Unarchiving: Amnesia & Innocence
-Abandon All Hope
-auras, of all things ...soul--matrix
-walk with confidence and full energy field
-taking/allowing more time
-all of the above to connect to source"
I spent an entire class trying to get people into their bodies. I started teaching Contact Improvisation surprisingly. It’s surprising because I don’t consider myself a contact person. I never go to jams, and I’m not flying or lifting all the time. Either I’m not warmed up to trust that I’ll remain injury free, and/or I don’t trust the other person to be that good or vice versa. Of course with some friends it’s easy because there is a physical dance history shared between us, or our energy is easy and synced to some extent.
Here are strategies that I used…
I didn’t know how to start exactly, but I just proposed that everyone takes whatever they’ve been doing on the floor before I’ve officially started and do it more consciously and in a way where they turn their intention towards releasing extra tension, stress and stiffness into the floor. They could push into the floor, stretch, contract, yawn, etc. Almost like they’re waking up from sleep or like a dog stretching and yawning on the carpet in the sun.
I had them find their way to a solid wall where they could lean against. I said that this is establishing a base, foundational reference point for their bodies to be in a non-vertical, centered orientation. In this leaning, diagonal pose they could bend their hips, extend and flex their knees, loosen a leg or other limb…all while being stable between the floor and the wall yet relaxed and malleable in their whole body.
For the name round, I had them take this basic position and structural relationality and apply it to being with a partner…so everyone leaning into a partner in an easy way where they could theoretically hang out there for a half hour. I had them adjust and shift periodically.
The grounding was in the specific tasks I proposed but also in the way that I was speaking to them. I made some jokes. I felt and sounded casual yet also specific and authoritative in a confident and knowledgeable way. I think they were able to trust the expertise and leadership of the teacher so that they could just focus on the task at hand. Their minds and systems and anxieties calm down in fundamental and deep way.
I encouraged them to breath at different points. A person taking a natural deep breath is always a sign to me of someone sinking deeper into a grounded-in-their-body state.
I proposed an exercise where one person would coffee press their partner down while the partner took the physical directive but with resistance the entire way so that the descent to being flat on the ground took about two minutes. Once flat on the ground, the coffee pressing partner would compress them further into the ground, even laying their entire bodyweight on to them. This felt like a very literal way to ground someone…to flatten them like a pancake onto the floor.
This class was successful in that people seemed easefully focused for the two hours. The success of this class was due to a) pulling this prompt/note from my “archive” as something to intentionally activate and b) a less successful class the week before where people did not seem to easily get into their bodies. I realized that I should have gone slower and assumed most people were beginners actually so as to not expect too much or skip over steps that needed to be established first actually.
Laughing is a great way to ground actually…it provides such a relief and activation followed by a sense of exhaustion and openness and clarity.
Funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media within the framework of the initiative NEUSTART KULTUR, aid programm DIS-TANZEN by the Dachverband Tanz Deutschland