Sally Radell answers a few questions about the somatic practice of GYROKINESIS® to shed some light on her upcoming Opening the Space class on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 7:30pm.
What is GYROKINESIS® and what are its benefits?
GYROKINESIS® movement training involves circular movements of the spine, rhythmic breathing, and continuous flow to develop improved body awareness, core strength, flexibility, and movement integration. It was developed about twenty years ago by injured dancer Juliu Horvath as a way to bring movement back into and strengthen his injured body. The form was originally referred to as yoga for dancers and is suitable for movers of all experience levels. To me it feels like a form of Pilates for dancers because of the continuous flow that focuses on building core strength. It is now being taught in university dance programs across the country as a somatic form that strengthens dancers' technique.
I first encountered GYROKINESIS® movement training about three or four years ago. As a dancer who has moved my whole life I kept getting injuries, primarily due to the fact that I spent most of my recent movement life teaching and not enough time training my body. A few dance colleagues told me about the work, I took a few classes and I was hooked. I was able to complete the teacher training process primarily in Atlanta and became certified to teach the form last April.
What is your favorite aspect of this technique and why?
As a somatic form I particularly like it because it really strengthens ones core, which for me was the key to reducing my injuries and it definitely has. Also, it feels like dancing as opposed to just doing exercises. This interested me. One thing I have definitely learned in my movement life is that if you don't really enjoy it you won't do it. Additionally, in the Emory Dance Program we are working to increase our somatic offerings, so I am currently teaching our first class in it this semester. Next spring I will be teaching the material in a freshman seminar format and am really looking forward to it. I am also presently offering community classes in the form as well.