I definitely got a kick out of performing
From years of dancing professionally, I have a gained a plethora of knowledge in various forms of dance along with my knowledge of the Feldenkrais Method for lengthening & strengthening muscles and improving alignment. I have a series of exercises and stretches that pressure-up your body while lengtheningand strengthening your muscles for optimal balance and extensions. They are especially good for warming-up before an audition, rehearsal or class.
I developed these exercises to alleviate the pain I was always in dating back to a hit-and-run auto accident, of which I was the pedestrian victim, when I was seventeen. The debilitating injuries from the accident included breaks to the tibia, femur, pelvis, ribs and collarbone, as well as torn cartilege to the knee, whiplash, and injury to my brain affecting my balance. All of this affected my coordination, alignment and balance, strength and flexibility. That's why I developed a series of "pre-warm-up" exercises. They work to strengthen the ankles and feet, which is so important for balance; pressure-up the muscles that support the knees, and simultaneously strengthen the buttocks, psoas, and abdominal muscles. They also can lengthen and strengthen simultaneously. They have kept me limber, balanced and aligned during my last years of performing (as shown in the pictures) and even after retiring as a professional dancer. Dance classes are a joy, not painful. Other dancers started asking what I was doing so I showed them, then I started teaching it. See Workshop/Classes –dg
The dg Method for EVERYONE:
Balance, Strength, Agility, Joy
AS A CLASS : 1. The first Luigi jazz technique warm-up exercise is conducted like an Awareness Through Movement (ATM) lesson, exploring the movements safely while standing, sitting – perhaps even doing a few of the moves lying down. This may or may not be done with meditative music. Then a few more exercises/stretches are explored.
2. Then the warm-up is done to the Luigi Jazz Dance music. Students then get to experience the beneficial effects of what they've done: a.) How it frees them up; b.) How they are more balanced, coordinated and exhilarated from moving thru space to jazzy music – esp. those who inhibit themselves from dancing because they feel they are clumsy and have “two left feet”. As in a Feldenkrais ATM, they “float” out of the room feeling more confident. Participants will have fun and get a lot of insight about using the Feldenkrais Method in ways other than ATM. Whenever I have taught this, people have been amazed at how light and free they feel, and how well they can move through space.
AS A WORKSHOP: More than just the first exercise of the Luigi Jazz Dance Technique is explored and "danced" and possibly followed with a fun dance combination to complete the "freeing" experience.
Photo by Rob White
The dg Method for Dancers for:
Balance, Strength, Flexibility
Stretching out before performing
I also liked flying
through the air ...
... and showing some leg
Thank you so much for inviting me to the Feldenkrais/Luigi workshop two weeks ago. It was a great class, and I'm still remembering the fun and useful aspects about it. I think it was a perfect melding of Moshe and Luigi, and you're the perfect person to teach it.
One thing I particularly liked about the Moshe/Luigi workshop wasthe work we did sitting in a chair. It was excellent preparation; by sitting and getting the movements in our minds and bodies before standing, we could concentrate on these movements first. Then, we put it together and suddenly - look at us! - we're dancing. Thank you.
In your Feldenkrais classes I've learned, or relearned perhaps, how to move in a simple and "mindful" way. As I've told you before,I live with fewer aches and pains now, at over 50 years of age, than I have since my teenage years. I'm still athletic, too, running, swimming and surfing. So I really appreciate these new methods. And I enjoy the chance to dance with a Luigi expert, too.
Let me know when you offer another class or workshop like the last one. I'm ready to sign up.
Thanks a lot,
Many, many thanks for the wonderful two hour Feldenkrais & Luigi workshop last Saturday, February 11th at the Studio. I was very much impressed, not surprised, with your teaching "by example" and I have reason to believe that everyone felt the same way. You inspired me to be at another level with dancing, exercising and learning to feel and understand my body. At a certain moment I felt that I could be a dancer! What a wonderful feeling! Wish I could have your posture and be as supple and elegant like you.
You are THE BEST!
Hi Donna; Thank you for the exciting and energizing Feldenkrais/Luigi workshop you conducted. You always manage to teach some things I have never heard before, like,the importance of physical body movements as related to depression. Thatbody movement can actually initiate healing of emotions, like depression, is encouraging to me. In the workshop, you also spoke of each of us being our own universe. You speak of that universe in ways that improve my self-esteem. Your words make me feel important, unique from others, and encourages me to like myself more.The depth of your knowledge of The Feldenkrais Method is evident, as you taught many different movements in the workshop and answered questions from the class with confidence and ease. Feldenkrais, to me, is the most challenging exercise I have ever experienced. Because of that, I feel(know) that it takes someone like you, Donna, to teach the workshop so effectively. Among other things, in the workshop, you carefully guided all the students individually, offering helpful 'tweaks'. Thanks again for teaching Feldenkrais Method with the Luigi dancewith suchenergy, enthusiasm and care. I took away with me a feeling of joy and well-being.
Ah, it feels so good to just stretch out!
Thank you for working with me the last few years and teaching me how to move my body pain free and to help me to regain my lost flexibility.
Whether we are doing a Feldenkrais exercise, a dance move from Luigi or one of your own exercises, I always feel safe and know that I will not do be doing anything that will hurt me. This was so important when I first came to you because I was in a lot of pain. You know your material and how to apply it to a client's needs. It amazes me how much I have learned from you. With each session I get stronger and stronger. Your love for what you do shines through with each session.
-- Alisoun Price
I have taken Luigi jazz classes and Feldenkrais classes with Donna. She's a great teacher in both techniques. She gives hands-on help with proper alignment and balance, never hurting but strengthening the body. She also evaluates the needs of each individual person and what they need to focus on. Her attitude is sincere, caring and helpful.
-- Lynne Jones
Donna and I take dance class together and it has always been clear thatshe sees movement partly as a way of healing, very much in the spirit of theLuigi Jazz Technique that she has long studied with Luigi and Francis Roach. She proved that recently during a break in class, when she noticed thatI was doing my own stretches in a way that compromised my knees and ankles. She took the time from her stretching to explain the mechanics of what I was doing that was problematic and to show me a basic exercise to correct my tendency to misalign the two joints.I have passed this on to my daughter, who has struggled with ankle injuries, so Donna's generosity keeps on giving. -- Kim Fararo