Overview of term one movement patterns

Cellular breathing: Expansion and contraction of each cell of the body in internal respiration. Integrates and aligns the physical body. Present throughout life form conception, as it underlies breathing and all life processes. We used hands on activities, with focus on the breathing and moving with the idea of condensing and expanding.

Navel radiation: Integrates of the body into the centre through the navel. Starfish pattern. Present in utero. We explored this by focusing on the starfish pattern on the floor and moving with the idea of 6 limbs which all move in unison, joining at the centre. I feel I connect to this pattern particularly well as I like the starfish imagery and can find support from the floor while I do so.

Mouthing: the head rocks on the lower jaw; nursing action of the infant. Sea squirt. Dominant During early infancy. We used a rolling action while a partner activated the mouthing awareness by stroking the side of the face from the mouth, which led the rolling. I thought I would want to go the other way from the hand and reject the action but I actually wanted to roll towards it in response to the action.

Pre-spinal: Integrated movement between head and torso to the tail; initiated in the 'soft spine' of the spinal cord and the organs. underlies spinal patterns. We moved with the soft spine image yielding and softening into the floor, which I was surprised to discover I use a lot during my improvisational moving, but never properly realised it was directly related to this pattern.

Spinal push from head, and spinal push from tail: Integration of the spine from head to tail, initiated in the musculoskeletal structure. I also frequently use this focus when moving in classes as we often focus on the way movement can initiate from the head or tail to enable leading from one movement to the next.

Spinal reach from head, and spinal reach from tail: Movement of the spine through space, led by the head or tail; enables change in levels. Initiation first from mouth; other senses develop in the first few months. Again, like the spinal push, I also often use the reaching pattern as ways to initiate movement.

Hartley, L (1989) Wisdom of the body moving. USA: North Atlantic Books

First trip to the Tate LONDON!!!

This was my first trip to the Tate London and to be honest I was pretty reluctant as to whether I would enjoy it. I had previously been to the Tate in St.Ives when I was much younger, there was alot of crazy sculptures I didn't get and contemporary art that I could have not appreciated at that age. But I was willing to give it another go and just being in London is just wonderful! 

A few photos from the visit that inspired me within my movement curiosities for November. While we were there in November, the Tate has opened up The Tanks- a place where artists could display their performative  art. I gained alot of inspiration from these installations but one that stood out was an idea that inspired me for our FMP. There was two light projectors and two screens that crossed over, people were allowed to create shadows and it wouldn't just reflect off one screen but onto the other. The bodies creating repetitive shadows reminded me of an old dance film where you had many dancers doing all movements in unison and create like an optical illusion...But with our FMP we are looking at the collaboration between dance and photography ... so thought this maybe a great idea to look how dance could be captured through just the silhouette. .... maybe using photographs or bodies/lights and screens....

Naval Radiation/core distal connection!

Naval Radiation Class with Natalie....

  • Integrates the extremities  of the body into the center
  • This point being through the Naval.
  • Present in utero at 8 weeks, when ting limbs have formed.
  • Same pattern of radial symmetry as found in a starfish.
  • Can also been seen in newborns- where movement is very much organised round our center/naval.
  • Six limbs being; 2 arms, 2 Legs, head and tail 
  • All limbs are clearly differentiated, but are part of a whole body pattern.
  • Each body part will learn that it can initiate movement independently of the other parts-but still are interconnected and related through naval. 


Mapping of limbs in class.....very focused on my centre and how once upon a time there was my main source of support ...now being my head-for food and water.....I had forgotten that my 6 limbs all when through this midpoint because I have as a dancer become so specialized in isolating body parts into complex moves and at different times...it was nice to remind myself that I am one whole body....within improvisation and technique I have started to think if I do this move with this leg....how does this connect to what I'm doing with my head.....if I'm upside down in a handstand, does by thinking about a connection through the midpoint to all limbs help me balance?

Cellular Foundation Research

(While researching for cellular breathing, I came across this statement talking about how each cell has it's own life therefore intelligence .....leading to the idea of cellular embodiment.... this idea I explored in class thinking about every cell knew what its function was, where  and what it wanted to do.....I tried to embody this.....I felt very present within myself in this lesson, my body was very free in movement and balancing/tipping of axis was very available....this usually doesn't! I left the class, very aware of each tiny bit of my body and what I was about .....can I use this technique in phrase class??

Cells and Cellular Breathing

A lesson on cellular breathing....

As soon as anyone mentions the word cell to me, I start to get excited. As crazy as this may sound I am scientifically minded...how that all life forms are based on them, how these are built for purpose and function, all of the organelles that go into one.....if there was no cell, there would be no humans! These little guys are just outstanding!!

Until about 5 years ago I thought a cell looked like this...
 (Basic animal cell drawing from journal with Cell wall,Nucleus, and cytoplasm.)

and this is what gets me excited...
 (As you can see there is alot more organelles with many functions and how compact all of these cells are!)

From Sensing, Feeling and Action...summed up for me just how important I think in life....
 "The cell is the fundamental unit of life. Cells are responsible for growth, dysfunction, repair and death. Each cell has structure and carries out all of the processes necessary for maintaining life, including breath, food intake/digestion/elimination, circulation of fluids, movement within itself and movement through space, memory, habit, and adaptability."

Cellular breathing -

Cellular breathing is the second prevertebrate pattern of the Basic Neurological Patterns (BNP). It is the first organic pattern of living cells-the exchange of gasses through the ebb and flow of fluids passing through membranes.
Through cellular breathing we experience life force.
Cellular breathing relates to one-celled animals, such as amoeba.
Underlying all breathing, movement and activity.
At cellular level, breathing and moving are intertwined.

The partner graphic in Natalie's class brought awareness to the breath and how each breath I inhale brings life to every cell. With the aid of a partner's hands mapping out parts of my body- I was drawn to these areas through breath as I inhaled and exhaled.....the cells felt like they were bobbing around in a sea! The scientific image of gas exchange helped me to allow myself to breath.....allow my cells to breath....

Why Cellular Breathing helps me?

·         Within my practice find that understanding science behind my movement, helps me to understand and support my curiosities’ as why my body moves in the way it does.
·         Thinking the cells are breathing-release tension while I move-on the out breath.
·         Realized I find it hard to breath while I move and this isn’t great for energy levels of late when I’m exhausted- so finding this has helped me sustain longer periods of dancing

First Initial thoughts and Ideas for Disso

Initial Ideas and research for Dissertation 

  • Somatic meaning bodily aware, explores pertaining to the body, experienced and regulated from within. Concept of soma posits that neither body nor mind is separate from the other; both are part of a living process. 
  • Somatics is the field which studies the soma meaning how the body is perceived from within by the person themselves.  When a human is observed from the outside by another or others viewing their body the phenomenon of a human body are perceived. But when this person observes themselves from their viewpoint by proprioceptive senses, the human soma is perceived. These viewpoints of observing a human are built into their natural observation, allowing the person to be aware internal and external. Therefore making soma different from a body, because you perceive soma from a different viewpoint. .
  • While integration between both mind and body is the goal. However culture still understands and relates that body and mind are separate entities.

·         Hanna describes the field of somatics as “The art and science of the inter-relational process between awareness, biological function and environment, all three factors being understood as a synergistic whole.” It is “the study of the soma, soma being the biological body of functions by which and through which awareness and environment are mediated.”

·         Somatics is a combination of understanding anatomical structures and functions, how these processes are affected by movement but this also includes the mind. This understanding comes about by experiencing.
·         The various somatic practices or processes are normally multi-layered therefore bringing awareness to more than one physiological process at a time but the individual experience is the key importance.
·         An individual experiencing and understanding their physiological systems, by using this body mind relationship and awareness of senses can propel them forward into a healthier lifestyle.  
·         Central theme in somatics is the experience of “conscious embodiment” which is explored through the use of hands on touch, imagery, the study of anatomical structures and physiological processes, series of movement exercises and life-cycle development patterns. 
·         “Touch and movement exercises are often designed to mirror and influence the natural processes of the body and mind, providing a fluid interconnection between movement, sensation and thought.” Through this an individual can release tension of habitual or unhealthy patterns of being or within oneself, providing the tools for the individual to move forward in understanding their body.
·         By exploring these somatic approaches an individual’s interaction with their environment  is improved which can be seen in greater sensory perception, faster generation of motor commands, better awareness of spatial reasoning, more use of conscious thought and language. All of these support structural, functional and expressive integration.
·         All these interactions that an individual experiences help in the education and development within themselves, therefore maybe leading on to a more efficient, healthier and integrated self.
·         Somatic methods explore new ways of movement potential with individuals so they can develop their own resolutions to physiological and anatomical issues that have happen during development or from an environmental factor.
·         Somatic theories are applied in somatic psychology, somatic movement (International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association), somatic body work, and somatic dance.

Part two-History of Somatics-
1.       1970’s Thomas Hanna was the first to apply the term somatics, to the ideas and approaches that he and others of how body and mind overlapped were coming up with. He was also the founder of Somatics Magazine: Journal of the Mind-Body Arts and Sciences and the somatics society. He also has created a training system to help in the use of treatment for people suffering with muscular disorders.
2.       Thomas Hanna is a pioneer in the field of body-mind awareness.

Part three-How do people use somatics today? Injury prevention, rehabilitation, therapy, course of treatment. Education of the body
3.       Thomas Hanna Somatic Education & Training is the procedure for teaching voluntary conscious control of the neuromuscular system to persons suffering muscular disorders of an involuntary, unconscious nature and is a method for reawakening the mind's control of movement, flexibility, and health.
4.       Repatterning of anatomical, physiological structures –issues from development.Most working methods in somatics identify new capacities for movement potential and offer bio-creative resolutions to functional and developmental issues. Many approaches utilize neuro-muscular repatterning and tissue re-organization, as well as directed intention and touch, to facilitate changes at the deepest levels of experience, even utilizing cellular and embryological information to achieve change in the “mind of the tissue” – another concept central to somatics work. A skilful somatic practitioner can facilitate improvement and change in infants and others whose mental understanding is not accessible through verbal direction. Individuals working alone and exploring their “edge” of kinesthetic knowledge can also achieve significant new understandings through close attention to internal and external experience.


What is Somatics?? 

So this question was raised in Natalie's Garrett's class and when I looked round the circle a lot of people looked blank and I'm sure including myself in that.....I had some idea that it was to do with a connection between mind and body, maybe thinking about how you embody your thoughts, but if I'm honest I barely knew.  My first thoughts were this is definitely something I should know by now being in third year, so the first thing I did when I got home was research this is first thing I came too..

"The term is derived from the word "Somatic" (Greek "somatikos", soma: "living, aware, bodily person") which means, pertaining to the body, experienced and regulated from within. The concept of soma posits that neither body nor mind is separate from the other; both are part of a living process. Many of the approaches in the field of somatics address the body-mind split endemic in Western culture and body-mind integration is a common goal. Freedom from restrictions in body and mind is another goal, so that the individual functions and thrives optimally with self-mastery and healthy responsibility within the environment in which he or she lives. A fundamental principle is that growth, change, and transformation are always possible at any age.


To me this suggested a phrase/term/umbrella for everything I had been studying, practicing and trying to achieve for the last two years. Looking at my body from within and through the combining mind and body I was trying to move towards a holistic approach with my body so that as a human/mover/dancer I could be more versatile, efficient and as a result adapt well to change. Not only do dancers need this in their normal lives but in such techniques as improvisation or in performance circumstances, the space is always changing, other beings are around changing it too- you must be able to notice these changes and make decisions with your body about how you will react to these. You never can predict what another dancer or how a performance will turn- you have to be ready to go with transformation and willing to accept it and move forwards.

From the research that continued after this I decided that the integration between mind and body through ideas of embodiment and how we had got these theories through science, psychology and history greatly interested me. I had struggled with deciding on a dissertation topic I was passionate enough about and this just married my areas of interest perfectly between; science, movement, history and psychology.