I had my first contemporary dance class this week, and really enjoyed it - as I expected!
There are about twenty people taking class with me, from a wide range of backgrounds, from budding actors wanting to work on their movements, to a 67-year-old who decided to start dancing six years ago and ballroom dancers looking for something else.
Our very friendly teacher started by explaining what release technique is: it is basically the most relaxing of contemporary dance techniques: 'it doesn't mean we won't be making any efforts, but it means we will move in an efficient way that is good for our bodies', she added.
I definitely felt a connection with meditation and relaxation - the idea of being in the body and thinking about your breathing. From the start, we worked on feeling the space and the others around us, walking around in different directions, making eye contact but not crashing into one another. We repeated that exercise, this time all breathing together: pausing to inhale, and moving about when exhaling. It felt great to simply remember to breathe!
Apart from a short bit of choreography (already!), here are a couple of things I have learnt: to use the inside of my thights to keep my balance, and to walk tall, with my shoulders relaxed, feeling some wind behind my neck, carrying me (love that image! how can you not feel good thinking this?).
The only little negative would be that all the floorwork we did, involving lots of turning around, was pretty painful on the knees, the class having wood flooring. The class ended with some travelling exercise, jumping side by side with a partner, trying to keep the same speed - cue bursts of laughters from everyone!
Can't wait for next week.