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If you hear the phrase “mind-body connection,” what comes to mind? Most likely, yoga. After all, the practice of holding standing and seated poses has been the first and last word on the mainstream movement scene for almost a decade now.
But in fact, there’s a range of activities from all over the world that are geared to help practitioners feel more relaxed, supple, and at home in their bodies. The movement forms—often summed up as “somatics”—simply haven’t made it far into the mainstream yet, and maybe they never will. But they offer opportunities to tune into one’s body and experience awareness, sensation, and movement in distinctly new ways.
This month, the Dance Exchange is offering a series of Thursday night classes that provide new avenues into the body. Each course focuses on a different movement practice. Tonight’s covers Alexander Technique, which teaches students how to lengthen their spine in order to free up movement patterns. Next Thursday is all about Bartenieff Fundamentals, a practice that helps release muscle strain.
On Feb. 26, choreographer Nancy Bannon will lead the workshop “Love Your Badass Self”; what that entails isn’t quite clear, but Bannon’s last workshop focused on a series of exercises designed to pair movement and emotion. And the last Thursday of the month is a couples massage workshop.
The Dance Exchange is continuing its eclectic Thursday night series through the spring. March is entirely devoted to dance on film, and April, which has been dubbed the “Big Brain Dance Series,” includes workshops on video editing, social media marketing, conducting dynamic research, and dance writing.
Classes start at 7 p.m.; lengths and costs vary. For more information, visit danceexchange.org.