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10 embodied skills for everyday life

Reviewed By: Open Floor International

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Open Floor International

Language availability: English


The way we move on the dance floor is often a mirror of how we move through life. The way we show up – or don’t. How we dance with others. Where we place ourselves in the space. How we impact and are impacted by our interactions and dances with others in the group… Like all embodied movement practices, conscious dance offers movers an opportunity to practice self-awareness and gain insights into how our beliefs, relationship styles and past experiences literally shape the way we respond to life. We can then consciously practice shaping new responses by developing new skills. The more we play with and embody different responses on the dance floor, the more resources we can call on to move through life in new ways.

The Open Floor Core Movement Resources offer a simple movement vocabulary, based on the universal principles of embodied and healing practices around the world. We practice all that it is to be human and expand our resources so that we can move, work, rest, play and live the way every body was born to.

How do you take what you learn on the dance floor into your every day life?

We asked Open Floor teachers in training to tell us they about their favorite Core Movement Resources

“Vector helps me the most in daily life. Define a point of focus/goal, focus, block out any distractions & physically/mentally move your body in that direction. For my creative, all-over-the-place mind that easily gets lost in overthinking different scenarios, this is a great skill to practice. And it helps me in my job too!” Line Van Assche, Belgium


“Pause. It´s a place where I include all my experiences with the other CMRs.” Heike Fincke, Switzerland


“Dissolve because it teaches me detachment through my physical awareness and I find that super enjoyable. It creates this precious inner space of reinvention and resetting and balances my nervous system.” Andrea Klotzing, Germany


“Expand & Contract… It’s such a natural movement in my life, in my dance. It comes from my feet, to my heart, to my eyes, to my smile, to my arms… For me, it speaks to this essential part of a relationship : how to give (also to oneself) and how to receive. How to request and deny, saying yes and no, being on my two feet. And it’s so joyful! And so easy for me to find music and exercises for my classes on this CMR!” Cecile Chirat, France


“Towards and Away….because it’s moment by moment in life, as it is in the dance…what are you moving towards what are you moving away from…heart space, actions, food, thoughts, feelings, goals, dreams, flavours, people in your life, emotions etc etc working with groups, organizations, coaching , facilitating, holding space…what do we want more of? …less of? What’s not fixed here? What comes and goes towards away as it’s own habit/pattern? What’s most alive in us/we/me, Do we want to move more towards that? What’s no longer needed?

It’s also a great meditation moving out of winter solstice right now.

Towards and away…every aspect of life, and so rich and juicy as a CMR because I can do so much with it, As a teacher in training, I find the creativity and choices offered by this CMR engaging. It is always alive in the dance and present in my life. Plus, it’s easy to find music!” Lynsey Russek, New Zealand


“Dissolve, because I love the feeling of dissolving into something bigger than me. Being me (with a whole world inside me) AND being aware and held in a container way bigger than me (a whole world around me). To let go of my ‘narrow mind and thoughts’ and to realise that we are all connected in a way,.. that I am (part of) nature,… that I am, and every one of us is, part of the bigger field…” Sophie Campagne, France


“What if I said to you, Pause…Ground down into your feet then breath up into your centre. What happens from there, is in my opinion conscious choice. What a gift!

Three Core Movement Resources: Pause, Ground, Centre.

All giving us the gift of being present, right in this moment. Letting the rest of you catch up or slow down, bringing YOU into your body and then right into your centre (where ever that is for you!), and then to do, whatever you do next…move, breath, laugh..whatever! But you get to choose, out of autopilot, back into being the captain of the ship.

This is my favourite combo of CMRs that I teach in my classes at the moment. To really be in this life, you can’t be on autopilot you have to be the captain of the ship, and that is super hard to do when you have ten thousand things you wanna do before the kids get home from school or before bed. Often I find myself running on auto.

So, by giving myself and my dancers, FULL PERMISSION to Pause…ground down into their feet, or further into Papatuanuku (the earth) drink up the nourishment they need into their centre, (cause we all know what we need!) Then your just here, right. Easy. Boom, start again..consciously. As my teach Geordie Jahner says, right up to the edge of now. Allowing the next moment to come forward..and yes that could look like running again, but at least you choose consciously to be in the race.

So yeah, once more..take the pause! Ground down and in, and then drink up the nourishment you need into your centre…and start again..consciously.” Kaia Hawkins, New Zealand


“Pause because it helps me take the space and time to integrate the rest.” Mira Schauble, U.K.


“Dissolve. Especially when I have established Ground first which then makes it makes a combo of Expand & Contract (another favorite) as you move from the ground to the bigger field. What I love about both of these CMR’s – Dissolve and Expand & Contract – is that they help me cultivate a sense of inner space that grows and I am in there alive and true and spacious in my chest. Dare I say feeling bliss?? Maybe. And to reach such a space, no matter how long it lasts, is precious.” Marios Ritsoudis, Greece


“I am intrigued by how all the CMR’s are intertwined and nested into each other, and I have recently seen my everyday life through the glasses of spatial awareness.

For example, I have noticed how people around me (or me) might be off-center, losing their balance, and bumping into objects and others surrounding them, so I started to pay even more attention to the space around me, and to whether I move towards or away from others.

Or: there is a big expansion happening in my life at the moment, and at the same time the outer circumstances have remained the same, and I experience a tightness as this internal expansion presses against the walls of the unchanged container; how do I release, soften into this situation that I perceive both as an expansion (from the inside) or relative contraction (of my life circumstances).
How do I decide whether there is enough space inside of me to contain all the conflicting emotions in me, when do I need to get them out of me? What needs to be named and what can stay inside?
Leaning into the resource of spatial awareness helps me navigate these terrains these days.” 
Bence Gaspar, Hungary

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