, to walking on our hands and feet, and then finally walking upright. Then reversing the whole thing and adding in fishtailing backwards. I never thought about all the ways I can move like other animals. I had always viewed movement as specific to the creature, but now I see that similar movement can be seen in all living things. Which makes us much more similar to all animals that I had once believed. I feel that this new view on movement will help me to find more of a range of personal movement.

  5. This was one of my favorite weeks in the UWM Dance department. Deborah was fascinating to listen to and prompted some very real and somewhat daunting thoughts to consider for my future. Her passion for dance is an inspiration and I really saw a connection between her background in theatre and feel that it certainly aided in shaping her as a dancer. The exercises that we learned in modern caused me to think of different ways that I can move. Generally, I create movement on two feet and rarely stop and question how else one can move. The exercise of “morphing” from a fetal position to upright and back again reminded me of Dani because she often has us move on all fours. Having the ability to move unconventionally is a great tool to have as a dancer and to allow us to think more openly about how to express with our bodies.

  6. Deborah Lohse was fantastic! Her talks with our class were so inspirational and helpful to me. I’ve never met a more driven yet kindhearted professional in my lifetime. Hearing her story and how she got to where she is today makes everything seem so much more possible for me than I could have ever imagined before, especially as she’s not your traditional blonde bun-head. I love her unique look at dance and how committed she is to a performance rather than a typical technique class. Just being in her presence makes me want to show off and make her notice me because she’s the type of person I’d like to impress and work for someday. I really hold on to what she said about opening yourself up to new experiences and really going for what you want. One thing I really love about her is how she’s not just a dancer, but also good at other things – her life isn’t only committed to dance. I think its really important to have many interests in your life because it makes life more fulfilling. She says that putting passion into all of your interests can wind up making them an interesting combination in whatever way you turn. All of a person’s interests can tie together. I really look up to her and I’d love to follow in the same kind of footsteps that she’s made for herself. I really hope to work with her again in the future.

  7. I thought Deborah Lohse exercise was really bizarre because I never stood in front of people, who were starring at me and not had to say a word. I just thought this was so weird. However, some of the things that I noticed was that I almost didn’t want to look people in the eye and that I would fidget with my hands. Also, it didn’t help that I felt hyper right before I came to class, so standing still and not moving wasn’t in my best interest at that moment. However, I honestly, thought the exercise was great because it taught me so many things about myself in those exactly two minutes. I think I would want to share this exercise with other people and see how they respond to it and if they get all freaked out like I did.

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