Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hip Hop, Motivation, and Joint Spaces

This post is not meant to be a composed paper. It will be bits and pieces of images and thoughts I want to get out. Indeed this whole blog is sort of that; selfish.

The way I want movement classes to be structured and dance to feel has a lot to do with the fact that I have a tight body. I just feel bound and tight in my joints and spine these days. Going into a dance or other class I sometimes have a hard time feeling aligned because the movement has nowhere to flow. As I was saying before about walking, I am deeply interested in joint freedom. Movement flows through joints and when it does things feel juicy and great. So I am very motivated to open and lubricate my joint spaces.

Motivation in general is also a theme in my movement. In BMC we talk about a deep sense of ease even down to the cells and movement being initiated or motivated deep within the body. I often look for that initiation as deeply as I can and sometimes have trouble finding it. Pam Pietro asks rhetorically in class how you get your motor humming. Inside I ask where do you find the motivation and initiation to move a tight body that feels out of whack and doesn't feel delicious regeneration from the breath?

And I was thinking this today as I was walking to work with my ipod on. And then Snoop Dog's "Drop It Like It's Hot" came on. All of a sudden I felt energy and many of the joints in my body busted wide open. I felt like I could breathe better. I remember how much I love to teach hip hop dance classes. And here come the thoughts and images about some of my motivation and why I love hip hop...

I know music motivates a lot of people and motivates dancers to choreograph. What I noticed was a distinctly physical energizing. I felt like a guitar string that had been plucked and began to vibrate, energy flowing from the ground up enabling me to move. I recalled a similar feeling any time I practice African dance. And then I thought about my joints.

What do I get from African and hip hop dance that I really don't find anywhere else in life? Bouncing! Jiggling of all the joints of the body in concert! It feels so good! And this helps me loosen my joints so that movement can flow. The Trager method is a whole method of bodywork devoted to jiggling the body. Milton Trager also developed a movement protocol he called "Mentastics" that involves shaking and jiggling the limbs and joints to lubricate the joints and loosen the soft t issue around the bones. T'ai Chi and other practices employ this strategy of using shaking to bring synovial fluid to the joints. And Snoop helped me realize today that my favorite place to get this is from certain types of dance.

I was just glad to feel that there is indeed something in this world that helps me bust open my joints and get my motor humming.

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