“POLES ARE FOR SAFETY, NOT FOR YOUR LATEST ROUTINE”
– my favorite broken subway rule
Real life circumstances sometimes call for a little rule-breaking. Dancers understand this instinctively. Where most people are afraid of falling – like on a moving subway train – dancers see opportunity: for self-challenge, for making money, and putting on a good show! They have a certain crazy faith in balance, space, and their own physical intelligence. If I can imagine it, they think, I can make it happen!
I’ve seen alot of scared passengers on the subway during these crazy routines, but I’ve never seen anyone get hurt. The risk is carefully calculated. After all, if you hurt your audience, they won’t give you their hard earned cash. If you are a dancer, though, you know: dancers do get hurt. If you are a dance educator, or a touch professional who helps dancers sustain long careers, you know what I mean. Dancers take alot of risks, and sometimes pay a price – willingly or not. The challenges of my dance life, and a desire to take better care of myself inspired by my first experiences with the Alexander Technique, led me to several key questions by the time I was 25:
– Could it really be this easy to let go of ideas about movement that no longer serve me – so I can keep dancing?
– Is it really possible to stop holding myself back physically, mentally, and emotionally?
– Am I willing to trust my intelligence and imagination and stop hurting myself?
– Am I willing to stop trying to control outcomes (including the audience’s perception of me) that I have no control over anyway?
If you are a movement educator or a dancer in pain, there is a good chance that you’ve got ideas about how your body is supposed to move that are not in harmony with the actual design of that body. No, it’s not just that dance is hard. Those ideas (and many of us have multiple and conflicting ones) are deployed in our bodies in full force especially when under the stress of performance. The good news is, there is a way you can discover what they are really doing for you, good or bad!
In my Beginners Mind, Beginners Body Workshop the most important tool you will receive is a reliable method of finding out for yourself if your ideas about movement are true (not harmful) or not. It’s not just another “technique” to learn. It’s a method for finding the truth of the body for yourself, making your already considerable body of knowledge even more valuable and accurate, so you can keep doing what you love and share it with the world.
Here is my most recent video on the nerve supply for your arms. It might give you an idea of how you could do one of these crazy pole routines without hurting your delicate shoulder joints!
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