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5 week Stretch and Breath-Focused Dance taught by Dean Walsh (2nd Series for 2018)


  • Abraham Mott Hall 14a Argyle Place Millers Point, NSW, 2000 Australia (map)

Stretch and Breath-Focused Dance is a class series I developed in 2001 as a means to help make dance and aspects of body awareness practices (stretch / yoga / Alexander Technique) intersperse creatively and inclusively (for people with a lot of technical dance experience or very little at all).

The class also incorporates floor-based and fall and recovery methods derived from contemporary dance and teaching principles, which merged, assist in acquiring flexibility and a greater awareness of the role gravity plays whist moving with a focus on breath 'cycling' - continual flow. For those with less experience in dance, these classes help in alignment, spinal awareness and body-mind memory development of extended phrasing.

This series is geared towards accommodating people with at least some experience in contemporary dance or physical performance and/or yoga, as they require considerable flexibility and co-ordination.

Please note: I'll be holding a series of disability integrated and 'raw' beginners sessions of these same classes later in the year. We’ll advertise once we have dates secure.

What do Stretch and breath-focused Dance classes consist of?

We initially move through a series of breathing techniques derived from scuba and free diving, as well as focusing on a couple of the Pranayama techniques from yoga. We then apply these breath techniques to basic morphs of yoga and dance sequencing, until we feel warmer and more connected to breathing-moving. We move into dancing blind-folded (minded by others), for 8 minutes each group, applying the breathing to this as much as we can.

I next construct a soft and easy-flowing movement sequence that we stick with for 30 mins focusing on posture, alignment, breath awareness and techniques that help us descend and ascend (to/from the floor), with ease. This sequence is progressively developed into a larger passage of movement over the next 45-60 mins. After a short 5 minute break we move through a series of playful variations until the end; adding music / sonic interplay, including partner (contact) variations, which deepen our neuromuscular transmission, helping generate connection to set material via shared observations of it.

WHEN:  Saturday afternoons 1:30pm - 4:30pm, commencing 5th May – to June 2nd (5 weeks).

WHERE: Abraham Mott Hall inside the Harry Jensen Centre, 15a Argyle Place, Millers Point (5-7 min walk from Sydney Dance Company and Circular Quay). This is a disability accessible venue. The 311 bus stops very close too.

COST: $30 for single class or $120 for all five in advance

BOOK/RSVP/ENQUIRIES: workshops@dean-walsh.com

 Participants in the first series of movement-stretch classes in 2018

Participants in the first series of movement-stretch classes in 2018