Ginger Daniels Movement Specialist
Hi all. As a former professional actress I learned a lot about walking and talking... you see, when you watch a tv show where the characters are moving around and speaking, you have no idea how difficult it can be for them to deliver lines and hit their marks. (Marks are the spots they are told to stop at when they reach a certain point in the dialogue). It's a lot to coordinate and think about. It's the same thing whenever you apply more than one action from the body at a time.
This week a former dance student of mine hired me to choreograph her set for her jazz/pop music live act. She was doing pretty well on her own moving the way she felt intuitively while singing, but she needed a little extra something to punctuate her feeling and help her to look extra fabulous. In comes Moi. It was important to me to not overdo the movements...they should look as natural as walking and talking on a tv set, right? So, I gathered some motif movement elements to differentiate between the verse and the chorus and waited to fill it all in when I saw her.
I wanted to get a feel of HER. Not how I would do it, but how she would do it naturally. She started to sing and as I taught her the choreography, I also watched how her body interpreted it. It was then pliable, like clay so that it could be formed specifically for her. Some stuff I kept as I imagined it, some movement I adjusted so it suited her better. It was also important to me that she not have to overthink her movement. I get it. I'm a performer.
All of this brings me to this: talking and moving is an important kinesthetic step for our brains and bodies to fire together simultaneously. It seems like it should be as easy as riding a bike, but it can be challenging. When I run with the LA Leggers group on Saturdays, I am amazed at the people who can talk nonstop while they run. It takes some lung capacity for sure, but it is also a great exercise for the brain to do more than 1 thing at a time. Not just talking and moving, but doing any activity in which one body part moves a different way from another is good exercise for the brain. It's like getting my client with muscular dystrophy to tell his brain to move his hips to the left while his arms reach to the right. Sometimes the movement is simple, other times it's a challenge to make the brain tell the body what to do, but either way it's exercise for the mind and body. My dance teacher in NYC had multiple sclerosis and I think he lasted longer because he was teaching jazz up until the end. The were moments where his body did something different from what his brain was telling it to do, but that exercise of his mind talking to his body kept him moving longer, for sure. It's so great this topic has come up this week as I'm preparing to teach a one off Fosse inspired adult jazz class next week!
Here is a brain/body exercise for you... you know how you can take 2 weights and do a biceps curl? Now try doing that while single leg balancing and switching to an overhead press, changing legs, like walking as you go... Balance is a great challenge! See the video below.
Nutrition Tip Of The Week
EAT TOMATOES... Tomatoes are full of lycopene which aids in helping your brain function better. So let's think italian and have my version of a caprese salad...
sliced multi colored heirloom tomatoes... from the farmer's market of course!
extra virgin olive oil, red pepper flakes, basil and mozzarella with aged balsamic vinegar.
Healthy, filling and full of antioxidants that keep you sharp.
REMEMBER: Moving one body part one direction and another body part in a different direction creates a kinesthetic step for our bodies and brains to fire together simultaneously telling each other which way to go...the result promotes a healthier brain and a more moveable body and overall, a better YOU.
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