Finding Our Legs with Alice Cummins

Some time back, one of my regulars, a dancer, told me of a workshop she'd done, where she felt responses in her body quite similar to those she experienced during and after Bowen. She had my attention!

The workshops are presented by Alice Cummins, a dance and movement artist who has studied Body-Mind Centering in the USA with Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen. To describe it is difficult -  a little like Bowen Therapy, sometimes you just have to experience things.

I went in with some trepidation as someone with zero experience in dance or movement but was made to feel part of it from the beginning. That's not to say that there weren't challenges. When Alice said something like, "Now, express that", I was left momentarily lost as I'm used to expressing through words or paint, not movement. And when she asked the group "How do you fall?", I was quite frozen as the only times I've seriously hurt myself in this life (luckily) have been through falls and the thought of voluntarily falling was a real challenge.

The workshop has given me so much to benefit both my practice and my teaching. Ways of looking at things and using the body that are just that little bit different but make life so much clearer. For example, I have many who struggle with the concept of "the core" and how to use it, with frequent intepretations including locking their psoas or pelvic floor. Alice talked us through embryonic development to understand how to connect movement through our centre. And, she bristles at the use of the word core!

We worked through experiential anatomy, which gave me great ideas of how to work with students in class to help them grasp the application of theory. And, it seems strange after so many years of working in health, but actually making things happen in yourself to understand what you've "known" for years can make you really know it.

It was a very full two days and it's really only scratched the surface. Hopefully I'll have time next year to attend another workshop to pick up more understanding of what I experienced. And experienced is right - by the end of the first day I was wiped out in the way that I am after a Bowen worshop where I have had lots of work done on me and my body is trying to integrate it. And I was cranky - for no reason, just oddly mildly annoyed by everything. The next day, still wiped out, but cranky all gone.

Thanks Alice and I look forward to next year.