The Dance of Embodiedment

As I discovered this weekend, Gaga Dance is part Body-Mind Centering and part Laban Movement Analysis. Our Gaga Dance workshop on March 18 was an exploration of space while letting go of what we perceive any movement should look like.  

Personally, I did not realize how much I was holding in my body; I had preconceived notions of what things should look or how I should act or react.  Moving without limits was liberating, and I enjoyed that open feeling for days after the workshop.

In movement analysis terminology, we use “neutral flow” to describe the in-between bound and free efforts.  During our workshop, the instructor utilized the image of allowing one’s body to relinquish its muscular hold as if one is floating in the water.  Similar to the exploration of shape, we explored effort and space in movement analysis; what it would be like to yield to the forces of gravity or move with our skeleton taking our movements to the extreme of what they can be.  We expanded our kinesphere as small or as large as it could be.  In between each extreme movement exploration, we were encouraged to find our floating space, our “neutral flow.”

 Similar to techniques used in Body-Mind Centering, we began with our skin and moved inward to explore the sensations of the body as well as our efforts and lack of preconceived shape.  Together, we were shepherded to a non-judgmental freeing of our preconceived shapes and efforts. By default, we released the emotions trapped within those shapes and efforts 

As a result of this, I came back to work with my patients (in a psychiatric setting) and was more freely able to assist them in reaching the limits of their movement repertoire and release the hang-ups they need to let go of to succeed in their endeavors.