About Image Tech for Dancers
IMAGE TECH (IT) is a weight-bearing, somatic technique consisting of standing exercises that increase awareness, alignment, and stability while preparing dancers for vertical dance techniques. It focuses on imagery to create energetic directions. It was originally created to connect the dots between Alexander Technique, the work of Irene Dowd, and ballet class. The method addresses how one incorporates the important information of these supplemental techniques into their body while standing and provides significant groundwork for dancing.
Synthesizing what has been studied and taught to dancers over the past 20 years to enhance their training, for me, this is inclusive of Alexander Technique, anatomical applications from Irene Dowd, kinesiology, physical therapy and proprioceptive exercises. My goal has been to integrate this vast body of knowledge into something practical and useable. IT brings the application of “the best” of the aforementioned tools, neuro-science and biomechanical understanding into the classroom to prepare dancers for their classes. It is composed of an organized sequence of standing exercises to precede the rigors of vertical, weigh-bearing technique classes such as ballet, jazz, Horton, Graham, Limón, and Cunningham. The codified order and language was created to be used daily, though even a short 5-10 minutes can set up a more experienced dancer for their day. IT in practice is a methodology that can be applied throughout the entirety of the dance class.
The practice itself consists of the use of dynamic directions and energetic imagery. The dancer uses tactile prompts to trigger muscle groups that stabilize and facilitate proper and efficient alignment, affording dancers stability and allowing them to release unneeded tension. Sequences of varying lengths consist of non-demonstrative exercises executed while standing and address both parallel and rotated positions, demi pointe, plié, and transfer of weight. IT increases possibilities for all physiques. With the use of imagery and directional suggestions, a dancer can replace unhealthy habits (i.e. posture and movement initiations) with healthy ones. IT builds a dancer’s autonomy by providing them with the tools for self-correction in other vertical techniques.
“I have very long bowed legs… and they are a bit hard for me to control sometimes. [IMAGE TECH] has shown me that I can use the correct line of energy to control my legs.”
“I identified with [IMAGE TECH] automatically… all of a sudden I was able to experience the movements and the start of a ballet class in a way that felt good in my body. [It] revolutionized how I take a class.”
“IMAGE TECH really helped me to address my body based on what’s available… I feel that I’m a lot more confident in the way I dance.”
“I think the reason why they offered me a position in the company [Graham Company] in the first place is that while the technique may be different from ballet, I understood the use of the back and how the body works.”