Embodied development/Developing embodiment

Here is a video of Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen that explains how our hands and limbs develop. As we experience more movement and learning patterns in class, can you see where you fall within the continuum of “doing vs. undoing”. In other words, as we move further along getting deeper into skill-building, do you notice habits or movement affinities that interfere with your embodied understanding of the materials presented in class?

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26 thoughts on “Embodied development/Developing embodiment

  1. Based on this video’s explanation and my experience in this class, I do catch my body getting challenged and movements interfering with what my body is used to. Some patterns that we do in this class are patterns that my body has never done before, and I can feel my body being confused when performing these movements. I think that the movements my body is used to whether socially constructed or instructed by prior dances that my body has became used to, do interfere with movements that we are doing now. Specially when it comes to “undoing” because our body gets challenge to move certain body parts like our arms and feet, in forms in which is not the typical. At times in my mind I feel that I know the choreography after seeing it done by someone else, but when it’s my turn to do these movements it seems that my body feels physically challenged with movements that are strange to it and I can’t performed them how I pictured them in my mind. Thus, I think that every time we introduce a new movement our bodies will feel challenge and take time to process it,and get it right, and even then our body does a version of a movement in its unique way.

  2. I definitely feel like my body is being challenged in each class. Often times Gerald will present us a sequence of movements that specify only the feet and I feel like my arms feel misplaced because they are not being told where to be. My arms start “doing” what they were trained to after years of technical ballet and jazz by moving to first or second position because it just feels more natural. “Undoing” all of these natural movements have been a challenge but it really allows me to explore my body. The floor work we did in which our legs began to swing in one direction but our body turned us into the opposite direction really embodies the idea of “undoing” to me. My body had these habits and natural tendencies to move in certain directions as I was trained but modern dance breaks these patterns.

  3. For me, what the video with Bonnie Brainbridge Cohen says is that there are certain movements that feel natural to us because of the way our bodies have developed during our embryonic and fetal stages of development (lateral development of the fingers and the development of our ribs and outward).
    In terms of the continuum of doing vs. undoing, I do feel like I tend to “do” a bit more, partly because of the way I’ve been trained to dance for the past 3 years or so at UCSC but also because of the way I think certain movements should go because they are more natural and intuitive. Yet, undoing is definitely a better way to dance, because challenging yourself and what you think you know as a dancer is the way in which you grow as one.
    In terms of undoing, I notice that much of Gerald’s choreography is focused on undoing what we think we know as dancers, which is great! And it works! I’ll have a combination down but then it’s my group’s turn to perform and sometimes I get mixed up or let my head get the better of me and instead of just letting my body do what it is supposed to do, I overthink and the overthinking eventually leads me to just “do” what feels natural yet isn’t the choreography.
    This is an aspect of my dancing I hope and am excited to challenge throughout the rest of the quarter!

  4. In class yesterday, I had a realization that the mirror essentially was hindering my ability to connect to the movement provided for us to explore. All my life growing up in technically-focused ballet classes, I was always told to “use the mirror”. What my instructors meant by this was to watch myself in order to fix placement, alignment, technique, etc. In Gerald’s class, and in modern in general, it is not that these things do not matter, but I am noticing as I am being introduced to modern dance that it is very much an internal artistry. What I mean by this is that ballet, on one hand, is highly focused on the external presentation of the movement; it is structured and has specific rules that need to be followed in order to master its intentions. Modern dance is almost the exact opposite: it challenges the mind and body to cohesively create and recreate natural, organic movement that adheres to each individual body’s needs. Thus, in my personal attempt to use the mirror in the same way I would in ballet, I lose the point of the movement presented to me. Only when I was able to recognize that and adjust my focus away from the mirror, did I feel I was able to grasp the quality of the movement and truly internally explore the reach of it within my own self.

  5. Coming from a background where I had no formal training in dance makes it easier for me to create new movements with my body. Yet, it is still challenging because my body is not used to moving in the ways that we move in class. It is like new moving material for my body that I have yet to master. Sometimes it’s difficult to remember how my body and arms are supposed to move, when I am doing a new movement. It is more complicated when I have to move my arms a certain way and my body as well, I feel like my body can’t multitask. So one of the most challenging aspects of dance is having to move both body and hands at the same time. It requires practice for it to feel natural, so I feel optimistic that I’ll be able to master the sequences by the end of the quarter. In contrast, when Gerald doesn’t tell us what to do with our arms, I let them move naturally and sometimes I don’t notice how they move, which is not good. I should always be aware of the way my body moves, but sometimes I am caught up trying to get the general idea of each sequence that I don’t pay attention. I hope that I’ll be able to be more aware of my body and practice so that my body can multitask by moving both body and arms/hands at the same time.

  6. In Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen’s video, I understood that all the bones and muscles in our body connect in some way. She explained how in lying down and ever so slightly lifting your chest, you could feel the connection between the pinkies in your hands and the top of your ribs. In class as well, we’ve talked about connecting the head and the tail as well as the right side of the body with the left. I never looked at movement with this perspective. I was always given choreography or told how to move my body, and I just copied. This new idea challenges what I’ve learned in the past and is encouraging me to look at dance in a new way.
    We learned that since all the body parts are connected, every movement you make should initiate a reaction in a different part of your body and that we need to “undo” our movement and let it come naturally. The concept of “undoing” is something I am really struggling with. I come from a dance background where your arms, legs, head, knees, etc. each had a specific place at a specific moment in a song. Therefore, letting go of that formality is something I will need to work on. I found this especially challenging in our warm up in class on Thursday. When we were doing the leg exercise, we were told not to let our chest collapse when we lifted our leg but also not to make our upper body and arms feel so stiff. This contradiction of control and fluidity was very hard for me. The more we did it and the more I watched others, the more comfortable I felt with this. Although I am feeling more comfortable with this new concept, I still have a long way to go and I am looking forward to continue learning.

  7. In class this Thursday, I had this really distinct “A-Ha” moment when we were learning the combination. For the first half I was so mad as I was learning the steps; very purposefully trying to “get” all of the movement quickly in my head and just expecting my body to produce what my mind was processing. I realized that when I am in the process of learning challenging movement, I disassociate with my body and am just totally unaware of what my body is doing. And while in some ways that’s understandable–often dancers add dynamics and style once they’ve become comfortable with the sequence of steps–I do have this habit of being so unaware of what my body is doing as I am learning a sequence of difficult steps. And, it is in those moments that I am also the most frustrated with myself. I really never understood that until I began writing this blog post! That, until I am consciously engaging my body and mind while I dance I feel completely really unfocused and dissatisfied. That habit definitely hinders my ability to be embodied in class! In future classes, I am going to actively challenge myself to be more grounded and connected to my body as I move–and also, relax a bit and try to enjoy moving for moving’s sake.

  8. Regarding the continuum of “doing vs. undoing,” I find myself being able to understand the body and the way it moves in a more comprehensible manner. Doing and undoing involves digging deeper to actually feel the inner-workings of the body and the quality of movement rather than simply trying to replicate a movement that is shown to you. Working through movements with an active consciousness of the body’s anatomy is truly important to “getting” a movement, or experiencing an exercise to its highest benefit.
    This way of thinking, involving stimulating movement from inner-feeling rather than visuals, is quite different from the way I was initially taught to dance. I grew up in a studio where using a mirror is seen as a crucial tool to improve technique. As a result, I have developed a habit of occasionally using the mirrors as a guide. However, after being exposed to both types of training (depending on mirror vs. depending on feeling of body), I prefer using my body to feel movement, rather than relying on a mirror. Using a mirror feels like “cheating” to me in a sense; it’s less mind and body working together and more about image. I think mind and body should be balanced in dance.
    Although I am actively trying to eliminate my mirror usage when attempting to understand a movement, it is still a tough habit to break unfortunately. When I do use it, I feel limited by the mirror, and it can sometimes interfere with by understanding of certain movements. But I think with my continuous efforts, I will be able to learn and understand movement more consciously (this class will help with that)! Modern dance is so, so important because it challenges comfortability and allows dancers to bloom and learn in a different way.

  9. I notice that I hold a lot of control in my pelvic region, hindering my range of expression, due mostly to very rigorous core movements from martial art training over the years. I try to relinquish this control by deep breath work and acute focus into my pelvic region, when my movements orient from this position in the body. I realized in class this week that I need to be careful of focusing too much on my pelvic region, so that I don’t block the expression of my other body parts, especially on the extreme periphery of my body.

    On the continuum of “doing vs. undoing”, I fall heavily on the doing side, as I have very limited experience in the dance world (this is my second class). My biggest task is simply to learn the techniques of contemporary dance. While I can perform a spinning back kick and a hihgh-flying jump kick, I still cannot perform very simple to moderate dance manuevers. So, my most important endevour this quarter is to learn the routines and techniques anew. In this sense, I must learn to undo (or simply place aside) some of my martial art training so that I can fully grasp the lessons taught–I must become like a new-born child, open to the near-endless manuevers of modern dance.

    That being said, I have intentionally showed up to class everyday with a mindset of ‘not-knowing’, so that I may be filled to the brim with new knowledge. I really strive to allow a clean-slate mind state when I am recieving technical information, that I may both absorb new data and honor the culture of contemporary dance, and it’s professional practitioners. Verily, my tightly tuned body and lack of sustained exposure to this dance world is what slows down my effective execution of many of the techniques.

    I am a bit nervous after observing my fellow colleages executing the techniques with grace and refined composure this week, while I struggled to capture significant portions of the procedures. I now see that I have great work cut out for me this quarter. My attitude is attuned to the correct ‘frequency’, I feel, for transmiting the instruction to the dance floor, I only hope my body will follow.

  10. As we continued with our movement sequences on Thursday, I found that my right leg is a lot more dominant and stubborn than I initially realized. For some reason my right leg just loves doing all of the work. However, because my right leg is so dominant, I’ve noticed that it causes my left leg to disengage from the movements the rest of my body is doing. This is especially true for me, when moving in the vertical plane. Moving in the vertical plane is difficult for me because of the element of weight. The transfer of weight to my left leg specifically, I’ve noticed, really throws my body off balance. I say this because when I’m on the ground exercising floor work, I have found that engaging my left leg is not as difficult as it is in the vertical plane.
    So, when the time comes, on the ground or pushing up against gravity, I secretly and constantly repeat to myself “left leg’s turn, left leg’s turn,” so as to remind myself and prepare my limb to be ready to move. And so when we speak about this idea of “doing vs. undoing,” I think of placing my left leg on the “doing” side of this spectrum. I would like to further the articulation within my body by developing a more active and engaged left leg. As for my right leg, I would have to work to “undo” the tendency of being the dominant leg, and instead, one that is a little more relaxed.

    • This may sound a bit silly at first glance, but experiment with focusing on using your opposite hand (or less-dominant hand) when performing basic tasks, such as eating food, combing your hair, folding your clothes, and even writing notes for class. And, for a more complex experiment you can practice using the toes on your less-utilized foot to perform taks such as picking up dropped objects on the floor, lifting and closing the toilet seat, and even drawing pictures if your really adventurous.

      This is a biological hack I conducted on my own body about 10 years ago when I wanted to balance the strength and coordination of my left hand and foot with the very dominant right side of my body. I am now ambidextrous, with almost equal precision, strength and finess on all my limbs. It was a very off-the-wall, ackward experiment to perform as an adult, I thought during the first several months, but after continual repetition over the years I have gained greatly fluidity in movement, and even some gains in artistic creativity, in the fields of juggling, martial arts, poi-spinning and dance.

      I hope your left leg receives the same access and action your right experiences during movement. May you dance in grace.

  11. Personally, I feel like I fall into some weird realm in between “doing vs. undoing”. I do have technical training, but not nearly as much as my fellow dancers in the class. This is somewhat of a blessing and a curse because over time I have found that technique can limit dancers, while also strengthening them. Their technical training acts as their safety net, limiting their movement to what is comfortable and familiar to them. Any movement that challenges this becomes awkward and uncomfortable. This was how I felt during the combo on Thursday, particularly towards the part after the kick. The attitude to the side, which was then carried across the body, was really challenging for me. My body so badly wanted to turn that into some kind of attitude leg swing, which was incorrect. This is where I found myself “undoing” habits of mine that got in the way of the actual choreography. I feel like my lack of technical training, in this case, allowed me to quickly make changes to my movement when I found myself caught in this technical mindset. In general, I have also found that dancers who have little to no training have somewhat of an advantage in this sense because they are really open to unconventional movement and aren’t so focused on what is the “right” was of doing something.

    Regardless of where someone falls on this spectrum of “doing vs. undoing” everyone here is facing some kind of individual challenge. This class gives us all equal opportunity to grow as dancers, which is why this class is awesome! I can’t wait to explore more movement and push myself to new heights.

  12. The Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen video was interesting, putting into words similar connections I find when in up dog or sphinx pose. There is something quite natural, relaxing, and open about the aforementioned poses that I could never quite place, and it wasn’t until mentioned in the video that I realized this is how our bodies naturally develop into standing. It’s crazy how much we take our bodies for granted, slouching into any which way we please for instant gratification. I certainly never used to acknowledge the position of my body, nor how my muscles and bones worked together until I restarted ballet a quarter ago.
    In most cases ballet is the major foundation for modern dance, which is great considering I have ballet in the morning before class; however, coming into a space where ballet is the foundation, not the goal per se is tough. For example, Gerald really emphasized letting go of the corset, and as I understand it, not keeping it in position, but keeping it aligned. In this case, I feel as though I’m having trouble “undoing” my balletic movements mentally, yet “doing”/keeping my movements loosely, in a modern context.

  13. The video and our discussion about fetal finger development made me question my hands and their inclinations. I have always been frustrated with my pinkies. They like to float up farther than my other fingers, especially during ballet. When I see them doing their thing in videos of myself either performing or improving I get so frustrated! why do they do that!? The fetal development really helps to explain this inclination. It gives me comfort knowing that it is merely a part of my anatomy and can be explained simply.

    I love warming up the arms through subtle finger movements. It heats up those spaces that we movers usually forget about. When we do our arm warmup, my elbows, upper ribs, shoulders, shoulder blades, upper back, and neck become warm and awake. The only other thing that makes me feel this way is yoga, but it happens way slower and not as wholly. I feel that in yoga, the ‘doing’ is there but the ‘undoing’ does not always happen preceding the poses.

    I asked a question about spine compression after body half while laying in an X. Gerald’s answer was thought provoking. He mentioned that we should ALWAYS be working, even when it feels like we should not (i.e. anything in X position though you are just laying down). Keeping this in mind, my movement had a more precise and controlled texture. I didn’t feel any compression, and felt strong and elongated. My core had the control and I fell into a meditative working state.

    Speaking of this work-meditation state. Gerald’s combos used to be very hard for my mind when I took a class with him last year. Now, I let my body do the learning and memorization. I don’t memorize the shape as it is in the mirror any longer (like I do in ballet), I memorize the way it feels. I go into a meditative state where I feel my mind is doing slim to nothing. I pick his stuff up so fast and completely. I even was able to play with details and textures which I rarely get to do because of my inability of quick choreo pick up. I am learning to breathe through the movement and feel deeper. I even make sounds with my breath sometimes. It helps so much. Leaves me wanting more.

  14. My first thoughts on doing and undoing is my habit of always having my head upright and never bending over far enough. It comes with my own lack of flexibility and need to balance myself. This reminded me of the plies we did in class with no set arms. I was constantly struggling to keep balance when it could have come naturally if I just relaxed and let my body move as it wanted to to counter balance the change. This video reminded me of our guest professors finger exercise. I have never thought about my fingers relationship to my torso until I was trying to both aline the exercise with the position of my upper body and arms. The positioning of your fingers are often lost to focus on bigger body parts. I am constantly working towards becoming a more diligent dancer in the sense of truly exploring my full capacity and the push back of my body. The fingers always came so naturally in ballet, yet are not as expressive as they could be in modern dance. Ballet dancers often emphasis movements that are unnecessary in modern, and I have found that it lacks that fresh and explorative movement found in new dancers. It reminded me of the idea of dancer 0, a baby with no prior experience of movement and therefore needs to think about every body part in a novel way while figuring out the important parts needed in sitting up and walking. I hope to think more like a baby and explore the different relationships in my body with fresh eyes.

  15. When watching the video of Bonnie Cohen and considering her ideas on the relationship of individual fingers with the shoulder girdle and ribs, two major thoughts occurred to me: 1.) I do not think about all possible body parts capable of movement when I actually begin to move. 2.) Even a simple, tiny movement can influence the movement of different body parts and this continual cascade increases the possibilities for all future movement. When I began dance practice, my training led me to focus on the importance of the arms and legs, into my teens I began to understand the importance of the movement of the core and of the back, and as I entered college I was told by a prominent professor that I needed to “start using my fifth limb-the head”! Head movement has the potential to create a continuous stream of movement and results in an overall completion in movement. And he was right of course- I grew up with my head positioned like a scare-crow attached to a stiff log. This video reminded me that there are still many more body parts to explore and utilize. It will be a good practice to silence these larger body parts that I often use and, instead, attempt to access the smaller, more microscopic body areas which I have not paid attention to.

  16. I appreciate the attention to detail in this video as Bonnie shares the origin of sequential movements within our developing bones. Her understanding and intuition of the anatomy of the body provide an efficient and liberating platform to move from. As I have moved more and more with different classes and styles I have noticed that there is a lot more to “undoing”. The not so obvious tendencies are unveiled once I have found a crux in a way of moving. That for me has always been the beauty of dance, movement, and this class; the opening of doors where you didn’t know there were doors to be opened.

    Exploring the fundamentals and focusing on the pelvis and the “greater trochanter” for instance give me a proprioception of my body that is specific, engaging, and freeing. With a little understanding of physiology and anatomy now i see the simple little adjustments that can balance the strength and release of certain muscles on the bones here and there. Looking at a big skeleton really helps!

    Ultimately undoing brings me back to my breath. I notice I hold tension in certain parts of my body where I don’t need it and a weakness in others parts that often counteract those stressed areas. If I could list it for myself, it would be my cervical spine, hip flexors, and shoulders. I have lived with this awareness for a while and now I’m trying to breathe more through the challenge and undo the tension in these areas with more attention to detail, essentially by doing more mental work. It seems the “undoing vs doing” are counterpoints that never occur independently of each other but rather simultaneously. Therefore as Gerald continues to explain in his poetic somatic ways, the origins of his prescribed movements and the design in which these movements are structured from I challenge myself to open the door more for undoing, encountering the crux of counterproductive and unnecessary tendencies and letting them go in breath.

    By the way as a side note, there is a “lesser trochanter” 😮 It just hasn’t been talked about yet.

    • Praytell, where is–or what is the physical referent you are hinting at here–the “lesser trochanter”? I would love to know.

  17. I appreciate the attention to detail in this video as Bonnie shares the origin of sequential movements within our developing bones. Her understanding and intuition of the anatomy of the body provide an efficient and liberating platform to move from. As I have moved more and more with different classes and styles I have noticed that there is a lot more to “undoing”. The not so obvious tendencies are unveiled once I have found a crux in a way of moving. That for me has always been the beauty of dance, movement, and this class; the opening of doors where you didn’t know there were doors to be opened.

    Exploring the fundamentals and focusing on the pelvis and the “greater trochanter” for instance give me a proprioception of my body that is specific, engaging, and freeing. With a little understanding of physiology and anatomy now i see the simple little adjustments that can balance the strength and release of certain muscles on the bones here and there. Looking at a big skeleton really helps!

    Ultimately undoing brings me back to my breath. I notice I hold tension in certain parts of my body where I don’t need it and a weakness in others parts that often counteract those stressed areas. If I could list it for myself, it would be my cervical spine, hip flexors, and shoulders. I have lived with this awareness for a while and now I’m trying to breathe more through the challenge and undo the tension in these areas with more attention to detail, essentially by doing more mental work. It seems the “undoing vs doing” are counterpoints that never occur independently of each other but rather simultaneously. Therefore as Gerald continues to explain in his poetic somatic ways, the origins of his prescribed movements and the design in which these movements are structured from I challenge myself to open the door more for undoing, encountering the crux of counterproductive and unnecessary tendencies and letting them go in breath.

    By the way as a side note, there is a lesser trochanter! 😮 It just hasn’t been talked about yet. Just putting it out there =)

  18. wow, I got lost in Bonnie’s videos. What interesting insightful information she has. The principle of undoing first came to me with modern dance. Before that technique was some abstract complicated form of movement bad ass athletes did because they were super human. This tension in my mind lead me to try harder, feel the need to develop more muscle to obtain a kind of look and virtually produced a tension in my body. A kind of constant holding that later lead to injury in the psoas/hip/groin. With pushing too hard I injured myself and learned the hard way how not to dance. Discovering ‘the psoas book’ & modern dance teachers (Terry Wilson of UCSD & Jean Issacs of Jean Issacs’ SD Dance Theater) as well as the pelvic floor & yogic technique I was able to work with integrity within the structure. This is a constant learning path for me & movers in general I suppose & only with conscious somatic kinesthetics can I continue to explore movement and all her gifts without pain or misery. I notice these habits every day, from slouching from breast feeding to leaning on one hip from carrying little ones that constantly affect my alignment and core balance. And of course breathing, the sacred aspect of not holding my breathe!

  19. Bonnie’s video, along with other recent dance courses, is showing me that so much is happening in your body when you move and so many different muscles are connected in a way that I never thought about before, but in a way that makes sense. I do have habits when I dance that can get in the way of expanding my movement vocabulary. I think a lot of it comes from taking the same technique classes for years, which gets my body in the habit of performing the same type of movement over and over. That’s why it’s so important that dancers train in several different styles with as many different instructors as possible because they can gain so much more from multiple perspectives on the body than just one. Also, as a dancer who is naturally fairly inflexible and probably doesn’t put in the time that I should to stretch myself, I do see myself taking shortcuts in certain aspects to compensate for my limited range of movement. For example, my turn out is extremely limited, so for years in ballet classes I would force my feet outward but bend my knees inward, which is an extremely unhealthy habit to get into. What I love about the video and Gerald’s class, is that they talk about how each muscle is affected in a certain movement and it gives me another perspective in visualizing the movement. By not only focusing on how a movement should look, but also on how mechanically it should be working, I gain a better idea of what to be thinking about and am less likely to take silly shortcuts, which will only hurt me in the long run.

  20. Bonnies video made me think about how i can find other bodily connections throughout more of my movements. Each piece of the body is unique in its own way and is connected and developed in a certain way for a purpose. The way that each movement is stitched together by our muscles helps us determine how each next step will go. I think that this well help me not have such a rigid form in my dance and to really explore my body more as a bunch of body parts put together in a way that is meant to work together.

  21. In my experience as a dancer, I have struggled between internally dancing and externally dancing. While both are important and finding a happy median between the two is necessary, they are both inherently quite different. Growing up a competition dancer, I was constantly steered away from this idea of internal movement. The choreography I had learned and my own personal expression was solely meant for the enjoyment of an audience. When not on the stage, I was told to perform to the mirror, as if my own reflection were the audience. While I became practiced at external dancing, my internal self was missing attention. Now dancing in a more open, accepting, and mature environment, I find myself keying into the idea of internal movement and dancing for myself with almost no attention to an audience. Personally, I find this form of dancing much more beneficial for my own development. Now having experienced these two forms of movement, one embodied (internal) and one disembodied (external), I hope to bridge the gap between the two in class. This will be a challenge for me since I find comfort in either completely internal or completely external movement, but I’m up for the challenge. In doing so, I hope to break all my little habits that fall into place when doing either movement style. I find myself making my movement seem predictable and repetitive, which is something I’d like to overcome. I want to push my limits and boundaries in breaking the barrier between the two movement qualities in order to become a more rounded dancer.

  22. I would say I think my old habits definitely come and interfere with how I want to develop as a dancer. When I first started out I was very timid and not confident with retaining the movement, I as always looking at the person in front of me, thinking that would help me replicate the movement best. In reality I think it only derailed me. I was always slightly off count, looking awkwardly at the floor and never feeling or following through with the movement all the way. I didn’t start taking dance classes until I was about 12 which I felt was very late. I wanted to catch up to all of the other dancers my age and for a majority of the time I’ve been dancing I’ve been trying to play catch up. This was not the mentality I would like to approach dance with any longer so in that case I feel I am undoing a lot of what I have come to know as dance.
    As for now I think there is a lot to be done, not as a means to catch up to other dancers, but as a way to catch up with myself. I have been dancing continuously for eight years now which seems kind of crazy to me. And though most of my training has been ballet, I think I’m finding a better fit into modern dance. With ballet I feel I have to replicate a look, a beautiful look, but in the end its not the emotion that gets the great comment, its the aesthetic of the movement. With modern I think the emotion and effort show to be the more pleasing. If the movement is replicated on its own then it is like nothing even happened. But, if the movement is done and the effort is tangible it makes me and other viewers want to dance and be apart of the dance, which to me is my own goal and favorite type of dance.
    And for Bonnie’s explanation on how we develop, I think it is a way to think about learning dance and how to work with your body. A challenge I face is understanding how the body responds to the movement given and how to feel the movement within myself. I think how she describes learning movement from top down, and outer vs inner is very interesting and I would like to work on it some more as the quarter progresses. I think it is about being mindful with “doing” when doing a movement. because a subtle movement such as a minor arch of the back does have energy travel throughout multiple parts of the body which are forgotten in the moment.
    In the given continuum I think there needs to be more undoing as for focusing on the movement performed and more doing with the subtle and thoughtless parts of the movement.

  23. As we move further along in skill-building and learning movement pieces, I often notice that my habit of holding tension in my body interferes with my ability to really get the flow of the movement down. This tension along with my affinity to focus on the technical aspects of the movement is detrimental to my embodied understanding of the materials. Bonnie’s video demonstrates to me that I need to remember how it feels to do the most basic of movements before moving forward. I feel that if I focus more on getting an overall bodily understanding of the movement I will do better. Instead of thinking through the movements while doing them, I have tried to only do so while other groups are going. This way I can think through the movements while watching my classmates do the moves, which allows me to review the steps. It also stops me from overthinking when I am dancing. By not overthinking the movement and focusing on feeling the piece, I have gotten a better bodily understanding of the material.

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