NY Visit: FAMI 2- Head, Neck and Spine & Darrah Carr Dance visit, and show tonight, and…

 

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Mr. Bones, Kinected

Over last weekend, Oct 20-21, with the support of a Kinected Work-Study Scholarship and the OSU Dance Semester Funding Initiative, I attended FAMI 2: Functional Anatomy for Movement and Injuries 2 at Kinected Pilates Center in New York City.
FAMI 2 is a follow up to FAMI, a four-day anatomy workshop held at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai annually in June. Geared towards movement educators FAMI dives into structure, function, and pathology of major body regions and incorporates a gross anatomy lab component encountering prosections of each region.

(Seeing and touching the iliopsoas is much more effective than visualizing it – or trying to spell it.)

FAMI 2 focuses on a specific body region, topics rotating each year, with a deeper focus on assessment and programming for common dysfunctions of that region. This workshop’s focus was the head and neck.

Dr. Jeffrey Laitman, with typical candor and humor described important overall anatomical and evolutionary characteristics of the head and neck region, with specific attention to importance of vocal  chords in maintaining intra-abdominal pressure and function of the inner ear in relation to balance and coordination. You know, listen to how your clients/students/patients are speaking before working their glutes.  Funny. And important. A Dr. Laitman mantra : “the body never forgets and it never forgives.” That doesn’t mean to lament once injury occurs, but to choose wisely how to treat your body to cultivate longevity and optimal function – we only have one body after all.

(Seeing and touching the iliopsoas is much more effective than visualizing it – or trying to spell it.)

Dr. Jeffrey Laitman, with typical candor and humor described important overall anatomical and evolutionary characteristics of the head and neck region, with specific attention to importance of vocal  chords in maintaining intra-abdominal pressure and function of the inner ear in relation to balance and coordination. You know, listen to how your clients/students/patients are speaking before working their glutes.  Funny. And important. A Dr. Laitman mantra : “the body never forgets and it never forgives.” That doesn’t mean to lament once injury occurs, but to choose wisely how to treat your body to cultivate longevity and optimal function – we only have one body after all.

Some activities with questionable musculoskeletal impact, according to Dr. Laitman and most human bodies…

Eliot Fishbein, FMPT discussed rehabilitative perspectives for the region, Dr. Amanda Walsh, orthopedic resident at Icahn,  gave clinical insight into injuries such as concussion and whiplash, and Kinected Director Matt McCullogh demonstrated several practical exercises geared toward balancing stability and mobility of cervical spine: many can be done on the go or at the office, others were variations on classic Pilates equipment exercises. Foci of exercises were balancing thoracic  and lumbar mobility and stability in conversation with the cervical spine, activation of posterior spinal muscle chains, oblique strengthening, and building strength in deep stabilizing endurance muscles like Longus Colli, to counter the tension and pull of superficial muscles like SCM.

Matt McCullogh and amazing client Jim demonstrating lateral flexion, thoracic flexion with posterior chain activation, and a reformer knee flexion exercise with theraband for maintaining posterior chain activation. Notice how  in the center photo by gently maintaining pressure into the theraband while nodding and curling , Jim can avoid leading with his head and achieve deeper flexion in his thoracic spine.

Some consistent takeways – respect healing time, proximalize symptoms, restore balanced functional movement, and consider the whole body in conversation.  Also, you never know the impact you have on others. Keep learning; keep sharing.

Bonus Rehearsal Snippet:

Enroute to the airport post workshop last Sunday I had the privilege to drop in to rehearsal with Darrah Carr Dance and musicians Dana Lyn and Kyle Sana in advance of our performance “Dancing the Great Arc”  10/26 & 10/27 (today and tomorrow!) at the NYC Irish Arts Center. I’ve worked with Carr since 2011,  and walking into the space, I immediately felt the warmth of this particular dance family.

Jonathan Matthews and Melissa Padham Maass, in rehearsal.

By the Way… We made the NY TIMES Dance Picks for this Weekend!

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A note from 14th street.

I do not miss the atmosphere of the subway at 8 am, 5 pm, or it seems the 1 train at any time of day…

 

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6 weeks in

I’m 6 weeks into a new adventure.

A thought from ballet class:

Once something is required it feels different.

I get to take dance class everyday! This is awesome.  Ah. But now I have to.  

Why does its being required squeeze something out of enjoyment? Like that book you  would have loved had you found it on your own but your teacher made you read it. . . (Or rather I tried to share with students… and they were very unenthused…)

Everyone’s uptight. We’re being evaluated. There’s no dog sitting next to Janet Panetta.  I feel like I can’t be free to just “take class” like I would.  I feel the urge to perform a knowledge of ballet.  To perform that I belong here.  To demonstrate that yes I did my time in technique classes and did Ms. Beth’s Vaganova “and-1s” developpe exercises in a past life and did bad Nutcrackers and wore leotards . . . I’m a professional dammit.

I feel unsatisfied, wobbly. I push everything. I push myself to jump on a day when my knee isn’t feeling up to it. I pay for it with swelling, pain, and the ensuing frenzy  of am I getting too old, did I not do enough, have I missed a magical moment that was never there to begin with? blahblahblah.

And then I chat with the Amazing Karen Eliot, ( there’s something about the name Karen and amazing ballet teachers – but that’s another post ) and answer my own problem with a run-on sentence.  “This mal-alignment issue has been going on for a long time, sometimes it’s painful but I can force my body to just do the thing-  when there’s a gig you just have to do it – but here I don’t. . .”

“You don’t have that pressure.”

“No, I don’t. ”

Right.

This particular graduate experience at this particular personal professional juncture-  even and especially in the simplest of moments – the mundane practice of how to take technique class- (let alone literature, theory, new media, meeting new people in new contexts etc.) facilitates space & time to reflect broadly on my practices as an artist, as a woman, as a person.  Habits. Shoulds. Wants. Needs. Desires.

I’m shocked and so appreciative at the amount of time available for diving deeply into a project or reading, for a personal workout at the pilates studio or the pool, for taking a walk and seeing what I see. For thinking about how I think about things. For noticing the sunset.

It’s like I haven’t breathed in seven years. I’m almost afraid I’ll use up all the oxygen.

Ohio Sunset
they make the sky bigger out here