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Teaching Tip: External Attentional Foci

By Clare Guss-West, Director of the Dance & Creative Wellness Foundation 

In my direct experience of teaching dancers, I have learned that we frequently use multiple types of feedback from diverse sources involving both self-related, conscious body-part control instructions (internal) and mental imagery that focuses on the movement outcome, quality and effect (external) in the same cue. 

 

What types of external foci might we choose from to guide the mind and the attention onto the desired movement outcome, pattern, effect or quality? In the video below, I give a few possibilities.

 

 

Learn more from Clare Guss-West in her book, Attention and Focus in Dance. 

 

 

Clare Guss-West

Trained as a classical and contemporary dancer and musician, Clare began choreographing with American composer Philip Glass and was resident choreographer and director at English National Opera. She has done productions for Lyric Opera of Chicago, Los Angeles Opera, Seattle Opera, San Francisco Opera and Ballet, Dutch National Opera and Ballet, Royal Opera House, BBC Proms and Opéra de Paris.


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