Improving Dance by Slowing Down
Monday, April 1, 2013
by: Erica Trivett, GCFP

Section: Performers

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. I’d begun my training in classical ballet when I was seven and now I found myself unsure of my physical needs and abilities.

Following the operation and rehabilitation in Vancouver BC, I returned to Europe with the intention of finding some freelance work so I that could gauge myself better. I ended up working with the Basel Ballet in Switzerland. There, I met a woman in the company recovering from a herniated disc. She was in her third year of the Feldenkrais Method training in Amsterdam. I took an Awareness Through Movement® lesson with her and was hooked. The approach and effects of the work resonated with me. I enrolled in a training and throughout the process was dancing, choreographing and teaching.

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.

I have always been a good technician but the Feldenkrais Method has helped me learn how to move more slowly and let the body move, rather than make it happen. Not easy when you’ve spent your whole life training to be in control and have movement happen because you want it. The Method has also taught me how to be patient with my body and the learning process. I know understand that my body will ‘get it’ and that with intention, the body will follow.
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