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On Solo Practice

What are your thoughts, issues, frustrations, ideas around developing your work on your own? When you book yourself into a studio to finally get your ideas out of your head and into your body, or you’re super chuffed about getting a residency, you walk into the studio on your first day, all alone with your music and that bit of text you really liked…. then what? Does this way of working, work for you? A few weeks ago I decided to take a week off from teaching so that I could get back into the studio and move again, bringing my focus back into my dance work. I’m starting a…

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Bi-later-ability

Thank you all for your comments following last week’s post. It’s lovely to hear everyone’s reactions to what I’ve written and reminds me of the importance of this ongoing research and thinking around my teaching. So this week’s inspiration came from my new-found hobby of swing dancing. It’s a step up from ironing, and somehow continues from last week’s post, which you can read here. Swing is a social dance. You dance with a partner, either loosely facing or side by side. One person in the couple is the ‘lead’ and the other is the ‘follow’. This description is all highly simplistic I know, because you watch professionals dancing and…

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Form Follows Function

Last night I decided to tackle the pile of washing that’s built up over the weekend. I always find it so interesting ironing out clothes. It’s not just a simple matter of removing the creases, which is easy enough. Have you noticed how getting the side seams to meet is so crazily difficult? I have to adjust all my tops several times before I can fold them symmetrically. I’ve had a scoliosis since I was a teenager. It’s called an idiopathic scoliosis, assumed to have no real cause. It just popped up out of the blue. It’s a sideways (lateral) bending of the spine. A trained eye can see my…

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Where Pilates Goes Wrong…

I know that I spend a lot of time reminding people not just to obsess about the area that is injured, painful or out of alignment. The general thrust of my writing and talking about the body is to always look at the system as a whole. A key model for understanding this holistic approach is through the Anatomy Trains identified by Thomas Myers. Fascia, the connective tissue that wraps around each cell, each bundle of cells, each muscle, the tissue that interconnects muscle, to tendon, to bone, to viscera. Fascia, I have thought, is the reason the whole body is a whole system. But what if I’m slightly wrong?…

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DR 2

So in my last post I talked about the cause of a DR as the increased pressure against the abdominal wall from the inside out. Pregnancy is one example of why this might happen, however I am seeing, with considerable frequency, the same pattern happening in men. It seems clear that the main cause of the DR is posture. There are contributing genetic factors too, like hyper-mobility, which will make someone more prone to it. There are also occasions where a single event, like a sudden sneeze, coughing or lifting something heavy can bring about a hernia. However the chances are in both cases that the occurrence can be greatly…

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Diastasis Recti

As some of you know, I’ve recently become intrigued by the number of men I come across with some degree of Diastasis Recti. A DR is a split in the abdominal wall, which we commonly come across amongst pregnant and post-natal women. DR is accepted/ expected as a normal result of pregnancy. As the baby…

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The Hip – Foot Sling

I’ve been talking about the Spiral Line, or how collapsing into the Spiral Line causes a downward spiral. I hope that what’s coming across is the fact that you are not just a series of parts fixed together, and that a holistic, whole body approach is necessary to address injury or pain. Today I’d like…

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Piggy in the Middle

Do you remember that game where two people throw a ball to each other over the head of another player who is standing in between them? The ‘piggy in the middle’ has to run around like mad trying to intercept the pass, whilst the others play all sorts of tricks like ducking  or switching directions…

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Bunions

Not the loveliest of thoughts, but if you’re reading this then chances are you may well have one or possibly even two. A bunion (hallux valgus) is a condition where the big toe points inwards towards the other toes. It is a deviation at the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint of the big toe. It makes the inner edge of the first tarsal bone jut out to the side which rubs on shoes and can become inflamed and painful. Unfortunately, treatment often tends to be quite superficial. It’s true that it can be caused partly by wearing poor footwear, and that the tendency can be hereditary. But more often it is the…

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The Downward Spiral – Practical Tasks

In my last post I talked about the Spiral Line and the danger of collapsing down into it. Here are some very practical things you can do to get out of your downward spiral. Stand on one Leg. That’s it. you’ll find that it’s impossible to balance unless you bring your weight into the outside of your feet and get the outside of your hip to fire up. Send your knees over your toes and engage your buttocks when walking up and down stairs. Don’t let your knees roll inwards or outwards. Yes it is that simple. Do clams, ok but this one comes with a massive warning sign: you need…

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