THEA 33 – Week 6: PNF

This week we will explore PNF (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation).

You have been presented with a great deal of information in this class. And, I know that it is a challenge to try to navigate through often overlapping, polarizing and seemingly abstract concepts about movement/somatics. Hopefully you can remain open and find things that may be useful to your studies and that you may integrate certain ideas that interest you and fold them into your personal practice. The intention here is to present alternative philosophies that look at ‘the subtle body’ that are not normally a part of dance ‘training’ so that your experience may be expanded.

Here are some links: (a history of PNF)

These videos are a bit out there and specific to their academic fields but I think they are interesting to watch. Can you see the correlation between these movements and principles with what we’ve been studying in class?


12 thoughts on “THEA 33 – Week 6: PNF

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed learning the PNF based combinations today in class and am looking forward to further develop my understanding and ability to perform them. I’m hoping to attend graduate school for physical therapy after my time here at UCSC, and learning about these techniques excites me. As for last week, what stuck with me the most was when Gerald said something along the lines of “dancing what you think is wrong” but I know I’m getting the words wrong, the idea was to dance how whatever you think is correct or feels right, not to dance to get the movement exactly right or as he performs them as an example. I also really enjoyed our open-discussion before the midterm, I’ve danced all my life but I rarely get the opportunity to talk about it more in-depth with other dance-oriented people.

  2. I really enjoyed the talk we had before the midterm.. As Juliet had mentioned, it requires a different part of the brain to do movements rather than talk about them. i liked hearing some of the opposing views because dancing in class doesn’t give us the chance to do that. On the other hand, I really enjoyed the combination we did at the end of class on Tuesday that required descending into the floor and sliding. Maybe it was just because I was wearing pants but I like how it flowed and I was able to use momentum to more around.

  3. I am finding it interesting to approach dance from this different perspective where injury prevention, physical therapy and strengthening are actually combined with dance. I have experienced these different types of movement before, but never all at once in a dance combination! These PNF combinations are completely new to me so I am looking forward how they could alter the way I think about dance.

  4. Studying some of the basics of PNF movement really broadens my view of my own body as being a beautiful machine that has the potential to manipulate space with infinite possibilities. The core way in which the muscles flex and relax without too much control I feel is essential in centering one’s body before dance or any physical activity. Growing up with a mom who practiced physical and occupational therapy, these PNF movements seen in the videos were very familiar to me and taught me a lot about how the body can be prepared for exertion and rehabilitation just by bringing attention to the elasticity of one’s muscles. I really enjoy learning these fundamentals to movement because it is the root to why I think dance is awesome and forever intriguing.

  5. PNF was a really interesting approach to movement because it made even the smallest gestures and postures completely mindful. Thus far, we have done purposeful movement that was more general, while this was specific and targeted. I like that we were focusing on the intricacies and details of moving with every part of our body from core, to joints, to digits.
    I also really appreciated the combination we learned at the end of class on Thursday. I thought it was challenging but fun. Every time we ran it, I felt like I noticed something new to be aware of and to work on improving. I like that the combination travels so much and has steps I have never done before or imagined, like the two homo-lateral steps forward, with our hands up as if in a box before the turning combination.

  6. Studying PNF was a great learning experience for me. I hadn’t thought about flexion and extension in that kind of detail before especially not in terms of dancing. The movements we learned in class allowed me to really contemplate the limits of my own flexion and extension AND add it on to everything we’ve learned so far.
    I did get frustrated with myself several times just because I was so focused on applying the concept to my own body that I felt like I wasn’t really taking in the choreography we were learning in class. Now that I’m reflecting on it, however, I know it was (and is) a good practice for myself to be patient with my own learning process. I feel like I’m doing a lot of that in this class…

  7. It was very sneaky of you to get us to do all of these PNF patterns the entire quarter without us even knowing! I can feel my ligaments at their extremes and it truly makes a difference when it comes to loosening up. These movements all feel natural. Everyone stretches and these PNF patterns seem to be the most efficient ways of getting the most out of it.

  8. This week reminds me of a lot of the exercises I have done in the past as part of physical therapy, but in a more fun way. These movements feel very unnatural and awkward to me because I’m not used to doing them, but feel good at the same time. I compare it learning a new stretch that stretches someplace you have always wanted to but didn’t know how to before.

  9. I first encountered PNF stretching in sports massage. I have used them to get rid of cramps on the spot. I like that the youtube videos all seemed to use high amounts of compound movements and weren’t limited to particular plans of movement. I can certainly see the connections of these PNF movement patterns. I would be interested in learning to facilitate the resistance to these movement patterns, perhaps it would instill deeper knowledge in all of us if we were to experience resistence within these patterns of movement.

  10. PNF patterns as many of my peers have said, are very interesting. Understanding, the different ways of movement is fascinating to me because thinking about the way in which a ‘combination’ is formed, one can create different patterns that follow either one type of movment or include many. I still have a hard time distinguishing abduction with induction, and now that I think about it, those are all of the ones that I know. Anyone care to list some here? Thanks in advance.

    Also, our combination, with these movements, I find to be very fun as it includes simple arm and body combinations that create a nice way of body awareness and limitations.

  11. I too enjoyed the heartfelt talk we had before our midterm. It took a lot of the pre-test anxiety away and I got a sense of feeling like we are a real class, kind of like grade school. These classes with 300+ students can be so impersonal and this is a pleasant change. Learning about proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation was very interesting. I am currently taking neuroscience and its fun to integrate the information I’ve learned to what we are learning in dance.

  12. PNF dance was a much-needed experience for my body. The idea of injury prevention through dance was something I never really thought about, but the movements we performed in class resulted in me feeling warmed up and prepared for my volleyball class afterwards. They were different than what I was used to, but they felt so natural that I didn’t feel like I was struggling to perform them.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s