Forum: Adults / Dance Therapy

Dance Therapy
Feldenkrais Method
By Dancerat50member has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 353, member since Fri Dec 18, 2009
On Thu Jan 07, 2010 01:04 PM

I recently read an article about the Feldenkrais Method from a dancer's perspective. It intrigued me so I did some online research and discovered a teacher in my area. I went to a class and was so dissapointed. I felt like it was a total waste of my time. I spoke to my teacher about it and she thought I should give it some time. The session I took was part I of a two part series and I could not go to the second class.

My question is, are there any older dancers out there who have stuck with it and found it beneficial? I am 50 and just started dancing again after a 30 year break a year ago. I really want to try anything that will improve my core. I currently do pilates, strength training, cardio/core and ballet.

12 Replies to Feldenkrais Method

re: Feldenkrais Method
By sjerosemember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 1263, member since Thu May 11, 2006
On Thu Jan 07, 2010 01:29 PM
I have an ex-boyfriend currently training in Feldenkrais Method to further advance his acting career. I never thought of it as much of a physical training tool for dancers, but more of a movement and expression technique that focuses on harnessing your body's energy in a certain way.

It has worked wonders for his acting skills, but again, I never heard of it as a cross-training for dance.
re: Feldenkrais Method
By Dancerat50member has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 353, member since Fri Dec 18, 2009
On Thu Jan 07, 2010 01:31 PM
It was an article in a Dance Magazine around June or July of this year. The dancer talked about how the class enabled her to turn like there was no tomorrow and her balance improved dramatically. I wonder if there are different aspects of the method....
re: Feldenkrais Method
By Sumayah Comments: 6876, member since Wed Nov 12, 2008
On Thu Jan 07, 2010 01:36 PM
I had a modern teacher who was very much into the Feldenkrais Method and what she told us, is it works around your body's issues making it possible to do something by approaching it from a different place. But that's been years since I worked with her so I don't really know much more than that.
re: Feldenkrais Method
By TamarinPremium member Comments: 1342, member since Tue Nov 09, 2004
On Thu Jan 07, 2010 09:11 PM
I've done a little bit of Feldenkrais, but am by no means an expert. Feldenkrais is about becoming aware of your habits and finding new pathways. Of course this will help your dancing, but it will take time. You can't approach a Feldenkrais class the same way as a pilates class. It's not about building up muscle groups, but about moving more efficiently.
re: Feldenkrais Method
By Arakmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 18126, member since Sun Aug 13, 2000
On Fri Jan 08, 2010 07:33 AM
There are other similar methods to Feldenkrais that you could give a try if that one didn't appeal to you. When I was in massage school I did a project on Alexander technique, which is really popular with performing arts professionals, especially musicians. It was developed by a Shakespearean actor, and is taught as part of the curriculum at the Julliard School for the dancers, musicians, and I think the actors as well. One of the advantages (I think) of Alexander over Feldenkrais is that Alexander is almost always taught on an individual basis whereas Feldenkrais is usually done in group sessions.

There's another technique also, but the name escapes me at the moment. I think it begins with an H...
re: Feldenkrais Method
By Neets Comments: 1, member since Fri Jan 22, 2010
On Fri Jan 22, 2010 08:33 AM
I teach Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement(r) in Southern California. I have taught a number of older dancers and currently have two 50+ dancers who have been coming to my class weekly for over a year. There are testimonials from them on my website at www.movingaware.com

Like any other method, some people will take to Feldenkrais immediately and some won't. One thing that I always do for my students in the group classes is offer one free private lesson. The one-on-one work sometimes resonates with a student who is not noticing big changes in the group class, and vice versa. I'd suggest looking into a private lesson. The work is an incredibly effective way to learn to move beautifully.
re: Feldenkrais Method
By Dancerat50member has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 353, member since Fri Dec 18, 2009
On Fri Jan 22, 2010 08:35 AM
That is what I thought when I read the article in Dance Magazine. I will contact the teacher and see about a private class. Thanks for the suggestion!
re: Feldenkrais Method
By cecchettigirlmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 58, member since Tue Mar 09, 2010
On Tue Mar 16, 2010 02:29 PM
I am probably going to be taking this method at a camp I am attending this summer, thanks for the info!
re: Feldenkrais Method
By Arakmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 18126, member since Sun Aug 13, 2000
On Mon Mar 29, 2010 07:03 AM
Hellerwork! I remembered!

Just had to get that out there. :)
re: Feldenkrais Method
By contemp_is_rad Comments: 412, member since Thu Oct 22, 2009
On Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:11 AM
I took a week's worth of Feldenkrais at a dance festival in Europe. I really liked it! Some days were incredibly frustrating, and other days were wonderful. I would say give it a chance, at least a few more times. It's one of those things where if you're in the mood, and ONCE you kinda "click" with what the teacher is trying to explain to you, it's quite good. It's certainly interesting!
re: Feldenkrais Method
By Dancerat50member has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 353, member since Fri Dec 18, 2009
On Mon Mar 29, 2010 01:25 PM
Thanks! I plan on giving it another shot. Unfortunately, the classes are few and far between where I live and all of the winter classes were cancelled because the winter here was so rough.
re: Feldenkrais Method
By Remeber_my_namemember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 1238, member since Thu Jul 15, 2004
On Thu Apr 29, 2010 07:03 PM
Hey,

I have a lot of experience with Feldenkrais and I have to say when I first started I absolutely HATED it! However it a core module in my first year at university so I had no choice but to do it. To start with I felt like it wasn't helping anything, it was a waste of time, that it was rubbish etc and me and my teacher clashed a lot over it. But I perserved (because I had to) and guess what? The next two years I took his class every semester voluntarily. Why? Because I started to see the benefits.

Its a slow process I think, so the fact that classes are few and far between for you isn't ideal. Maybe give it another shot and ask about exercises you can do at home? Its all about repeatition and regularity so to centre and create an awareness (almost hyper-awareness) which means doing things like turns, balance etc become easier as you are fully aware of what every part of you is doing.

Also Feldenkrais can be used for a number of things and the classes I took were specifically tailored for a dancers needs, rather than injury prevention, physical therapy or whatever. So if you do choose to ask about exercises ask for ones that relate to you and what you want to improve (ie. balance, core awareness etc).

Hope this made sense as I'm in a bit of a rush but feel free to message me any time, I have a lot of info on the subject (practised regularly for three years and still use the exercises on my own now, an wrote numerous essays about the benefits of somatic learning for dnacers...love it!)

Good luck with everything and all your dancing :)

Naomi x

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