Body Lessons

Body Lessons and Self Massage for Dancers

I have danced for close to 35 years and many of those years dancing hard!! For well over a decade of that time I was performing over a dozen 35-40 minute shows a week. Often those shows were accompanied by pulsing live music and enthusiastic audiences with finales ending in turkish drops and head tossing zars. Fortunately I’ve essentially been injury free, never having canceled a show or missing a day of my regular day jobs. In 1994, in the midst and height of my performing career I was involved in 4 car accident. I was rear-ended, then broadsided (on the driver’s side) and then I proceeded to rear end the car in front of me. Needless to say my car was totaled, however, I was pretty much unscathed. I was able to crawl out of the passenger side window…none of the doors opened. That was a Sunday night coming home from performing at a wedding, by Thursday I was back to my full function!
I’ve always been interested in the body and its function. So much so that it has fueled my choice in avocation and vocation. Well, after that accident, it ignited in me a desire for more information beyond my clinical hours of cadaver exploration and clinical anatomy. I had explored methods like Feldenkrais, Alexander, Rosen, Rolfing and many other paths to better function not only for myself but for my students.
My methods are culled from my own experiences and explorations as well as a results of hundreds of books , articles and thousands of hours of intensive clinical study.
These exercises are essentially for self-care for any body, whether it’s a dancer’s body or you are sedentary. They are especially helpful for an aging body….middle age..when the movement patterns of our youth start to show themselves as dysfunctional  and as our muscle memory is imprinted with these responses. Where sporadic aches and pains in youth that were often dismissed as a nuisance or often ignored, start to become a daily occurrence or interfere with our enjoyment of daily life and our normal activities. These lessons are potent tools for any body, however, (and I know this is true from experience)!! It’s hard to entice or convince a body that can do anything it wants…that she needs fixing…the message is more enticing or becomes more urgent when there is pain.
They are therapeutic for their “feel good” benefit and with regular practice used for an anecdote to a stressful life..with enough time, use and examination of these methods, they  prove to be a powerful tool for identifying any muscular patterns that are problematic.
When I was younger, these tools were for when my body was in crisis, so to speak…wake up with a sore neck, hip etc. As I age, I’m finding them even more beneficial and essential for my day-to-day function.  They serve me in my day gig, where I’m on my feet all day, they serve for when I’m sitting at the computer.  For me they prepare me for a “ready” body, a free body, so I can dance!
Join me in an afternoon of Body Lessons and Self Massage for Dancers
Saturday June 16, 2012 at Suzie’s Studio in San Rafael, Ca.