Today, we interviewed Erica Trivett, Certiﬁed Practitioner of the Feldenkrais Method of Somatic Education® and Thesis Writer – Osteopathy Manual Practice, about the stretches she likes to do and why she thinks the Feldenkrais Method® is good for dancers.
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
So, we are here at Harbour Dance Centre, and I am Erica Trivett. I am currently a Guild Certiﬁed Practitioner® of the Feldenkrais Method of Somatic Education® and Thesis Writer. I have had a career in dance for about 25 years. Actually, I am about to teach a class this morning.
What is the Feldenkrais Method®?
The Feldenkrais Method® is based on promoting self-awareness and discovering better ways of functioning in movement — which is done in a number of different ways exploring developmental movement.
Why did you study the Feldenkrais Method®?
I got introduced to the Feldenkrais Method® when I was a guest artist in Basel at the Basel Ballet. Another dancer was doing a training in Amsterdam, and I did an 'Awareness Through Movement® ' class with her. I immediately saw benefits through how I felt and was very intrigued to investigate getting into a training program myself.
What are common injuries you see?
So, I get a lot of complaints from dancers — mostly lower extremities, so the ankle, knee, and hip. Lower back, as well, but mostly lower extremities.
Can you show us an exercise you recommend?
Good morning, Katherine, thank you for being my guinea pig for this. So, this is pigeon pose. We are talking about the hip and an exercise for
health. In this pigeon’s pose, I am going to ask you turn in the leg. This is a good stretch for the piriformis on the left as well as the psoas on the right.
What I encourage people, and especially dancers, to do is, when you're in this stretch, you want to lean forward and you breathe down into the right hip. So you allow the diaphragm to push all the pressures down into the hip joint. You take nice long clean breaths and take your time. Observe the whole body. On the right side, you’re getting a psoas stretch. But on the left side, you’re actually inhibiting or relaxing the muscle by approximating the insertion and the origin of the psoas muscle.
The next part would be to take the same pose but to turn even more to the left as if you were to have a look into your back-left pocket. That increases the stretch on the right. If you go on you're your forearms, you have even more extension in the back. You can also, if you want, create a little bit more tension on the left by pressing the knee into the floor.
For about 4 counts, and then release and relax. Every time you take a breath in, you create more tension and bring the air down into the hip joint. And you don't want to overstretch, so make sure you take little breaks.
Thank you, Ballegro community. I hope this stretch helps.