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Being and doing - practicing technique and flow

Being and doing, in dancing I see this as technique and flow. I like to see this as technique and flow rather than technique versus flow emphasising the balance of both which enhances the enjoyment of dance, movement and physical expression of music.


Technique, the doing, concentrating, extending part of dance has it’s place, especially partner dance (as you work to find ways not to step on your partner’s toes), but so does letting go into flow. (A valuable lesson I’m learning from the practice of ecstatic dance such as 5Rhythms and other ecstatic dance practices).


Training technique: As a dancer, you may want to find ways to express yourself in greater ways and ways that feel better and better. For this, you will be practicing movements, ranges of motion, rhythmical timing or an increased physical connection with your partner; this will require concentration and doing. When you are working on a move, when you are actively asking your body to do a certain movement, then you are doing. Quite possibly it’s something new that you’ve not done before, creating new muscle memories and this is the work of the dance.


Flow, on the other hand, is the place where you relax into observing and feeling how your body is moved by the music without trying to achieve something. It’s where you experience a connection and a flow with the music, your partner (if you have one), or the other dancers and atmosphere of the room. Allowing yourself to be in this state is the joy of dance.

Being in flow: Repetition of movement is a great way to get into flow. Find a movement which is repetitive, and repeat, and repeat. Repeat until you are no longer thinking about how to do the move. Bring your attention to the music and tune in to how you feel to this music. Your body is moving and doing the repetitive motion now and as you tune in to how you feel, observe how your movements are changing. How are you expressing yourself to this music through movement?


The bottom line is, having practiced your technique and trained your body until you are comfortable with your movements, at whatever level that is for you, you are then able to let go and find your flow in a way that feels good. This is an amazing place to be at, and this is primarily what I see as my work here – as an integration between technique and flow, how they interconnect and enhance each other.

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