Week 14: Practice for Final week

This week we shall practice and review for next week’s finals. Class will consist of reviewing material we have covered all semester and accumulating to a final evaluation next week. If you’ve been present all along, you shouldn’t have any problems. Relax, get plenty of rest, breathe and finish the year off with success.

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15 thoughts on “Week 14: Practice for Final week

  1. I love the combinations Gerald gives us to work with! They always make me push myself into ways I have never experienced before with my body. I love how specific and in detail he is with us when he explains each and every movement, even when we are just laying on the floor in our X. There is so much to focus on from breathing, to all the intricate movement that is inside and outside of our bodies. I definitely love how challenging Geralds phrase’s are. I know I had a difficult time learning how to roll on wednesday last week, and today after he explained more details, I eventually got it today!

  2. Today I observed that when I hinge over my legs to a flat back that I pull into my body. What I mean by this is that I think I have a tendency to contract my lower abdominals in an exaggerated way for stability. This causes my weight to be behind me, my legs to hyper-extend to compensate for the displacement of my weight, and my lower back to bulge upward. This is similar to when I overcompensate with my abdonimals in ballet class, which causes my weight to go behind me onto the outside of my feet and heels, my shoudlers to go into secondary, and my lower spine to flatten. When I hinged to a flat back, I thought about lengthening the crown of my head away from my pelvic floor, and of lengthening my abdominals out of my pelvis to lengthen my body. This caused my weight to shift forward over my legs and my knees did not hyper-extend because they did not need to compensate for my weight. I felt unstable, like I was falling forward and losing my balance, but I was able to balance there. I felt long and like I was gipping less in my abdominals. I have been trying to apply the correction given to me to equally contract my quads and hamstrings when I do this movement, but I found that I could not contract my leg muscles when my weight was so far behind me and my legs were hyperextending. I noticed this also when we were standing and spiralling to the left and right and when we did side bends with our hands on the front of our pelvis and the sternum. I thought about initiating lengthening with the crown of my head and the weight of my sacrum and pubic bone being pulled to the floor. This made my abdominals feel like they were pulling away as if to detach from my pelvis. Is it possible to contract/shrink into your pelvis? I think I have this tendency sometimes to feel stable.

  3. After Monday’s class I felt very confident in my performance. I usually am at a point where I’m lost and just move with traffic but I really felt like I used what I’ve learned through the semester and applied it when running the combinations. I did try something different by standing in back by people I usually don’t talk to. I found that when I’m in front I’m looking around at everyone else and not focusing solely on the combination but when I was in back I focused on everything Gerald did and used it when dancing.

  4. After Monday’s class I felt confident in what I have learned and contained this semester. Learning the combinations for the second time gives me that extra confidence boost that I needed towards the end of the semester. One combination in particular that I felt I did strongly was the fondu combination in the center. I really tried to take in all the corrections Gerald was giving through out the time of the combination and did my best to apply them immediately. One combination that I still feel myself struggling with was the floor spirals combination. I can see some of the improvements I have made, in particular I am able to move from superman position to the leg sweeping across the ceiling position with more ease. I still can feel the choppiness in my body when moving from movement to movement. Over all I am excited for Wednesday’s class and look forward to ending the semester strong.

  5. I found Monday’s class to be really helpful. It was refreshing to be able to look back on what we’ve learned as a class a physically piece everything together. I was able to pay more close attention and put more time into achieving the correct physicality of the combinations rather than spending most of the time learning the movement. Rather than stressing out about if I was doing the combination correctly, I was able to find breath in the movement and transitions. It feels good to be able to ease into class both physically and mentally.

    • I agree that it is very refreshing to be able to just go through the movements rather than have to learn it in the first place. The combinations that we have done have definitely improved the more that we have done them. It’s nice to be able to just focus on your body instead of what comes next in the combination.

  6. Thinking back to the beginning of the semester and how I now move in Gerald’s modern class, I can see a significant change in the way in which I use my body. I really enjoy the floor work that we do in his classes to warm up. At the beginning of the semester, I was definitely one of those people that was tensing up muscles that I didn’t need. Through breathing exercises and a new sense of focus, I have been able to get rid of this habit and work with the muscles I should be using in these exercises.

  7. Monday was a nice class for me because it reminded me of everything we have gone over extensively for this entire semester. This refresher was nice because you don’t always get to repeat what you’ve learned in dance. It was also easier doing some of the exercises we have done before because I didn’t have to concentrate so hard on the steps, rather I was able to focus on the technique or idea behind the exercises. I’ve noticed I also really like being able to repeat the patterns because I feel I get a deeper understanding of what I am supposed to be working on.

  8. I have been trying in the last couple of days to apply what Gerald had said to me about locking my knees. I have been concentrating more on lengthening my muscles around the joint. I was especially thinking about this today during modern with Dani as we were doing our many hamstring stretches. I am starting to be able to feel the difference between locking my knees, and stretching them. This will only save me from future injuries as I continue to practice this way.

  9. My favorite part about Gerald’s class is his sense of calmness, and how he guides his students to tension-less movement. I felt I have changed the way I approach class during this semester by continuing to have an open mind about the concepts introduced. My biggest concern is when I no longer have Gerald as a primary teacher, how I will incorporate these same ideas and attitudes he presents in his class with another teacher? In Ballet with Christina, we have been talking about self-inquiry as a guide to your own education. Even though I am not exactly sure how to do this yet, this is something I find important to my education in the future, and I will be thinking about during the last week of classes.

  10. I really got a lot out of class today and enjoyed the positive energy from my classmates. It was so exciting to watch everyone focus so hard on their movements and do their best to apply what we have learned through out the semester in each combination. The class was supportive of one another during the many pressures of our final movement assessment. I have really gained a lot from Gerald’s teachings this semester and I will be able to apply these Modern techniques in any other dance style that I participate in. I appreciated Gerald’s comment stateing that we should all take class the way we did today at every class we go to. It is important to always give the best effort you can and to really be aware of your appearance and what you are executing. I know that if I really start to focus on what Gerald stated, I will be able to dance to the best of my ability. Being introduced to Modern dance this year has really increased my knowledge about the art of dance and my body awareness.

  11. This semester was absolutely wonderful!! I feel that I have learned so much from not only Gerald’s Genius but from my classmates as well! Gerald really helped me to understand my body better, by asking for more insight into how and why we think a certain way. I do not think anyone has ever asked me to take a deeper look into myself and really explain why I feel the way I do. It translates itself to a better understanding my body as well. Why my back arches and how to fix it, or why am I falling off center? It challenged me to think critically and analyze my movement to fix it. It gave me a chance to fix things on my own, not just someone telling me oh do this and you will do it correctly. It was a challenge to find this self-discovery but a big benefit to my awareness in the end.The critical thinking components I learned this semester will really help me in my future en devours.

    Taking a look at my classmates and seeing how they work gave me insight into my own body. People asked questions about things I would never think of, which made me ask myself the same questions. Applying the way others think into my own awareness is what my classmates gave me. They are so nice too! And I love everyone of them 🙂 Thank you everyone for a wonderful first semester! See you in the Fall!

    And Gerald thank you for everything you have taught me. I wish I could learn under you longer because I want to know more of your genius!! But I will see you again… It’s not good-bye, it’s See ya later!!

  12. Reflecting back on the semester I think that my body has more connectivity and is less disconnected when I move. I can feel that my body is less flexible and I use less effort in every combination. I noticed that I am a stronger dancer as well.
    Looking back on the semester I have learned and explored so many concepts in modern. I try to apply all the concepts that we learn; head tail connection, spirals, orbitals, etc. In the beginning of the semester I found it difficult to recognize when theses concepts were being applied in the combinations, until Gerald would point them out in corrections. Now I find it easier when presented these concepts in class. When we use head-tail connections on the floor or to stand up, have found that I use less effort and I can move much quicker. When we are in center moving I have found it easier to counter balance myself when applying the concepts of spiraling and orbiting I have also noticed my legs kick higher off the floor and with less effort when I use spiraling. I have bee trying to apply these concepts outside of modern, especially in ballet, and I can sense my posture improving and my turnout becoming more natural. I think that all the concepts that we have learned in class apply to one another.
    I am so grateful for everything that I have learned this semester, and I think that I have improved so much in this one class then in any other class I’ve taken throughout my training as a dancer. I wish I could continue to learn all the knowledge you have to offer, but I will continue to apply all the concepts that we have learned in class in the future. Although I am terribly sad to see you leave Gerald, I wish you luck on your future journey with hopes that one day we will be reunited again.

  13. I loved the combinations we learned in class this whole semester. Not only because they were fun to do, no, it was because they fully challenged me on a constant basis. When coming into this class I didn’t have much technique, but Gerald made me feel comfortable, but yet still challenged me physically and mentally on a daily basis. Honestly, there is not many teachers that I’ve had that did both of these and weren’t afraid to tell the class how they REALLY feel about our dancing. I have more aware of how align my body and the different ways I have to think in order to approach certain moves. Now that the semester is over, I think my technique has improved a lot, but I’m going to continue to carry what Gerald has taught me in order to keep on improving.

    SHOUT OUTS:

    Oh and I would like to make a shout out to Gerald! I will miss you greatly as a teacher and as someone who wasn’t afraid to keep it real. Wish all the luck in California.

    Sincerely,

    Quintresting

  14. The semester has finally come to a closing with a very bittersweet ending. The last class was sad as we all said our good byes, however I am satisfied with what I get to take away from the experiences in this class. Every week was a challenge in a different way, whether if it was working on my presence and focus or my connectivity. This class really helped me with my awareness throughout my body and in my mind. Focus has always been a struggle of mine and this class really helped me to constantly be thinking about being present and aware, which of course helped by body to learn quicker and to be able to apply corrections better. Another thing I am coming away from this semester with is a better understanding of how things in my body are connected and how they work together. I cannot thank you enough, Gerald, for all that you have taught me and I wish you luck in California.

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