Feldenkrais Method® and The Arts: Dance

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DANCE

Feldenkrais Method and its Benefits for Dancers 

Department Of Contemporary Dance     Concordia University

    

http://www.survivingdance.ca/feldenkrais1.html

This website is dedicated to providing information to help dancers avoid injury or to cope with injury in a holistic and intelligent manner.  … Anyone—young or old, physically challenged or physically fit—can benefit from the Method. Feldenkrais is beneficial for those experiencing chronic or acute pain of the back, neck, shoulder, hip, legs or knee, as well as for healthy individuals who wish to enhance their self-image. The Method has been very helpful in dealing with central nervous system conditions such as multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, and stroke. Musicians, actors and artists can extend their abilities and enhance creativity. Many Seniors enjoy using it to retain or regain their ability to move without strain or discomfort.

Getting Inside the Dance

Feldenkrais Center for Movement and Awareness, San Francisco, CA 

An Interview with Julie Casson Rubin, GCFT

http://www.feldenkraissf.com/getting-inside-the-dance/

Regarding dance injuries and the role of the Feldenkrais Method in the management of injuries in dance. I think in general the more demanding the choreography or demanding the movement, the more demanding it is of the dancer to increase their awareness of themselves. There is a growing feeling in the dance community that dancers are no longer willing to throw their bodies away to suffer with unnecessary pain. One of the things that we have noticed with students who are dancers is when they are in a period of dealing with an acute injury and they really need to rest from dance that the Feldenkrais lessons give the dancers another vocabulary of movement. It gives them a way of moving that is safe while they are recovering.

The Feldenkrais Method®: A Partner in Dance and Self-Discovery

Boston Feldenkrais Training

Boston Feldenkrais® Training blog talks to Fritha Pengelly and Sarah Young, June 2016

http://www.bostonfeldenkraistraining.com/blog/the-feldenkrais-method-a-partner-in-dance-and-self-discovery

Sarah Young: My explorations in dance are what brought me to Feldenkrais. Dancers that I admired and respected were studying the Method to find new qualities of movement and to address injuries. After many years of technique classes, I was attracted to the more subtle, self-guided improvisation of the Feldenkrais Method. I've gained greater insight into my dancing through the practice. I can better read the cues coming from my body, I recognize where I’m bearing weight, and I sense discomfort sooner, choosing more efficient sequences and patterning as a result.

The Feldenkrais Method and Dance

Feldenkrais Guild of North America
Nancy Galeota-Wozny, July 2001

https://www.feldenkraisguild.com/article_content.asp?edition=1&section=20&article=71

Nancy Galeota-Wozny ... I had the privilege of being a participant in Blank’s landmark study and found my own work taking a radical departure from previous work. My qualitative range as a mover opened up ten-fold, expanding my palette of movement choices.

Improving Dance by Slowing Down

Feldenkrais Guild of North America

Erica Trivett, GCFP, April 2013

https://www.feldenkraisguild.com/article_content.asp?edition=1&section=20&article=121

When I first encountered the Feldenkrais Method® of somatic education, I was recovering from a serious foot injury and reconstructive surgery. I feared for my career. I was a professional dancer, performing both ballet and contemporary dance internationally. ... The impacts this Method has had on my life on a physical level and an artistic level have been immense. I’ve developed new insights on how to approach movements and learned what was lacking in my artistic interpretation. The connection between the physical and emotional has become clearer. Sometimes the way the Feldenkrais Method aided me was visibly huge, enabling me to break down larger movements onto a smaller scale. It has consistently helped my energetic level and my artistic interpretation, not to mention the many nuances that perhaps only I would be conscious of.

Promoting Dexterity in Technical Dance Training using the Feldenkrais Method

Feldenkrais Research Journal, Volume 3, 2007

International Feldenkrais Federation

Kovich, Z. , CFT

http://iffresearchjournal.org/volume/3/kovich

Professional dance training must equip dancers to work competently in the industry. The ability to manipulate technical dance skills is an essential requirement. Referencing Nicholai Bernstein’s motor learning theory, it is proposed that Feldenkrais Method learning processes can be used in technical dance training to promote the development of dexterity.  ... through Feldenkrais Method practice, it is proposed that a way dancers can explicitly develop adaptable, flexible, dance technique is by repeating a technical dance skill many times while intentionally, and systematically, varying key movement elements associated with its correct performance. Such training could readily be modelled on ATM learning processes.

Feldenkrais Method: What It Is and How It Can Help Your Students

Dance Teacher

Rachel Caldwell, November 2017 

https://www.dance-teacher.com/feldenkrais-method-can-help-students-2510316806.html

Mary Armentrout, a dance teacher, choreographer and Feldenkrais practitioner, shares three ways that this somatic practice can bolster your students' training.   It can help repattern inefficient movement habits (and decrease pain as a result). "This is a technique that supports my dancing by helping me to understand my skeleton, alignment and how I'm using my muscles. You work with your own nervous system, and the nervous system is able to repattern. ... It can create a sense of agency.  " ...  The teacher doesn't demonstrate, and generally you have your eyes closed. You hear the instruction, ...  You go at your pace and do it in a way that's comfortable for you. In that way it can be empowering."  It can spark creativity.  " ...  I have habitual ways I create a dance. If I do Feldenkrais and then make a dance, my mind is a little more open.

A Delicate Balance

Published in Senseability, 2001

Feldenkrais Educational Foundation of North America

Prisca Winslow

Available on her website: moveintobalance.com

http://www.moveintobalance.com/SA_Q32001.php?refspec=

Like so many young dancers, I mastered a posture that appeared to be straight. Assisted by the barre I could take my legs high in the air and imitate the different poses I saw in the picture books. Away from the barre, I felt weak and off balance. A common recommendation is to create a sense of internal support through strengthening muscles of the abdomen and stabilizing the pelvis. Being that our two-legged structure is anything but stable, how do we develop internal support without interfering with coordinated action? In his book, "The Potent Self," Moshe writes "In good action, the sensation of effort is absent no matter what the actual expenditure of energy is." A concise description of what is so inspiring when you see a great dancer! After four years of ankle and back pain I discovered the Feldenkrais Method in 1983. My recovery was amazingly quick and I continue to be inspired both in dance and daily life by improving my ability to balance effortlessly.

Mind your body: Feldenkrais: when it feels good, it is good: dancers find the practice helps with pain.

Published in Dance Magazine, 2004

Liza Burby

Available on Prisca Winslow's website: moveintobalance.com

http://www.moveintobalance.com/Dance_April2004.php?refspec=

PHYSICAL THERAPY wasn't relieving the pain Erin Cornell experienced from two herniated discs, one in the lumbar area and the other in the cervical region of her spine. So Cornell, a New York dancer who has worked with choreographers Sara Rudner and Jennifer Lacey, decided to explore the Feldenkrais Method[R], a mind-body movement technique that many dancers have found useful in pain management. ...  increasingly dancers have been utilizing it to help relieve pain in the typically knotty areas like the back, neck, hips, and shoulders.  "Dancers work so hard in a culture that prioritizes workouts to build muscle strength. Feldenkrais gives them the ability to move with less effort," says Barbara Forbes, a ballet teacher at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York, and an instructor at the Feldenkrais Learning Center in New York City. "It isn't about breaking a sweat. It's about developing a level of functioning that will prepare you for anything." 

Ouch – Dancers find a path out of pain with the Feldenkrais Method

Dance Magazine, November 2002

Nancy Galeota-Wozny

Available on Prisca Winslow's website: moveintobalance.com

http://www.moveintobalance.com/Dance_November2002.php?refspec=

... the method enlists subtle and nonhabitual movement patterns to develop attention to the ways habits contribute to discomfort. The gentle movements bring forth options for new movements. The technique’s focus is not so much on learning how to move but on neutralizing the pattern that prevent us from moving fully.  … the Feldenkrais Method … offer dancers education that can help them turn pain around, continue dancing, and re-establish their love of dance.

Making Movement Effortless: The Feldenkrais Method

Dance Teacher Now, May/June 1992

Liz Winslow

Available on Prisca Winslow's website: moveintobalance.com

http://www.moveintobalance.com/DTN_MayJune1992.php?refspec=

Feldenkrais is about the process of learning. More choices in how we move and think become available to the individual, and more awareness is gained when limitations are removed. It is very important for dancers to be able to learn as individuals and have more choice available to take care of themselves. It is also important to have a teacher that encourages this attitude in dancers. Feldenkrais is one way to accomplish this.  Moshe Feldenkrais … said, “What I’m after isn’t flexible bodies but flexible minds.”

Integrating the Feldenkrais Method within Dance Technique Class

Dance Department of the Université du Québec à Montréal

Sylvie Fortin and Warwick Long

Warwick Long, M. Ph. Ed., is a Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner and works with teachers on dance programs

at Université du Québec à Montréal and Concordia University, Montreal.

Sylvie Fortin (Ph.D.) is professor in the Dance Department of the Université du Québec à Montréal.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/265274558_Integrating_the_Feldenkrais_Method_within_Dance_Technique_Class

Dance is often assumed to be an ideal corporeal activity for the cultivation of our full potential. Dance can also be regarded as a means by which dancers can relate to their bodies as objects to be controlled and used (by themselves and/or others). As a dance teacher I cannot escape either perpetuating or resisting mainstream dance culture. Through this study, I wanted to investigate how I conveyed notions of soma/body/self/other in my teaching, since my Feldenkrais training led me progressively to a reappraisal of these notions. ... I wanted to know if I counteract the enculturation of my dance milieu, and more specifically I wanted to understand how complex relationships between soma/body/self/other were displayed in our dance classes.

Exploring Self Image: The Feldenkrais Method and Ballet

The Feldenkrais® Educational Foundation of North America and the Feldenkrais Guild® of North America, July 2014

Lodi McClellan, GCFP with Becci Parsons, GCFP

https://www.feldenkraisguild.com/article_content.asp?edition=1&section=20&article=102

We wondered, would integrating the internalized approach of the Feldenkrais Method of somatic education with the rigors of classical ballet technique training positively affect students’ sense of self, and ability to abandon self-consciousness in the training studio?  ...  Becci’s Feldenkrais-based insights into how to think about movement patterns had helped me teach these students more effectively. In addition, students of mine who consulted her privately often returned to ballet class with less tension in their shoulders, more clarity in their movement sequencing and greater self-awareness about how to participate mindfully in technique class. It seemed like a logical next step to put our heads together over this current challenge.

Somatic Studies and Dance

Education Committee of IADMS, International Association for Dance Medicine and Science, 2009

Glenna Batson, DSc, PT, MA,

https://www.iadms.org/page/248

Movement awareness was the stimulus that spawned an array of somatic practices, with over 100 contemporary body-mind practices in existence

today (above and beyond ancient practices, such as yoga, tai chi, and chi gong). Two main avenues of physical practice evolved: one more

‘receptive’ (e.g., massage, craniosacral therapy, and somato-emotional release), and one more active, calling for the conscious cooperation of the

person through movement awareness or imagination as catalysts for changing motor/movement behavior (e.g., Ideokinesis, Alexander Technique,

and The Feldenkrais Method®).

The dance world began to take serious interest in somatic education with the Dance Magazine series in 1980 on "the Body Therapies” authored by Martha Myers.  ... [Feldenkrais] is a movement-centered system of mind-body education and personal development. The work is designed to improve movement capability and freedom as well as to reduce pain or limitations in movement and improve general well-being. 

Integration of Dynamic Movement Concepts into the Ballet Technique Class for the Development of Movement Quality

UNIVERSITÉ DU QUÉBEC À MONTRÉAL , Thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for Masters in Dance

Beverley Atchinson, January 2012

https://archipel.uqam.ca/4882/1/M12532.pdf

In order to implement the movement concepts, which organize the management of forces, the students first developed internal

awareness and sensation of their bodies in motion with efficient biomechanical functioning, neuromuscular patterning, and an

overall physical organization. The "kinaesthetic experience" built retrievable physical references that students could recognize,

apply and reproduce from one situation to another.. Learning was therefore not limited to visual cues and imitation. The actions of the concepts were also built into muscle responses; the concepts were no longer theoretical but practical and operational. These physical references meant that students could produce and reproduce the actions giving them autonomy in their learning and the freedom to explore movement ideas on their own. This research indicates that the integration of dynamic movement concepts into the teaching of ballet technique in daily training, develops movement comprehension in dance students, and contributes to their evolution of dynamic movement quality with control and clarity.

The experience of discourse in dance and in somatic education

Journal of Dance & Somatic Practices, Volume 1, Number 1, 1 June 2009

Sylvie Fortin, Adriane Vieira,  Martyne Tremblay

https://seer.ufrgs.br/Movimento/article/viewFile/10243/27315

From several origins, a variety of practices of somatic education have followed the path in the field of dance. Guimond (1999, p. 6) says that somatic education proposes ―a new relationship with the others: learning to feel what is done, knowing what one feels, not being considered an object anymore, but the creator of your own life‖. To Feldenkrais (1972), the human movement is the foundation of thoughts, emotions and sensations of a person; therefore, it offers the best means for concrete changes in life. According to Feldenkrais, individuals cannot experience freedom and be completely creative, unless they are able to recognize their perceptual habits and act on them.

The Dance Post   

Winnipeg, Manitoba

http://www.thedancepost.org/training-calendar/2016/9/14/feldenkrais-method-15-lessons-in-19-days

If you value your mobility, and want to maintain your freedom to move with ease and grace whenever you want, however you want for as long as possible... Then you need to check out this series of … Awareness Through MovementⓇ lessons and the Feldenkrais MethodⓇ.

London Dance

London, UK

 

http://londondance.com/articles/features/sondra-fraleigh/

Sondra Fraleigh -  Somatics ... is based in movement awareness, and uses gentle movement patterns for the promotion of body/mind health and healing. This sort of work began early in the 20th century with the work of F.M. Alexander and Moshe Feldenkrais ...

how can I ask my body what I need to be more whole as a dancer and a person? we use these questions as guides in allowing the body to move, rather than making a movement happen ... the knowledge of intrinsic dance to simple hands-on body work since this is an important facet of somatics as an emerging profession.

Bourgeon

http://bourgeononline.com/2006/12/dance-awareness-and-the-feldenkrais-method%C2%AE-by-daniel-burkholder/

Increasing awareness is also a key to improving and expanding a dancer’s technical facility. As the dancer becomes more aware of how she is organizing her body she is able to accomplish technical feats with more ease and control.  … By working with The Feldenkrais Method®, dancers develop more awareness so that they can approach and practice movement with more clarity.

By practicing The Feldenkrais Method® dancers will also find that they suffer from less frequent and less severe injuries. Much of the pain that dancers live with comes from ineffective technical habits repeated over and over for many years.

Move to Live

Feldenkrais Method & Dance

Jackie Adkins

http://movetolive.co.uk/feldenkrais/

Many of our everyday aches and pains occur as a result of how we move. Over our lifetime we each develop unconscious habits about how we do things. Sometimes these ways of using ourselves no longer serve us well, and we develop pain or discomfort.

The Feldenkrais Method can help you to become aware of how you move and enable you to learn new ways to move, which are more comfortable and cause less stress to your body. The emphasis is on awareness and learning, rather than ‘correcting’ or ‘fixing’.

Brooklyn Studios For Dance

http://bksd.org/?s=feldenkrais

The Feldenkrais Method® studies the works of our nervous system and our ability to recognize and create movement patterns that are both more efficient and more pleasant.  The Feldenkrais Method® is a form of somatic education that uses gentle movement and directed attention to improve movement and enhance human functioning. Through this Method, you can increase your ease and range of motion, improve your flexibility and coordination, and rediscover your innate capacity for graceful, efficient movement. These improvements will often generalize to enhance functioning in other aspects of your life.

The Hindu

Michel Casanovas

http://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/society/french-dancer-and-choreographer-michel-casanovas-on-feldenkrais-method/article7788487.ece

Michel Casanovas explains why Feldenkrais is the right move to improve physical function and discover self-awareness through movement.  A lot of people mistake Feldenkrais method to be a dance form or an exercise exclusively to be practised by dancers and performers. This is not true. Feldenkrais is a unique somatic practice that helps us readjust or realign our bodies and minds through movement. … With Feldenkrais … I realised that I moved with increased ease and I had less injury during my dance practice. Feldenkrais put me in touch with the intelligence of my body. It opened up my mind and that helped me creatively even in my art practice.

Sensing Difference: Student and Teacher Perceptions on the Integration of the Feldenkrais Method

of Somatic Education and Contemporary Dance Technique

Warwick Long         A thesis submitted for the degree of Master of Physical Education    University of Otago, New Zealand

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.691.5173&rep=rep1&type=pdf

A somatic approach to contemporary dance technique advocates individual uniqueness and the distinctive sensory experience of each student as a starting point to improve understanding and self-knowledge of movement. Despite the recent increase of somatic education within dance education and academia, there has been little research investigating somatic education and contemporary dance from the perspective of the student. This thesis presents a phenomenological study examining student perceptions of the Feldenkrais Method® of somatic education and contemporary dance technique with a group of pre-professional and professional dancers in New Zealand.

The Feldenkrais method: a synthesis of research findings and applications to dance

Journal Australia New Zealand Dance Research Society  

Western Sydney University collection

Kolt, G. S. (2001)

http://researchdirect.westernsydney.edu.au/islandora/object/uws:5095

The Feldenkrais Method is a movement-based technique that aims to explore the relationship between movement, physical experience. and development. Specifically, one of its principles relates to heightening awareness of different body parts and experimenting with how these parts could be included in overall movement patterns. As dance is a performing art that is primarily concerned with movement, it is reasonable to assume that the FM might have useful applications.

The Somatics Infusion

Dance Magazine

Nancy Wozny  April 27, 2012

http://www.dancemagazine.com/the-somatics-infusion-2306891751.html

Somatics is a fluid movement science. It’s in a constant state of growth and assimilation into the dance field  ... [She] finds that working with the eyes has a huge impact on her students’ dancing. Moshe Feldenkrais created many powerful lessons dealing with how our eyes govern our movement. “Rolling down the spine as if you were looking down your front can elicit new movement in the spine,” ... also applies Feldenkrais’ concept of the elasticity of moving back and forth between micro and whole-body movements.

A brief history of somatic practices and dance: historical development of the field of somatic education and its relationship to dance

Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices

Volume 1, Number 1, 1 June 2009

Martha Eddy

http://wellnesscke.net/downloadables/AbriefhistoryofSomaticanddance.pdf

This article outlines the historical development of somatic movement practices especially as they relate to dance, dancers, and dance education organizations. It begins with historical events, cultural trends, and individual occurrences that led up to the emergence of the classic somatic methods at the turn of the twentieth century (Alexander to Trager). It then defines somatic movement education and therapy, and the growth of three generations of somatic movement programmes. Feldenkrais has influenced dance pedagogy around the world.  ...This is just a small sampling of the intersections between dance performers and teachers and somatic practices. Dancers use somatic education to strengthen technical capacity, expand expressiveness, and reduce incidents of injury, as well as for self-development

Feldenkrais Method & Dance

CREATIVE MOVEMENT IDEAS & DANCE TRAINING

https://integratedmovement-ideas.weebly.com/integrated-movement-ideas/feldenkrais-method-dance

Awareness of one’s movement is a common characteristic of Somatics. ... Feldenkrais saw awareness as the movement between intention and action. According to him, this movement provides us with the chance to decide on an appropriate choice of action from a number of possible solutions to a task. 
To bring awareness to how participants are moving, the practitioner will ask them to distinguish between different ways of initiating movement. ...
Feldenkrais’s Awareness through Movement (ATM) has an impact on student’s self-image and its transference to concept related dance phrases, motif based improvisations, training and performances and on their daily lives. 

Creative adaptations: integrating Feldenkrais principles in contemporary dance technique to facilitate the transition into tertiary dance education : in Special Feldenkrais Method Edition of Theatre, Dance and Performance Training magazine

Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, Volume 6, 2015 - Issue 2: Moshe Feldenkrais

Jennifer Roche & Avril Huddy

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/19443927.2015.1027452?needAccess=true

In recent years, there has been growing interest in the field of somatics and its relationship to tertiary dance training due to the understanding that this approach supports creative autonomy by radically repositioning the student's relationship to embodied learning, skill acquisition, enquiry and performance. This research addresses an observable disjuncture between the skills of dancers graduating from tertiary training and Australian dance industry needs, which increasingly demand the co-creative input of the dancer in choreographic practice. Drawing from Action Research, this paper will discuss a project which introduces somatic learning approaches, primarily from Feldenkrais Method and Hanna Somatics, to first-year dance students in their transition into tertiary education. 

Awareness through Movement as Critical Pedagogy in Ballet

University of California, Riverside, Critical Dance Studies

Rainy Demerson, Graduate Student

https://www.academia.edu/28802213/Awareness_through_Movement_as_Critical_Pedagogy_in_Ballet?auto=download

 ... how Awareness Through Movement and ballet - two practices that seemed to engage disparate philosophies and goals - could ever align, given the long history of authoritarian pedagogy inculcated in ballet. Cross referencing my personal experiences, interviews with teachers, and documented research, we can begin to see a clearer picture of the institution of ballet and how lessons can be reconstructed with an emancipatory approach using Awareness Through Movement to intervene into institutionalized practices of body shaming, racism, and elitism. I imagine what a ballet community could look like with critical pedagogy at its core and somatic practices as its method. I propose movement as a vehicle for reconstructing our understandings of the interplay between race, class, and gender issues in ballet, and for restructuring our thoughts and practices not through dialectic, but through the body itself.

Flash Feldenkrais for the Busy Dancer: Part I and Part II

4DANCERS.org, October 29, 2015

Nancy Wozny

http://www.4dancers.org/2015/10/flash-feldenkrais-for-the-busy-dancer-part-i/

http://www.4dancers.org/2015/12/flash-feldenkrais-for-the-busy-dancer-part-ii/

I understand the demands of today’s dancer enough to know that anything can be streamlined to fit an artist’s schedule, even the prolific work of Moshe Feldenkrais, who created over 3,000 brilliant Awareness Through Movement lessons. And trust me, each one is a gem. Although it’s always beneficial to do longer and more complicated lessons, especially when you are in recovery mode, it’s possible to receive a benefit from shorter lessons.

Feldenkrais could very well be the father of cross training as well as somatics, as he addressed expanding our habits head on by introducing the role of novelty in movement as a neural refresher.  We also need to keep in mind that Feldenkrais Method and dance share some of the same domain, which includes inventive movement. The average dancer has no shortage of novelty in their lives, as they regularly meet the demands of today’s choreographers who tirelessly look for new ways to put the human body into action.

‘Weave’: The Feldenkrais Method as Choreographic Process

Perfformio Volume 1, Number 2 │ Spring 2010

Thomas Kampe,  Senior Lecturer for Movement Studies (Department of Performing Arts, Bath Spa University)

http://www.smu.ac.uk/perfformio/images/stories/vol1no2/weave.pdf

http://www.thomaskampe.com/pages/05%20Felden%20Krais/05%20Felden%20Krais.html

The work of Moshe Feldenkrais, and indeed this project, are rooted in experience, and like choreography itself, has its transformational potential through the experience of movement - embodied, enacted, and enworlded. But the work of Moshe Feldenkrais is linked to language, the biosemiotic, dynamic language of the living organism in its social environment, and through Feldenkrais‟ huge oeuvre of "Awareness through Movement‟ (ATM) lessons which are transmitted to the participant through verbal instruction. If indeed the first rule of the Feldenkrais Method is that "there is no rule‟ then it must be a delight to try "to make the impossible possible‟, to write about possible choreographic applications of an inter-subjective process that involves movement, sensing, feeling and thinking processes, which seems to me a choreographic process in itself.

Symmetry and asymmetry in dance and movement training using the Feldenkrais Method® : in Special Feldenkrais Method Edition of Theatre, Dance and Performance Training magazine

Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, Volume 6, 2015 (Abstract only available on-line)

Libby Worth

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/19443927.2015.1049708?journalCode=rtdp20&

... there is a tendency in movement and dance training to focus on an idealised symmetrically trained body. If this image becomes internalised and dominant, there is the potential for it to overshadow anatomical and acquired asymmetries in all performers and to thereby prevent full awareness of the attributes and potential for learning about movement that these asymmetries can offer. Moshe Feldenkrais' Awareness Through Movement lessons are particularly pertinent in this context since many hundreds of these are deliberately structured to enhance awareness of left/right differences. Through looking closely at examples of these, I suggest that movement-based performers can gain a greater appreciation of their individual asymmetries and that this can lead, paradoxically, to a more nuanced and flexible sense of balance. 

Developing movement skills in performing arts: an investigation to stimulate a more creative, imaginative and sensitive movement skill engagement through a democratically orientated approach.

University of West London, UK, UWL Doctoral Conference, 24th May 2017

​Paula J Scales

https://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/3529/2/Scales-2017-Developing%20movement-skills-in-performing-arts-an-investigation-to-stimulate.pdf

... the continuation of authoritarian teaching practices taking place within dance technique and dance classes considered somatics and its perception in the world of dance as 'dance as art' or 'dance as education' (Dragon 2015, p.25) and therefore considered as secondary to dance technique. However, the shift was able to come about through identifying that somatic epistemology and embodied learning had the potential to inform a pedagogical framework for the study of movement and dance. ... The class started with the students being given the learning objectives of the lesson. In this lesson two objectives were set -  To understand how the Feldenkrais method can help to locate and gain a connection to the body.  Be able to apply the technique to the exercises and choreographic tasks. 

Exploring the Modern Dance Technique Class as a Somatic Practice

A THESIS Presented to the Department of Dance and the Graduate School of the University of Oregon

in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Fine Arts, June 2013

Melanie J. Meenan

https://scholarsbank.uoregon.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1794/13318/Meenan_oregon_0171N_10752.pdf?sequence=1

Practicing dance somatically first requires developing attention and awareness of the present moment, also known as mindfulness. Engaging mindfully in the modern dance technique class allows for deeper connections to holistic movement experiences. Dancers can find and understand sensation and with that can explore efficiency and ease in their movement experiences. Teaching dance as a somatic practice involves bringing attention to present moment sensations along with individuality. It also calls for continual reflection and action by adjusting in the moment to the needs of the students through listening to the students’ voices and reacting empathetically to their movement experiences in providing feedback. 

Integrating semi-structured somatic practices and contemporary dance technique training

Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices Volume 1 Number 2, 2009

Rebecca Weber, University of Central Lancashire

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/274325214_Integrating_semi-structured_somatic_practices_and_contemporary_dance_technique_training

Somatics as a field continues to rely on and value subjective experience as primary and focuses on how the body adapts to the continual flow of information gathered through interoceptive, proprioceptive and kinaesthetic sensing. As the field of somatics grew, somatic movement education developed in the 1960s. ... Students were introduced via a brief lecture and handout on somatics as a field and the primary tenets within the Connections to the Living Body framework in which I am trained. Students then entered into a period of semi-structured somatic exploration set up as a community session to introduce them to somatic practices. The focus was on balancing rest and activity; establishing a sense of non-judgement; kinaesthetic, interoceptive and proprioceptive sensations

Ballet as Somatic Practice: A Case Study Exploring the Integration of Somatic Practices in Ballet Pedagogy

Journal of Dance Education, November 13, 2017

Tanya Berg, PhD

http://imagetechfordancers.com/ballet-as-somatic-practice-a-case-study-exploring-the-integration-of-somatic-practices-in-ballet-pedagogy.pdf

The purpose of the dissertation was to explore how an embodied student-teacher relationship manifested itself in the studio environment, emphasizing non-verbal student-teacher communication in advanced level ballet classes. The ballet classes chosen for the study were expected to be traditional in their structure and pedagogy. However, when the teacher discussed in this case study began her class with an exercise, during which the dancers tapped the top of their heads or their ears, I knew that the scope of the research had changed. These ballet students had an untraditional internal focus facilitated by verbal instruction and self-correction stemming from somatic practices. The purpose of this article is to explore the integration of somatic practices in ballet pedagogy as observed in a case study.

Eros and inquiry: the Feldenkrais Method® as a complex resource: in Special Feldenkrais Method Edition of Theatre, Dance and Performance Training magazine

Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, Volume 6, 2015

Thomas Kampe

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19443927.2015.1027451?src=recsys

The essay proposes that informing performer training through Feldenkrais processes and value systems can offer timely educational models that transcend notions of reductionist, discipline-oriented skills provision, by offering embodied modes of artistic questioning and aesthetic inquiry. It argues that the Feldenkrais Method (FM) offers emancipatory, empathy-forming, and agency-constituting processes which can support an open-ended and rigorous approach to performer training. By drawing on trans-disciplinary critical theory frameworks the article suggests that FM, as a bio-psycho-social practice, fosters improved mobility, creative inquiry skills and complex thought through inter-subjective de-conditioning processes. It argues that the Feldenkrais Method offers a pedagogical foundation for the vitalising and integration of the learners’ sexually potent self into training and performance processes. Dance students are often asked to distance their personal, everyday life self-image from their classroom dancer identity  ... My own practice as a dance pedagogue has been concerned with investigating the application of the Feldenkrais Method as an empowering and agency-constituting tool to develop pedagogies ‘that recognize the emergent dancing subject as a feature of the work’ 

Editorial : in Special Feldenkrais Method Edition of Theatre, Dance and Performance Training magazine

Theatre, Dance and Performance Training magazine, Volume 6, 2015

Libby Worth

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/19443927.2015.1047118?needAccess=true

When looking at the collection of articles and Training Grounds contributions compiled for this special edition of TDPT on the Feldenkrais Methodw (FM) and Performer Training ... the primary concern in this Special Issue, as expressed by the tone and content of the submissions, is with the living legacy that Feldenkrais left that sits alongside and interweaves with his writings and writings about his work. By ‘living legacy’ I refer to the repertoire of lessons that he created and that, through the thorough training of professional-level practitioners he undertook later on in life, continue to be accessible in many parts of the world within dedicated training programmes.  ... the contributors here turn the readers’ focus more directly to practice. There is an extraordinary generosity evident in these pages, as performers, teachers and writers do their best to unpick the multi-sensory and layered experience of learning through movement, combined with understanding how this contributes to performance. The emphasis is on conversation, connectivity, curiosity and, above all, heightened forms of listening.

Training Grounds Editorial : in Special Feldenkrais Method Edition of Theatre, Dance and Performance Training magazine

Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, Volume 6, 2015

Dick McCaw

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/19443927.2015.1047119#aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cudGFuZGZvbmxpbmUuY29tL2RvaS9wZGYvMTAuMTA4MC8xOTQ0MzkyNy4yMDE1LjEwNDcxMTlAQEAw

In the above articles we have seen the Feldenkrais Method from an experiential perspective: it has been described as a bewildering experience which leads to quite dramatic change. Thus far we haven’t had an analysis of the thinking behind the method. Feldenkrais’ lessons are a little like Apple computers: they have a very simple user interface, which is made possible by correspondingly complex software. Apart from being a student of the Martial Arts (an important element in his pedagogical software), in the 1930s and 1940s Feldenkrais was a practising research scientist.  ...  Although the Feldenkrais Method is learned through movement, and as such is extremely accessible, the thinking behind it is underpinned by an understanding of the physics of dynamics. 

Introduction to the Feldenkrais Method of Awareness Through Movement - course # DANC: 3852

Course offered at The University of Iowa

http://catalog.registrar.uiowa.edu/courses/danc/

Introduction to the Feldenkrais Method of Awareness Through Movement; refinement of physical organization and coordination applied toward ordinary actions and functions, as well as athletics and performing arts; improving awareness toward uncovering postural habits; expanding options for new and more efficient movement; exploring developmental patterns, joint, muscle and postural relationships; cultivating multiple possibilities for achieving the same action; conscious integration of sensing, feeling, thinking, and action.

A brief history of somatic practices and dance: historical development of the field of somatic education and its relationship to dance

Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices Volume 1 Number 1 © 2009 Intellect Ltd

Martha Eddy, Moving On Center/Center for Kinesthetic Education, NYC

http://wellnesscke.net/downloadables/AbriefhistoryofSomaticanddance.pdf

Feldenkrais was motivated to explore his own body to find out what the troublesome issues were. This inward road of exploring the body grew, in part, out of his interest in auto-suggestion, self-image and the workings of the unconscious mind.  … Feldenkrais has influenced dance pedagogy around the world. This is a small sampling of the intersections between dance performers and teachers and somatic practices.  … How brilliant and prescient Feldenkrais was when he entitled his last book The Elusive Obvious (1989). Human nature, the body, the sensation of living, are so obvious and yet so elusive.

DANCE SCIENCE AND SOMATICS IN TRAINING AND PERFORMANCE

THESIS Presented to the School of Music and Dance and the Graduate School of the University of Oregon in partial

fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Fine Arts June 2017

by HANNAH KAY ANDERSEN

https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/92864670.pdf

In her studies of the integration of the Feldenkrais Method® into tertiary dance training in the UK, Dianne Hancock (2015) noted personal relevance as a significant motivational factor in students’ engagement with the practice. Hancock tells a story of Feldenkrais providing a lecture to dance students at NYU in 1971. Despite the depth of his philosophical ideas, the dancers did not engage with his lecture until he mentioned that he could help them learn how to do the splits. Once he offered students an identifiable goal, they were engaged with the material (Hancock 2015). This is further emphasized in Hancock’s article by Feldenkrais teacher Daniele Sanderson’s notion of a “Wow Lesson.” She suggests for students to be motivated to involve themselves in the lessons, “you’ve got to tap into what it is that they want out of it” (Hancock 2015, 165). Motivation is a critical part of initiating change. Each student seeks different motivation, however often providing anatomical support for why change is important can clarify reasoning for students. 

Movement in Mind: Dance, Self-Awareness and Sociality - An investigation of dance as treatment/therapy

Thesis submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts

Graduate Program in Interdisciplinary Studies, August, 2016

York University Toronto, Ontario

Rebecca Barnstaple

https://yorkspace.library.yorku.ca/xmlui/bitstream/handle/10315/33342/Barnstaple_Rebecca_E_2016_Masters.pdf?sequence=2&isAllowed=y

The often gentle movement explorations proposed by somatics provide movers with a type of awareness that is both acute and expansive, taking in detail while building a more comprehensive experiential gestalt. Refined knowledge of postural and movement habits can eventually produce more efficient and effective movement behaviours. Feldenkrais replaces our notion of posture with his own term - acture - the sum total of all that we have done, and all that we are prepared to do (1985). By becoming aware of our movements, and how they relate (us) to the environment, we become educated in the most intimate and constant aspects of ourselves - what we do, how we do it, how it could be better. We may also come to an understanding of why we have acted in a particular way, along with a desire to either accept or change it. By paying attention through the moving body, we can begin to connect cognition and behaviour. I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It's easy.

Moving the Dance: Awareness Through Movement For Dancers

Feldenkrais Journal, Number 3, 1987

The Feldenkrais Guild of North America

Donna Blank

https://www.feldenkraisguild.com/Files/Feldenkrais_Journals/1987_Journal_3.pdf

The thirteen people participating in the study include professional performing dancers, dance teachers and choreographers, several of them playing all these roles in their careers. These dancers studied ATM on a weekly basis, roughly from ten weeks to one and a half years. ... One can see that the response of dancers to the Feldenkrais Method is rich, deeply felt, and full of possibilities. This pilot study represents a beginning attempt to look at the relationship. The study can be replicated on a larger scale, given the many dancers in the world now studying the FM. 

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