Archive for June, 2009

Springs for feet

Today in ballet class I was imaging my talus sliding from plié to relevé. The talus is a very important bone in the foot which transfers the weight of the body through the lower leg to the foot. As I plié, tendu, dégagé and travel through class I focus on feeling the gliding action in this bone- allowing it to fully move towards the heel in plié and forward in extension of the foot. This focus gives my whole body the feeling of more support and connection. My legs feel longer and extended without tension and traveling and jumps is effortless.

I need to spend more time imaging the incredible design of the feet to really spring into my full movement potential.

This Sunday, Eric Franklin is teaching a workshop on the feet at Movements a Foot in NYC from 2.30-5.30. If you would like more spring, joy and ease in your feet then make sure to get yourself there! You will be jumping higher- guarenteed :-)


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A new plie

Yesterday at the National Dance Educators Organization (NDEO) conference, Eric Franklin and Morten Dithmer were teaching two fantastic workshops- ‘The art of the plie’, and ‘Fabulous feet, effortless jumping’. There were over 60 dance teachers per workshop, all coming to experience a new change in their bodies and minds. The word is spreading fast that we really need to look at function within the body in order to have long, healthy dance careers. As dance teachers start to experience more about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to teaching dance, and supporting the design and function of the body; the health and longevity of the dancer will be greatly increased. Not to mention that aesthetics and enjoyment, allowing more aspiring dancers to reach their potential, free of injury.

Picture 2

Here, Eric is demonstrating the bone rhythms of the leg and pelvis in a plie. In an instant the room witnessed this dancer gain more range, flexibility, ease and enjoyment in her plie. She stated that “it feels lighter, more free and more grounded”. 

There was a buzz in the room as all the participants could start to see the huge potential in changing the way that dance is instructed in order to improve technique and health of the dancer. It was experienced first hand in their own bodies and everyone is ready to take the next step in moving dance to a healthier more effortless place!

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In the Franklin Method we use imagery as our primary tool to facilitate positive change. Because by using imagery you work directly with the nervous-system, which has been scientifically proven to be the fastest way to change the way we use our body. Mindful awareness is the first step in learning to use imagery.

To effectively use imagery, we need to be able to conjure a clear picture in our mind, and be able to maintain focus on it. All these ‘toys’ are in fact ‘very important props!’ and we use them to help fine-tune our imagery skills. If you can see it clearly, then you are able to use the image to transform your body, mind, awareness. 

We are all constantly imaging… the question is, is what we are imaging supporting our life and movement or not?

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How do you create/ find ‘your alignment?’ What is alignment?. If you are a dancer or take movement classes, you may have been told to “get aligned”. This concept is rather abstract if you don’t even know what ‘alignment’ is~ let alone how to get there.

In the Franklin Method, we learn about and experience the dynamic relationship between all the joints in the body- which creates a sense of ease, flexibility, strength and balanced alignment. In order to appear to be ‘aligned’, you need to allow the movements within the joints of the body to do their job- of creating movement! If you do not allow the joints to move, then the body needs to compensate by finding movement in other places- and the result is tension and/ or injury… and ‘mis-alignment!’

Today, we looked at and imaged the movement between the iliums and sacrum. Have you ever realized that there is a joint there? By understanding how it is designed to move, and embodying that function, we are able to improve it’s alignment, movement and therefor overall strength, balance and flexibility within the entire body. As you move with this new embodiment, it is incredible to see how movement is transformed and easeful.

Why not embody your function and find a dynamic alignment?

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Every Monday 12pm-1.30pm

Dance New Amsterdam, 280 Broadway (enter at 53 Chambers Street), New York City, NY

Today we will be embodying the movements of the pelvis. How does the sacrum move as you bend your legs? Are you really reaching your full potential by allowing the dynamic flexibility of the 3 bones of the pelvis? Jump higher, balance longer, turn faster… imagine that :-)

The Franklin Method teaches you how to use imagery effectively to improve alignment, flexibility, balance and use the body as it is designed. By embodying the function of the body, we improve function, movement potential with efficiency and ease.

Each class consists of a warm up, exercises that improve posture, awareness, movement and dance. You will learn Eric’s Theraband series- (as seen in ‘Conditioning for Dance’ by Eric Franklin) as well as other exercises with the balls to increase feedback, increase flexibility and strength in a balanced way

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Slosh your spine

How do you find length, balance, support, enjoyment and ease in your spine? The goals are often clear, but the ‘how do I get there?’ isn’t always easy to find. If your spine feels tense, or restricted it’s often easy to spend the whole time feeling tight and saying “I have so much tension”, and “my back hurts”… “I really have to get rid of my back pain someday…” 

How do you create a positive change in your body and step into appreciating the beauty of the spine. How can we work with our spine to give it the space it needs to be supportive, strong and flexible? 

By embodying the change you want to be! It’s quite simple, and yet not always easy to change… but by finding the images that start to break up old habits and patterns and starting to re-wire the nervous system into a new, more efficient way of being, we start to feel a whole new spine- instantly!

Picture 19

I love feeling my discs sloshing! This is not a simple image to embody first up. You may want to start just imagining your spine being flowing like a cat’s tail, or fluid like the tail of a kite while you move. Once you have more insight into the design and structure of the spine, then you can quite quickly embody imagery that works with the joints and discs. (The discs are between the vertebrae.)

Last week, we looked at the discs, and how the move inside the spine as we move the body. Are they balanced? Are they able to slosh, and nourish the joints? As you go inside and start to observe, the transformation that happens is instant and joyful. Just writing this is making my spine very happy! Now I have to get up and move it :-)

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