The idea of conscious movement is something The Crew at S2SD shares with the world in everything we do in our Mind, Body, Sole Workshops and with our S2SD Kits. Consciousness in general involves a growing awareness that can aid one in connecting intention with actions and behaviours to arrive at a desired outcome. With respect to dance the same is true: conscious movement involves connecting intentions and translating them into physical actions that yield the desired result. Usually as dancers our intentions are improved technical dance ability, authentic artistic expression, and our best performance. How, then, does one connect the mind with physical movements to express one’s soul?
Conscious movement can help a dancer to achieve and improve technical abilities. Engage the mind and focus on the body at work through attention to breath, posture, and alignment. When the mind engages with the physical performance of an exercise or dance the risk of injury is also reduced because a dancer is considering all aspects of the movement – this allows him/her to perform it correctly, safely, and to the best of his/her technical ability.
When all of these factors are top of mind a dancer is most able to dance to the best of his/her technical ability and authentic expression of the piece happens naturally. Considering the soul, spirit, feelings, thoughts, and intentions behind a piece of choreography requires a dancer to connect spiritually with a piece. This can be achieved through several means: discussion with the choreographer, meditation to the music, and clarification about one’s own feelings about the piece or subject of the piece – the means are endless and subject to adaptation by individuals.
Bringing together the body (the physical expression of a dancer’s technical ability), with the mind (setting mindful intentions for practice/rehearsal/training and understanding the piece) and the soul (expressing the piece authentically) the movement performance engages an audience and achieves the desired end shared among dancers: an outstanding performance.
Remember that perfect practice makes perfect. Take time to prepare your mind by clarifying your intention for the day, allow your mind to engage your body to act in ways to achieve that end, and celebrate the result - connectivity between your mind, body, and soul will lead your audience (strangers, teachers, yourself) to also celebrate your performance!