Are we praise heavy?
I remember spending a day in modern class during my senior year of college exploring tactile aid. My teacher knew that many of us would find ourselves in teaching positions in the near future, and therefore she felt it was important to spend a day on this topic that is often forgotten or overlooked. This day emerged from my long term memory last week while I attended the NDEO conference. I attended a class about “using partnering exploration to enhance the learning environment.” The focus of the class was on partnering exercises students could do together to better understand their own bodies, and the human body in general. Although I found the exercises valuable, it also made me think about the “partnering” that happens regularly between teacher and student. It is common for me to use my hands to help a student lift an elbow, rotate a leg, or find her true second position. However, I thought about how I perhaps do not often enough think about how I am using my touch and energy. In Oakland’s class we partnered each other with the words push, pull, drape, resist, support. I never thought about how a gentle pull can help a limb feel more relaxed and placed. “support” is something I do often. I cannot think of the last time I “pulled” a student.
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I come up with my best ideas as I experience the transitional state to and from sleep.
“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. … No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others” — Martha Graham