01 January 2016 - Personal stories
Jenny Hill, Feldenkrais Practitioner

Strictly Dancing For Everyone

Do you dance tango, ballroom, jazz, ballet, hip hop, tap, or perhaps you ice/roller skate, do gymnastics or yoga? Any form requiring good alignment, ease, grace, balance, coordination, the Feldenkrais method is the answer! Mostly we are unaware that we use too much tension in our movements creating unnecessary difficulty. Feldenkrais enables the joints to work properly, linking them like a smooth chain through the body, allowing the muscles around the bones to work more efficiently. When this happens injuries are prevented, you get greater freedom, range, grace and ease. Experiencing remarkable change in my own dancing and zero injuries after doing Feldenkrais, I became a practitioner to share the skills and love I have of this wonderful method.
Eli is a dancer with an injury in her upper back/lower neck after falling from a high lift in a partner dance a few years ago. She landed awkwardly on the floor, consistently causing her pain and problems. Before the sessions she felt a difficulty in holding her head, and considerable stress in the spine. She’d lost a lot of confidence in partner dance situations, and there was still some anxiety when dancing ‘flat out’ due to the intensity of the fall and following shock.
After four one-to-one Feldenkrais sessions I asked Eli:
J: What do you feel you gained from the sessions?
E: I gained a lot! But In particular I feel noticeably less day to day tension in my back & shoulders: I certainly feel more confidence in my body that it can support & move my head. I felt the spine was struggling and had difficulty supporting the head but I’m not feeling that now. It’s such a relief. I feel changes in my breathing. Its deeper now — as if there’s actually more breath available. Perhaps its because its Spring time and I notice I’m feeling good! I also feel my right leg & hip have been readjusted somehow to better support my spine. My feet feel different — there’s increased awareness & movement in the soles of my feet, and they feel more connected to the rest of my body. I notice this a lot not just when I’m dancing, but in everyday movements.
J: Can you describe the sessions?
E: They were just delicious — so sensuous & relaxing. Afterwards I enjoyed an increased sense of confidence & freedom in how I was moving. In general it was amazing that the Feldenkrais movements which often seemed extremely minimal, and soft, and yet they were very powerful. It was always interesting that at the end of each session how basic movements had changed, like sitting, walking, turning. I would certainly recommend it to anyone! I’m off to Spain next week for a summer of dancing and I’m looking forward to seeing how this has helped. Thank you very much Jenny!