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Posted by on Jan 28, 2013 in Beginning, Challenges, Posture, Practice, Visualization | 0 comments

The Swagger Silly Walk

The Swagger Silly Walk

Here’s another challenge from the ministry of silly walks. This walk is all about pressing into the ground and relaxing at the same time. It is similar to a previous challenge the ‘Silly anesthetized walk’. The swagger silly walk is here to help you feel how to walk in a relaxed way that is powerful and well connected to the ground. The swagger silly walk brings in the upper body to create a much more holistic and natural walk.The swagger silly walk is only silly if you want it to be, but making it silly can truly help your understanding of how your body moves holistically. In truth, a very refined version of this silly walk is how we should all be walking everyday, everywhere we go.

The swagger silly walk.

John Cleese, The ministry of silly walks.Find your good posture, ‘Fine Tune your posture’,  and start walking. As you walk focus on pressing into the ground with each step. Pay attention to how your weight presses on the bottom of your foot and how the pressure moves across the bottom of your foot.

As you become accustomed to this walk, begin paying attention to how your leg takes your weight as you land. Imagine the pressure of your weight beginning at the bottom of your foot and feel it move up your leg and into your hip. Pay attention to how your hip feels as it engages.

As you become familiar with the feeling of your hip engaging, imagine how your sacrum connects your hip to your spine. Imagine your spine stretching upward from your sacrum.  Now as your engagement enters your sacrum imagine your other hip disengaging, relaxing and dropping. Let the relaxation flow down your leg to your foot, as it swings forward for the next step. Be careful to push off into your steps rather than fall into them. This is very important! Do not fall into your steps! See our other challenge ‘Launching instead of Landing’.

Walk with this visualization for a while.

Birth of Venus.Walk with this visualization for a while. Let the engagement of the ground travel up your leg into your hip and as your hip engages let the other hip and leg disengage and relax. If you wish to exaggerate this it can be quite fun and is much easier if walking down hill letting gravity pull your relaxed leg in front of you.

Once you are comfortable with this walk start pressing purposely into the ground with the whole side of your body. I think about driving into the ground from my shoulder down, Susannah doesn’t like that visualization but likes to think of settling into the ground from the shoulder down. The feeling should be of settling and compression with that side of your body feeling very connected to the ground and the space between your hip and shoulder being slightly compressed. Meanwhile let the other side of your body relax and hang from your shoulder. The space between your hip and shoulder being somewhat elongated because of the dropped hip.

Don’t give it too much thought, just relax and let it happen.

Let your body spiral naturally, your arms swinging in a relaxed way. You may find that your shoulders will move in a circle like when paddling a kayak backwards. Don’t give it too much thought, just relax and let it happen. You will find that your shoulder is at it’s bottom point as you press into the ground with that side of your body.  Your shoulder will rise up and forward as you push off and relax.

You may have a bit of a swagger, but that’s ok.

Most simply, just think of pressing into the ground on one side, and as that side of your body engages, let the other side relax and the other hip to drop. Keep your spine stretched upward and your shoulder blades flat on your back.  Exaggerate this walk for a bit and then try to relax and bring it all back in so that you can still feel it, but so that no one  would ever suspect you were doing anything other than having a slow, relaxed and confident walk. You may have a bit of a swagger, but that’s ok.

 Try to make it a smooth holistic movement.

Play with this walk, try it out when you are walking from one place to another through out your days. Feel your connection with the ground as you exaggerate it, power through it, make it subtle and super refined or make it super relaxed, try to make it a smooth holistic movement no matter how you are doing it. Have some fun and play around with variations to feel how your body moves in a holistic way as you walk. This silly walk is a much more natural walk than the ‘silly anesthetized walk’ and it carries even more importance in regard to tango. Mastering the swagger silly walk will most definitely help refine your dance in ways that are too numerous to count.  Just how relaxed yet powerful can your walk be?

 

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