Open Class for Professional Dancers

Open Class for Professional Dancers

Goal - Essential question

To explore and improve contact dance.

Body awareness/Somatics (10 minutes)

Settle anywhere in the space and focus on the breath. Listen to the breath and then as instructed manipulate it. Gradually introduce a simple set of movements in coordination with the breath, beginning to mobilize the body.
Progression: lengthen the sequence throughout the week, play with speed and reversing the breath.
Outcomes: Mobilization

Improvisation/Using the Space/Interaction (10 minutes)

First teach a rhythm vocally and then focus on moving through the space and having precision in the body, move to music using the provided rhythm.
Progression: add on to the rhythm and play with speed, focus and interactions.
Outcome: Warm-up

Visualization (10 minutes)

Using specific images lead an improvisation, and then use the images to deliver a set sequence.
Progression: half way through the week introduce another set of images and set sequence.
Outcome: Spine

Contact (10 minutes)

Bring the focus back to the breath, this time thinking about the anatomy of the body and the muscles involved in respiration (primary and secondary). First individually, encourage participants to pummel the ventral upper body tissue following a set of breathing pattern, and then do the same with the lower ventral body. In pairs then do the dorsal body on each other. This exercise works to open all of the muscles involved in breathing.
Progression: move from pummeling to holding, focusing on body awareness and three-dimensional breath, also look at partner stretches that work to open the breathing apparatus promoting an easeful, useful breath.
Outcome: Opening

Accumulation (10 minutes)

Now the muscles in the body are really open, move to the floor where there can be a deeper sense of this openness, if participants cannot work on the floor find ways for them to explore this yielding into their chairs or feet if they are standing. Teach a sequence that uses simple accumulation: A, AB, ABC. Spend time on translating for dancers that remain upright.
Progression: encourage dancers that are working on the floor to translate the upright version, play with speed and facings in the space.
Outcome: Floor-work/ surface work.

Inclusive Language (10 minutes)

Use this exercise to promote inclusive language, maybe you do not demonstrate but simply talk through the strengthening exercise.
Progression: gradually increase reps and intensity, work up to using a whole song.
Outcome: Strengthening

Different Levels (10 minutes)

Take inspiration from a body that moves differently to you for this exercise, teach the first layer, focusing on detail and precision.
Progression: gradually add layers as the week progresses, use the group to inspire you and offer alternative layers for those that might not have full use of their body.
Outcome: Sequence

Repetition/Yoga Translation (10 minutes)

Repeat the opening exercise at a slower pace.
Progression: gradually add on a yoga sequence that also works with translation.
Outcome: cool down