Thursday, July 25, 2013

My Hips (Arms, and Shoulders) Lie

For the sake of connection, it's quite helpful to keep no tension in my body (I'll talk more about that later, but for more on that, I'll refer you to Jo Hoffberg, who has mentioned it during classes enough times for me to think of it as the central theme of her teaching). So I relax. I do that despite how tense I might be inside.  And I dance every day, or at least every week, and relaxing the tension while dancing becomes second nature.

So I become unlike normal folks.  No one can tell how stressed out I am by how tense I am.  I can't tell with quite a lot of my friends either, because they are also dancers who have, over a long, long time, learned to suppress their inner animal and not tense when they are stressed.

This focus on tension, and feeling for its lack, however, gives me an opportunity.  For because I am no longer tense, I can feel through the connection exactly how tense my partner is, and where that tension resides.  Not everyone I dance with is advanced enough to not be tense.

This is the single most relevant example, but it points to something that I find to be more or less the case through this and other body cues:

Experienced dancers are more adept at reading the body language of inexperienced ones, and masking or altering their own natural body language.

Has this been your experience?  And if you've gotten natural, inadvertent body language cues from someone during a dance, how do you use that information?

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