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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

Guest Posts Health Skincare Wellbeing

Babsie Steger: Creator of Magic Beauty Oil (GUEST POST)

October 3, 2018
introducing Babsie Steger dance actress trainer health coach

Babsie is a dear, yet long distance, friend of mine. We first met in 2016 at the GYROTONIC® Applications for Dancers Course in Paris, France, but have kept in contact since then. In fact, she’s helped me a lot with my food intolerances and recurring Candida via Skype.

In her most recent accomplishments, Babsie has created her own natural product called, MAGIC BEAUTY OIL, which is a lovely organic blend of vegetable oils and essential oils of 100% absolute purity – no additives, preservatives or synthetic products. Read on to see how Babsie succeeded as a Dancer, Actress, and a Health Expert.


introducing Babsie Steger dance actress trainer health coach

lesconseilsdebabsie.com

Babsie Steger was born in Austria. At the the age of 7, she passed the competitive entrance examination for the Ballet School at the Opera in Vienna. In addition, at 14 she was also ranked the best Austrian tennis player. Upon graduating from the Vienna State Opera, she moved on to working successfully as an actress in France.
At 19, Babsie arrived in Paris while earning her living as a dancer and model. Fashion shows, advertising shoots, etc., ensued. She then became a fully-fledged actress and performed in international films and series’ such as Highlander, as well as Largo Winch, filmed in Great Britain and Canada, and the international show of Borgia in Europe.
At the same time, her first trade as a dancer enabled her to learn how to know her body. Natural and healthy food was always her priority. Watching what you eat every day plays a vital role in developing a strong, healthy body; physically and mentally.

babsie cookbook introducing Babsie Steger dance actress trainer health coach

In 2011, she published her first cookbook on Austrian pastries, Stroudel, Koughlof et Cie (Marabout Editions) in which the recipes emphasised the use of organic products as well as its focus on people’s well-being.
Babsie knew as a young girl that combining and balancing very natural ingredients of food with careful attention to good nutrition was important for her. In the last 25 years, Babsie worked with her sister – a medical doctor specialist in homeopathy, naturopathy, acupuncture, meditation – who formed the health expert she is today
Thus in 2015, she made the discovery of a very effective method called natural face lifting. Now Babsie teaches lessons and organises workshops on how to practise natural face lift. Shortly after, Babsie developed her very own successful skin care product, MAGIC BEAUTY OIL, an exceptional oil for face and neck, 100% organic; only natural and rare ingredients.

introducing Babsie Steger dance actress trainer health coach magic beauty oil

This honest and natural beauty oil regulates impurities, fights strongly against free radicals, tightens pores, and reduces pigmentation spots.

The skin is an organ that absorbs all the products (cream, oil, etc.) that you apply to it and transports them into the blood. Therefore it is very important, that your treatment is nontoxic, and the purest, most natural as possible so that it brings the necessary nutrients to the epidermis.

– Babsie Steger

This treatment is all the more exceptional since it adapts to any type of skin. The essential oils treat, regulate and boost the skin in depth. Magic Beauty Oil’s treatment leaves your skin deeply moisturised, refreshed, smooth, and radiant.
Written by Babsie; Edited by Kindall 

There are so many things we can learn from Babsie, her discoveries, and accomplishments as a mover, coach, and food and health expert. Browse through her website to discover natural products and methods useful for our entire wellbeing. Download Google Translate to your browser, if needed.

More About Babsie’s Natural Products & Work

” MAGIC BEAUTY OIL ” by Babsie Steger

Le soin Magic Beauty Oil, by Babsie Steger est l’aboutissement des années de recherches. Magic Beauty Oil est un mélange biologique d’huiles végétales et d’huiles essentielles d’une pureté absolue à 100%. Il ne renferme aucun additif, ni conservateur, ni produit de synthèse. Ce soin, hautement actif et nutritif, apporte à l’épiderme des nombreuses vitamines et omégas indispensables.

introducing Babsie Steger dance actress trainer health coach magic beauty oil

Lifting naturel facial, comment rester belle sans botox ni injections…

Il y a quelques années déjà… j’ai découvert une méthode de lifting naturel très intéressante. Pour moi qui ai toujours été du côté du ” naturel “, j’ai été, je dois bien le dire, intriguée par le procédé et, finalement, conquise.

Le Gyrotonic, c’est quoi exactement ?

Le Gyrotonic® Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow, Lady Gaga s’y sont mises et pour cause. Pratiqué sur machine, le Gyrotonic est une activité ultra complète qui tonifie et étire les muscles en douceur. Découvrez toutes les raisons de ce nouvel engouement.

Dance General Fitness and Well–Being Tips

A Journey Back to Dance #7: Improving Technique

February 25, 2018
a journey back to dance improving technique again kindall payne

Getting use to your own body after time off might take some patience. Thankfully we have the visual memory and muscle memory systems to help us return, but how else can we continue to improve technique in the present body?


a journey back to dance improving technique again kindall payne

“Technique” is thus understood as the skills experienced in practice and inscribed into one’s own world of understanding – Jenny Coogan, Practicing Dance: A Somatic Orientation.

Practice

Depending on what style of training and/or performance, it’s often through consistent practice that a technique or style becomes enhanced. This may mean that practice can create a fuller understanding and meaning to the work both physically and mentally. Therefore the goal with practice is to explore, especially the challenges.

Move 

Move the body as it is today, right now. When this happens there isn’t time to fixate on how we pliéd, jumped, or pointed our foot in the past. When returning to a technique, this is the time to move and listen well with the mind and body.

Feel

With having past experiences in a particular technique or style, it might be tempting to just go with the motions. How can we continue to generate new feeling and new meaning in our movements? Using imagination, small tasks and goals are very useful. Never allow the mind and the body to become unresponsive to feeling and challenges.

Inquire

Ask questions amongst your teachers, peers, and colleagues. Also maintain an inner dialogue which can help with problem solving when learning or rehearsing something new (or old). This inner dialogue could also help with maintaining curiosity and a fresh outlook.

Enjoy

The process of practice and improving don’t really end. Therefore, it’s pertinent to enjoy the process. For some of us, this can be difficult as progression and improvement are hard to see with our own eyes. Think about what elements that you’ve enjoyed within a class, performance, research development, etc. Do more of that!
the Gyrokinesis Method Yoga

5 Ways the GYROKINESIS® Method Can Enhance Your Yoga Practice

October 6, 2017
How the GYROKINESIS® Method & Yoga Can Go Hand in Hand

Common questions I hear, “What’s the GYROKINESIS® Method?” “Is it like yoga or Pilates?” Sometimes it seems to difficult to explain, but perhaps it shouldn’t. The ultimate aim is to understand the body, move and enjoy.

This method was originally created as an injury prevention method for dancers, however it became widely used for general alignment and movement enhancement for many walks of life.

How the GYROKINESIS® Method & Yoga Can Go Hand in Hand

©️ Atena Della Danza

“There are numerous benefits to mixing up your workout routine. It’s the key to stimulating different muscle groups and preventing boredom (Arnold Lee, MD).

5 Ways the GYROKINESIS® Method Can Enhance Your Yoga Practice:

1) It can give you a different sense of awareness to the body’s makeup.

  • Our body isn’t linear and is hardly symmetrical. The Gyrokinesis method emphasizes on a whole body connection and, in particular, the spiral lines.  This way the mover can understand that the whole body needs to be involved in both movements small and large as our muscles, ligaments, and bones are connected in many ways – mostly in diagonals and spirals.
  • Also, the self-massage component of this method gives the mover an opportunity to draw attention to areas we tend to avoid or didn’t even know existed. We tend to forget our organs, what effect our muscular body can have on them, and the places in between. By turning our attention to these areas, the mover is able to awaken ‘dormant’ areas.

 

How the GYROKINESIS (R) Method & Yoga Can Go Hand in Hand©️ Capital Gyrotonic

2) It can help you understand the painful/injured parts of your body.

  • Instead of working through the pain or avoiding movement altogether, this method helps the mover to avoid unhealthy habitual patterns in the body, which may have caused the pain/injury in the first place. Therefore, this method focuses on creating space in the joints before movement occurs to give the body a chance to find pain-free movement and appropriate range.

3) It can give you insight to the ‘internal body’.

  • The internal body (like in Tai Chi modalities) can refer to the micro-movements that can occur before movements become come into fruition. Gyrokinesis principles like ‘narrowing the pelvis’, ‘suppling’, and the ‘fifth line’ are queues for the internal body to ignite and guide the rest of the body for fuller, more expressive movements.
How the GYROKINESIS® Method & Yoga Can Go Hand in Hand

©️ Gyrotonic Basque

4) It can help you reach a fuller movement potential.

  • Optimal range of movement is crucial to maintain healthy muscles and joints. The Gyrokinesis Method explores all ranges of movement so that over time the body is strong, supple. Therefore, within a Gyrokinesis class the mover is challenged to work on weak, or ‘blind spots’ to enhance overall movement. Without this the mover could have the tendency to only move a certain way, leaving portions of the body behind on movement development.

5) It gently opens areas usually avoided.

  • You will honestly open areas of the body like never before that don’t get enough attention. As previously mentioned, Gyrokinesis’ unique movement method involving circular and spiralling movements tap into the areas in between our normal range of motion. Therefore, the mover will be able to find an even better, longer-lasting muscular and neuromuscular connection within their movements.

Namaste


Want to try a GYROKINESIS® class?

Find me at Little Yoga Space Lisboa

or

Try the Gyrotonic.com’s Studio Finder

Enjoy!

Dance Short Stories the Gyrotonic Method

The Importance of Breathing & the GYROTONIC® Method by Lucia Vergnano (GUEST POST)

April 29, 2017
guest post: breathing again, lucia vergnano

 Lucia Vergnano is a Dancer with Aterballetto Dance Company, a Mother, and a GYROTONIC® Trainer based in Reggio Emilia, Italy. Vergnano now contributes to an blog called Mamma, Mi Racconti (Italian for Mom, Tell Me).

In this post, Vergnano shares her thoughts on breathing, the importance of oxygen, and how the GYROTONIC® Method helped her further understand this necessity.


BREATHING AGAIN by Lucia Vergnano

[Translated by Lucia Vergnano from ‘UNA MAMMA IN GYRO‘ (A mother in Gyro) – ‘Juggling family, dance, travels and the Gyrotonic Method’]

guest post: breathing again, lucia vergnano

Each of us as a child breathes, breathes well, without any constraints or problems. Then, with time, we forget. We get stuck. The mind begins to control our breathing unconsciously. We do not think it’s so important anymore.

What are the consequences? Aches, muscle pain, joint pain, stomach ache, headache to name a few… I am not saying it all depends on how we breathe, but it is certainly influential, and knowing how to breathe well could help to prevent these problems.

For example, musicians use instruments to make music, painters use brushes and colors and dancers use the body. The body and soul of the dancer are their tools and, as every tool must be treated with care, it should be cleaned, polished and pampered.

What better ingredient to feed your body than oxygenOxygenating  your blood, muscles and mind correctly means preventing contractions. It means learning to maintain a correct posture and dealing with stressful moments (which are plentiful!) in a more conscious way. 

In addition, the diaphragm is the muscle that has the main role in breathing, in which the Gyrotonic Method truly teaches how to make the diaphragm more elastic and, at the same time, stronger in order to control it voluntarily.

The Gyrotonic Method also teaches us that a certain type of breathing must be associated with each type of movement: a gentle and deep breath when movement is wide and slow; a more rhythmic one if the movement is fast and small; and a stronger and more intense one if the movement requires greater physical strength.

Improving my breathing has greatly helped to increase my physical strength, mobility and prevent injuries. I feel that Gyrotonic is a method that can really work for anyone, regardless of age or physical fitness. It is a method that helps people to breathe consciously to oxygenate both the body and mind.

After practicing the Gyrotonic method and its breathing techniques for years, it has definitely made a difference. Just couple of hours a week and you will see a change in your life, because knowing how to take a deep breath at the right moment can change your day. 


More About Lucia Vergana

guest post: breathing again, lucia vergnano

Lucia, 33, was born in Turin but moved to Florence to follow her dream to become a ballerina. And she did. In the last 15 years Vergnano has been working as a professional dancer, first with Balletto di Roma in Rome, then with Aterballetto in Reggio Emilia.

However, while dancing in Rome, Vergnano became injured but was fortunately introduced to the Gyrotonic Method. From that moment on, she realized that she didn’t want to be without this method, so pursued to becoming an instructor.

She has been married to Hektor, who is also a dancer, for 3 years. They met in Rome in 2000 and after a difficult start they decided to try to build a life together. A little more than 2 years ago she became a Mother to Lorenzo, which is her “greatest pride and joy.”


Follow Lucia Vergnano here:

Mamma, Mi Raconnti

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Dance General Fitness and Well–Being Tips

A Journey Back to Dance #6: Dealing with Old and New Injuries

July 31, 2016
journey back to dance #6: old and new injuries

(Above: Teaching a GYROKINESIS® class via Video Chat to help dancer, Valeria Caboi, recover from an old hip injury.)

Often times dancers have to deal with either old and/or new injuries, especially when returning to training and performance.

Even when we train, retrain, and cross train to prevent and reduce injury old or even new injuries could flare up when the body is doing something . New injuries can be caused by overexertion, fatigue, or accidents like falling or tripping. So how should a dancer cope when getting back to dance, movement, and performance?

 Here’s some basic advice that every dancer should know and implement.

journey back to dance #6: old and new injuries

An example of Kinesis-Taping given by an Osteopath to ensure proper healing and support.

1) Deal with the injury.

  • Rest, ice, compress, and elevate (RICE) the injury area if needed. In addition, the UK’s NHS website notes ‘Protection’ as the first protocol (PRICE), which means to protect the injuries area from further harm.
  • Whether it’s a new or recurrent injury, book an appointment with an Osteopath, Physiotherapist, or with a  Doctor to ensure nothing is torn or fractured and to determine whether it is an acute or chronic injury.

2) Listen to your body.

  • Avoid ‘pushing through’ and continue resting and any recommended treatment, especially if the injured area is still sensitive.
  • Know your limits. Consider taking only the first half of a class to protect the injured area and to ensure the injured area has healed properly.
  • Don’t be ashamed to let teachers know. Although we aim to avoid injuries when at all possible, dealing with an injury properly is just as important.

3) Slowly get back in the game.

  • Focus on proper alignment, beginning and finishing movements correctly, and using true range of motion (i.e. turnout).
  • Know what areas to strengthen and stretch and continue recommended exercises given by therapist or doctor if necessary.
  • Stay aware of what may have initially caused the injury to help prevent and reduce re-injury.

journey back to dance #6: old and new injuries


Want to try something new to ease any pain or discomfort within your dancing?
Check out my GYROTONIC® Case Study Recruitment for discount sessions.

Healing Sources

Lazy Dancer Tips by Alessia Lugoboni

Technique Class Participation Options for Injured Dancers

RNOH NHS: Centre for Dance Medicine (UK)

Osteopathy & Massage Clinic (UK)

Harkness Centre for Dance Medicine (US)

Perspectives on Dance Injury