Friday, March 13, 2009

Dancing quite well!

I have had my ballet class today, and it is Friday the 13th, so I feel safe in saying that I am dancing quite well at the moment. It is interesting that when K gave me the choice in my last physio session of stopping ballet altogether due to both overall fatigue and calf-fatigue, that it somehow took the pressure off me and maybe made me feel more relaxed about class.

For the past three weeks I have had no calf pain and have been feeling stronger (even on a very hypermobile left ankle) in demi-pointe work, including a great improvement in sustained balances on the demie-pointe on one leg (both legs being equally strong). In addition, I have been doing more allegro regularly, still only on 2-2 feet, but I am coping with this better and the calves are fatiguing less. This is the most positive improvements I have had for several months, and this is even in spite of how fatigued I am on a regular basis, due to my MSc commitments.

It would be hard to scientifically prove, but I also believe the weekly (and sometimes more often) sessions of somatic practices I have been taking as part of my MSc in Dance Science have been very beneficial in terms of relaxation and mind-body awareness. Here are some quotes from my journal relating to the somatics module and how I feel about my own dancing:

"I am able to do more and for once was “on task” and in the flow of movement, which is a rare feeling for me".

During a Feldenkrais Session..."We were told to nurture ourselves and to treat ourselves like we might treat a newborn baby; so gently and with immense care. I have often felt like a baby myself during these sessions anyway; like I am doing some of the movements for the first time, and just crawling and moving like a young child, with no inhibitions. To me, it is increasingly feeling instinctively the right way to be and to move, and I am enjoying it more all the time".

"I managed to get through the whole of my ballet class minus 2 allegro exercises today. This is a real achievement and it has been months since this happened. My teacher and I were wondering what was different. Maybe since K suggested I could take a break from ballet if I was that fatigued and perhaps I have absorbed this message as a way of taking some pressure off myself. Perhaps my new glut exercise is helping. Maybe I just danced for me and my needs and so was feeling much less anxious. Either way, it felt great to have completed the class intact and without causing trauma to my calf muscles".

"Somatic practices are also about doing things with less effort, so that the stress and tension do not build up – I am thinking here about T telling me us to do balances like we don’t care about them and to use much less effort".

"My latest experience with the Feldenkrais has been a bit like an earthquake to my body. The second session with Scott which caused me to go into chaos, was by all accounts a massive earthquake. My body continued to be in vibration for days to come, and I responded in the manner of others following trauma in the form of a natural disaster by experiencing serious emotional shock (shockwaves). The earthquake has completely changed the way my body now feels and moves. It has been a blast of re-education". - See January/February entries on this, below.

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