The idealized image of the dancer as a heavenly being whose every thought transforms into graceful movement, in daily life as well as on stage, is merely rarely confirmed by the reality. In practice, grace comes only as the result of rigorous discipline and is a transient quality which in fact is hardly ever experienced as a constant by dancers.
Among artists, the dancer is probably the one upon whose body the greatest physical stresses occur because the greatest possible demands are made of it in terms of movement. All its possibilities are explored to the fullest extent imaginable, and sometimes even beyond.
Dancers who have encountered the Alexander Technique and have been themselves willing to make the effort to understand and apply its principles have drawn numerous benefits from it. They discover a greater respiratory freedom and an improved response to the excessive demands upon a body required to yield to the constraints of movement in space and time.
Dancers are often drawn to the Alexander Technique following a traumatism or dissatisfaction with their rate of progress. Work done with a teacher of the Alexander Technique on the relation between thought and movement will open the way to decompressing the spinal column and releasing the energy potential contained within it. This provides the opportunity for the lengthened spine to transmit its energy and flexibility to the whole body, which will then be able to expand freely upwards and ensure a cushioned landing, remaining free subsequently to be redirected in any direction.
The dancer comes to see that the way to greater lightness and mobility need not to be a torture some process and that the result will be more effective if thought directs correctly the movement.
This thinking in movement enables the dancer to find an unforced, free of unnecessary tension way to create movements which will naturally flow unimpeded from the points of support of the body.
The enlargement of awareness in the course of movement creates for the dancer additional time; sufficient to feel his/her emotions, to hear the music and to experience the pleasure of becoming at one with the movement.
The Alexander Technique being concerned primarily with the body-mind and neuromuscular coordination underlying human movement and reaction, dancers from any background can benefit from applying the principles of the Alexander Technique to improve the general use of themselves, which they will be able to bring successfully in the refinement of their personal style.
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