“If your big toe had eyes”

check out this article on Irene Dowd – especially the video…



13 thoughts on ““If your big toe had eyes”

  1. When we work on the combinations that ask us to “look with out toes” those are the ones that I have the biggest trouble with. I really enjoy them, but the fact that I have to “look” with my toes rather than just do things with them really accentuates my extensions and even though it is quite difficult,it has helped me to stabilize my movements.

    Like Irene says, doing things physically rather than learning about it mentally, really helps to learn and never forget. “Looking with your toes” could be one of the strangest things for me, but I know I can only get better at it. Love the movement and the challenge.

    ***btw, I wasn’t able to watch the video.

  2. I like the mix of metaphoric and anatomical imagery that gets used in our class. It really helps me get out of the mindset of trying to achieve a certain shape of my body, and really makes me focus on what I should be trying to do, ie turn out becomes a process rather than a position. When my big toes have eyes, there are no positions to achieve, because there is no end point of seeing. Everything becomes transitional, and that adds a depth to my dancing that I am excited to keep exploring.

  3. I like this analogy because it really helps me visualize how the movement should be through the “eyes” on our toes. Rather than just trying to stick my feet out as high as I can I am able to use this analogy and make the movement more graceful. The difference can be easily spotted from having a foot high in the air in a sort of forced motion and having the foot gracefully wander around the room.

  4. I like the idea that through movement one can learn better, rather than just reading through text. I think that being able to understand how the body should properly move or knowing that one will feel a certain way through certain body movements is important. It’s important because this physical way of learning can make one a better dancer through understanding the body. Although some people learn in different ways,physical teaching ( like in the article) is a unique method in teaching and should perhaps be experienced more throughout school.

  5. Great analogy!!! It makes perfect sense to use this analogy when we’re dancing. Turning out requires more than the hip rotation but rather how engaged the inner thighs are.

  6. I always learned that your standing leg should be more sore than your working leg. It resonated with me when the professor was reminding the student that while he was rotating his working thigh that he should also be rotating outward his standing femur. I liked the analogy you used in class with opening peanut butter for rotating your thighs into turn out. It is extremely forgettable, yet super necessary to use your standing leg to stabilize you. The bonus of rotating out your standing leg for stability is that often you can have more control over your working leg and often actually extend your working leg even higher.

  7. This idea is very helpful especially for me, it helps my mind think that I actually have toes in my eyes. Then I begin to rotate my foot outward to make sure the eyes on my toes are aware of their surroundings. Slowly my body begins to accommodate to the the rotation of my foot, I begin to feel more attached to my body and begin to align myself properly. You begin to engage your body coordination into the dance.

  8. The idea if my “toes had eyes” really caught my attention because it reminded me of when I did synchronize swimming when I was younger and how I always had to point my feet. During my experience in synchronize swimming, I was able to see that my feet were my guide to everyday life and that my toes were my eyes to how I moved and what I wanted the rest of my body to do. When I performed for synchronize swimming, I often had to be upside down in the water while my feet were sticking out in the air. My feet were what the public saw and I felt as if my toes and fingers were my pupils because they guided me throughout every performance. I agree and can relate with this analogy on how our “toes can be our eyes.”

  9. I would agree that when it comes to the body, we learn a lot more by doing the actions then by reading about them. And I really like the analogy of allowing our big toes to have eyes. This allows me to make my feet have more focus. It is easy to try and just rush through a movement to get it right, but it looks so much better when you can see the focus and work in someone’s body as they make a movement look beautiful. Since you have told us to use the eye in our big toe, I have spent a lot of time trying to point my toes in all of my movements and make sure I am doing a thorough job with the actions as opposed to just getting them right and I think that has helped me to improve in some of the movement we are practicing through the course.

  10. I like this visualization. I also like “opening a jar”. The latter represents a counter-rotation that happens when the standing leg is outwardly rotated while the gesture leg abducts. Imagining my big toe has eyes on it reminds me to gesture completely and fully.

  11. The imagery of “seeing” with our big toe really allows me to visualize being complete with my movement. I think this is important for me because I often find myself cutting my movement short. Besides the “eye” on our big toe, I felt like I really took in what she was saying about outward rotation with the thighs. The thought of working my standing leg with more strength and rotation could provide me with more stability in a standing position. The way she teaches seems so healthy and informative. I know Gerald always tells us not to do things a certain way to help preserve our bodies, and as someone who is overcoming a previous injury I appreciate this kind of information (more-so now than ever before).

  12. I love the idea that our big toes have eyes!! A lot of the time when rehearsing or learning new movement, I find myself focusing on the wrong parts or only one part of my body and neglecting the rest. When you think of your big toe, or even the hand thats not being used, your shoulder, elbow, etc, having eyes, it reminds you that when performing and dancing your WHOLE body is working. It gives you an awareness that even if you arent paying attention to your big toe that it is still being used in the movement and if you neglect it and ignore it, your performance will be inhibited. This also connects with her commentary on the rotation of the hip: she reminds us of the importance of tuning in with every muscle and every part of our body to strengthen and improve our overall performance.

  13. If there is a guy passing by and he’s really good looking, I don’t want to cut my view short. In that same manner I want to think of my ronde de jambes. This analogy of having toes in our eyes was really helpful because it makes me pay attention to things that I wouldn’t think of while doing a ronde de jambe: I always tense up my hamstrings and try to make a full circle, but I never think of my feet. This idea also add on to connectivity. If you think of eyes in not only your toes but also your finger tips, you can be more expressive with your movement and dance with full body potential. Overall, I take from this article and video to not forget about our other body parts just because we’re focusing on one.

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