Expanding on reaching.

…maybe you want to take reaching a little further and extend in two opposite directions.

Some dancers just seem to get “the line”, transforming themselves and the space around them into a geometric playground with laser linear precision. I can’t claim to be one of them, too easily seduced by the curve in body and dance. But, I suspect that the key to those long lines is not in limbs or spine, or gods forbid, having a “good body”, but in the folding and unfolding of pelvis and femur.

I try to distinguish between a “c” curve of femur, pelvis and lumbar; scooping and hollowing at the front of the hips (this is what you use for your epic Cunningham-style curving, or what I have when I sit slumping) and a “<” fold of just the femur and pelvis, bringing them towards one another. I’ve no doubt you know this already! Often when I don’t really feel a full sense of extension I just check in with that fold, and more often then not there is still a little scooping there, creasing just a little more might unlock an invisible but very feelable expanse at the very centre of yourself, an expanse that can flow outwards.

You could try this in some kind of extended position, maybe a long horizontal line or arabesque, but equally could be between two extended limbs while sitting, or head-to-tail. Extended along the dimension, like the last game you don’t win anything by putting in more effort! Once you are happily extended you could just see about folding the hip and femur(s) a little more, it will probably require relaxing, perhaps the knees too. It might feel like a dropping downwards, or like someone has slow-motion karate chopped your hips. What happens? That’s not a rhetorical question!

If you are extending into the back space you might find all this useless, and perhaps folding at the hips is the very thing holding you back… I mean, forwards. So maybe try the exact opposite. I find going backwards very scary, but I love it when I see someone at ease in that space. If you have some tips about going backwards I’d love to hear them!