Dance General Fitness and Well–Being

A Journey Back to Dance #8: Listen to the Body

June 4, 2020
journey back to dance: listen to the body the movement blog london uk

Listening is a virtue, especially for the body. There’s no need to force the body into shape; let’s nurture the body instead.

In a time where we’ve been physically confined (and mentally for some of us), we now need to start wiggling our nervous system a little bit as we re-emerge into the world.

The body holds all kinds of muscular restrictions formed from memory, habits, mental and physical trauma, stress, etc. To truly feel the body, we must learn how to listen. Thus, we should turn to somatics for guidance.


Although the idea of body listening is not necessarily revolutionary or ground breaking, it is, nevertheless, a concept that has been under-emphasized in the dance technique class and should be revisited.
– Rebecca Enghauser

5 Components of Somatic Approach –

(1) Spatial-Perceptual,
awakens the senses and prepare the body and mind for learning. One way of accomplishing this involves the use of improvisational structures within the technique class, rather than just “see and do” exercises.
(2) Kinesthetic,
the examination and processing of information the learner receives from doing movement.
(3) Breath,
affirms the dynamic state of the experiential moment, as each person tunes inward to listen to each inhale and exhale. Breath can be a very powerful way to build and retain concentration, endurance, focus, and flow in the dancing moment.
(4) Eco-Somatic,
accounts for the whole person, not excluding the environmental context in which the person lives and moves.
(5) Creative,
acknowledges that a dancer’s technical training should include opportunities to hone his or her creative skills.
Source: Enghauser, Rebecca. Developing Bodies in the Dance Technique Class (2007).

We can use aspects of this approach in our own time or even while we’re taking class. Here are a few methods that specifically uses a somatic approach that’s geared for dancers and movers alike:

GYROKINESIS®
Dance Improvisation
Gaga People/Dancers

Happy Moving <3

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