Class and Progression in Modern Dance Training

Modern dance training, philosophically and practically is about recognizing the natural functioning of the body and the purpose of it’s architecture. We recognize the design and function of the body as the ultimate authority from which our teaching is derived. Therefore alignment, muscle tone and breath form the basis of technical training. We recognize also, the natural forces which affect movement or indeed create it; momentum, inertia, gravity, weight and centrifugal or centripetal force. We are bound by these forces and are beholden to them and modern training believes in acknowledging these forces at work. Because it is acknowledged that all aspects of what it is to be a human being should properly be a part of modern training, we investigate how our emotional state influences our physical. As the dancer develops, we deepen this investigative process. Every dancer will have his or her own personal process as every individual is created differently and has experienced varied influencing factors in his or her personal evolution. As a generalized imagining of the process, one starts with ensuring that a clear understanding of the importance of alignment is present. This ensures the physical safety of the dancer. A subsequent understanding of how manipulating posture can create physical benefit is pursued. Layering in big influencing factors such as referencing the emotional state of the dancer and creating and cultivating an understanding of the metaphoric, symbolic and suggestive potential inherent in posture and movement happens in tandem with the physical process. The intended goal is to reveal a dancer who is strong supple and resilient physically, mentally and imaginatively.

 – Graham McKelvie