My name is Sarah Balzat and I am a dancer, teacher and choreographer. I was born with two block vertebra in my spine. That restricted me a lot during my dance education and early career and I had always very big trouble to find a way to move flexible and effective to express myself fully. The usual teaching methods like used in Ballet and contemporary dance and even in Afro-Cuban movement culture gave me a hard time as I was always thriving for a way of movement that was very hard to achieve with my body condition. For so many years I was punishing myself to fit in that box of the perfect body for what I was longing to express: the flexible, yet stable and fluid movement quality of afro cuban movement culture.
Out of this deep need I started experimenting how to come to that point with the restrictions in my body. I developed a series of exercises wich would allow me to compensate my lack of mobility through visualization, center work and control. With the time I saw amazing results in my own movement quality and started to use this technique in my classes and projects in order to unfold the full potential in my students and the dancers I work with in my choreographical work. It turned out that it was very beneficial for the improvement of any kind of dancer no matter which level, age or body condition. Effectivity and healthy use of technique explored with time and consciousness will help the dancer to develop a precise technique in a healthy way. Especially for technical training in body demanding techniques such as Ballet, this is a great addition and or preparation to the regular technical training.
It set free a possibility of expression and uses every body condition to raise consciousness in movement. It teaches self love and explores the body in acceptance and sets a focus on what is possible. It also became a very useful tool to explore creativity in Afro-Cuban Movement based and contemporary classes.
Flowing Spine Technique is based on the principles of Afro-Cuban Movement Culture. Through a brief analyzation of these principles, Flowing Spine Technique reconnects you with your natural ability to move flexible. Consciousness in execution and the focus of understanding the core of Afro-cuban Movement culture are a key in every exercise. All is build on certain movement principles and helps the dancer slowly to transfer that experience knowledge to all other kind of dance styles and helps to enrich movement quality and range in motion.
About the Technique
Ever since I started to explore it, Flowing Spine Technique became an important part of all my classes and in my creation process to create authenticity and connection. Flowing Spine helped me and many others to free themselves from the curent spin of trying and helped to instead step into everyones nature as a creator.
It is a collection of “freedom tools” that speak through a mindfull practice of motion. Every exercise is a path of discovery through the own self, its potentials and its naked beautiful and true expression. Different than in other usual techniques, where the technical domination of the body is in focus, Flowing Spine Technique starts with a research about the intention of movement through improvisational tools. Then in a second step it encourages the student, based on this experience to make decisions towards a form that serves the expressional goal of the dancer and respects his or her own physical borders to create physical precision.
Using the center in a mindfull way, teaches to walk the path of an authentic expression. Discovering what is within your own inner landscape and building a free channel to transfer it on to others and the space. It sets a point of the here and now starting from the inside and moves from there towards a flexible self on the outside.
“Control is only learned so we can devote to the flow of relaxation.”
Flowing spine technique is based on that principle and teaches the dancer to find a way of using the body in the most effective yet expressive way. It opens new doors to self-expression and movement quality and incorporates the art of improvisation into the process of learning movement principles. The dancer becomes a thinking body on a journey of perception and expression.
“It is created to help everybody who feels the desire to express with movement and find new ways to use existing techniques in a beneficial way for their body and desire to express. This is why this technique is same beneficial for professional dancers in education and amateurs”
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