Attention and Focus in Dance – virtual resources for all

2020 has been quite a year and dancers and dance teachers have had a steep learning curve to embrace technology and develop the skills sets to deliver effective distance and on line dancing and learning. The up side of this year is the incredible accessibility to learning that this new virtual medium has afforded. Dancers from as far and wide as China, Canada, the US and New Zealand have been able to participate together in my recent workshops, lectures and conferences. We are sharing knowledge and best practice in dance training in a way previously unheard of in my whole dancing life time.

So if you participated in our on line introductory workshop to launch ‘Attention & Focus in Dance’ with Finnish National Ballet in November – Or indeed, if you actually missed it or found yourself on the waiting list, then the good news is that, thanks precisely to our virtual constrictions this year, I’m able to share with you lots of diverse follow up virtual resources from November and December 2020.

Dance Health Finland celebrated its 20th Anniversary with their first ever on line conference that reached a record number of participants far beyond the boarders of Finland. Thanks to their generosity – here you can watch a 60″ lecture/workshop of me presenting in English at their November conference an introduction to Attention and Focus in Dance Practice.

Next up, Ellie Kusner from the US, chair of IADMS (International Association of Dance, Medicine and Science) Dance Educators committee and Dance Well Podcast moderator, invited me in December to discuss together with her some of the A&F FAQs and more knotty aspects of applying external attentional focus in dance micro-correction, in experiential anatomy, in somatic, proprioceptive and therapeutic approaches. So thanks to Ellie’s energetic ever-questing disposition, here’s a friendly, more in depth exploration of ‘Attention and Focus’ in practical application to listen to.

Perhaps you are just wanting to refresh ‘internal/external’ focus definitions and brush up on the 20+ years of research findings as they relate to dance practice – from professional to beginner and from young to older adult dancer, then visit the National Center for Dance Therapy in Montreal, Canada who have just shared an introductory blog of mine ‘Enhancing dance learning with attentional focus strategies’ .

My 2021 commitment is to bring awareness to the vast range of benefits of approaching dance with an external focus of attention, to facilitate accessibility for those dancers with attentional, physical or mental health challenges. Together with Irma Becker, specialist in ballet for those with disabilities, I’ve shared an informative blog for IADMS. You’ll find how shifting your own attentional focus as a starting point, facilitates learning, increased performance and a sense of inclusion in adapted dance practice ‘Ballet for All – Shifting focus to adapt practice’ .

Plenty of vacation reading and inspirational professional development material to enable you to revisit your dance practice with fresh 2021 eyes – and to benefits from the burst of renewed energy, and dazzling heightened artistic capacities that will accompany that external attentional focus shift. Happy viewing, listening and reading – warmest wishes Clare

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