The Feldenkrais Method is an invaluable tool for dancers to not only hone their skill but to prevent injury. Dancers are accustomed to strenuous training and astute at using visual cues to quickly grasp and imitate sequences of movements. Every dance technique has its own rules and constraints placing the highest demands on the bodies of these incredible athletes.
Through Feldenkrais, a dancer slows down the learning process, attending to sensation and slow movement, thereby engaging another part of their brain. By minimizing one’s effort a dancer can learn where their unconscious habits of over exertion interfere with their intention to create a specific form or action. When a dancer can sense their skeletal structure and therefore more clearly map their self-image in the brain, their use of their body becomes better and better. As they learn to rely to the support of their architecture the muscles are free to move however the choreography demands.
“The most valuable thing I’ve learned working with Kelly is that the source of my pain is not always where I feel it. Feldenkrais has taught me how to look for solutions in other parts of myself. I’ve discovered the pain in my knee has something to do with the way I am using my ribs. This awareness helps me experiment with new ways of moving so I can fix my own problem. As a dancer this is an invaluable tool in keeping myself injury-free.”
Geoff Alexander of the Big Muddy Dance Company
‘Feldenkrais has helped me relieve pain and stiffness I have had for years. As a teacher, I look at the dancers differently. I watch their tracking and timing with a whole new awareness.” Paula David, artistic director of the Big Muddy Dance Company
“Finding proper positioning of the head, chest and pelvis is simpler and a lot less work than I used to think, thanks to Feldenkrais.” Dustin Crumbaugh of the Big Muddy Dance Company
“After our Feldenkrais classes in the morning I feel aligned and ready for ballet.” Kelly Bitzer of the Big Muddy Dance Company
“Using Feldenkrais principles, I have begun to change habitual patterns, making my dancing lighter and freer.” Dawn Gilbertson of the Big Muddy Dance Company
“The biggest thing I’ve noticed since beginning Feldenkrais classes is my attention to opposing forces for certain movements. For instance, arabesque is easier because I can find more length in the front of myself.” Erin Warner of the Big Muddy Dance Company
“I believe it is possible to train strong, flexible, thinking dancers with far less injury than is the norm,” states Priscilla Winslow Bradley, an injured dancer turned Feldenkrais practitioner.
“The Feldenkrais Method has helped my dancing more than anything else. I’m more flexible, my joints move easily and I can balance longer than ever before.” Tammy Rosen Wilbur Director of the DanceLoft in Tucson, AZ