Thursday, September 8, 2016

One solution to the NYC artist's dilemma of affordability

A $10 class in nyc? Yeah Baby!

I'm there on Sundays, at 2 pm for Skinner Releasing Technique.
But there is a slew of other classes to check out too

Tuesday, August 30, 2016


I've neglected this blog (that's what happens when one tries to purchase a NYC coop and go back to grad school in the same year!). I've been reading and thinking about breathing lately though, and a post on the subject is a good way to head into a new (academic) year.

In the three decades I have been involved with Skinner Releasing Technique, I have tried to incorporate an awareness of breath into my daily life. Many of my students have heard me talk about how one of my goals in life is to drive across New York City without catching or holding my breath. I know this is impossible (so many taxi drivers cutting me off!) but the meditative aspects of the challenge are always worth pursuing. I also notice that when I practice watching my breath while I am driving I tend to arrive at my destination more refreshed.

Now I have a new breath challenge - working on my computer without catching or holding my breath. So, as I write this blog entry, I will try to keep part of my awareness on my breath and when I find myself catching or holding my breath I will let it go.

There are four phases to a breath - inhalation, pause, exhalation, pause. It is often the exhalation that gets stopped because letting go o four diaphragm muscle allows exhalation to happen. So, when we hold our diaphragm we hold our breath, when we release it, our breath is also released.

It is amazing how old the practice of breath awareness is. According to the book Bone, Breath & Gesture (edited by Don Hanlon Johnson), Leo Kofler created a system of breathing for his voice training in 1897 but Delsarte integrated breathing into his movement system even earlier in that century and it was brought to the U.S. by Steele Mackay in the 1870's. But anyone who has experience with meditation knows that the Eastern religions incorporated breath into their practice. In an excerpt of Carla Spreads' "Ways to Better Breathing" in Hanlon's book, she mentions that the Ancient Greeks knew that breathing was a part of the mind, and therefore a part of consciousness. So, even though breathing is an involuntary response, we have been aware of our ability to control it for a very long time.

Checking into my above stated goal (to stay conscious of my breath while writing), I just observed that I lost my consciousness of it while checking my facts for the above paragraph. According to the Skinner work, the fact that I lost my awareness of my breath is not important. What is important is that I became aware that I lost it. Therefore, (hurray!) I am on the right track.

You might try adding your own breath awareness to a part of your day. Don't worry if you don't keep your awareness throughout the task - just keep coming back to allowing your breath to have its own rhythm and noticing when you catch or hold the breath.

Good luck! I'll try another post later with an update on my breath-watching process.

Monday, December 21, 2015

2016 Aerial Dance Scholarships for Adult Dancers of Color

Each year Fly-by-Night Dance offers scholarships for adult dancers of color who wish to study Aerial Dance with the company. Classes are held once a week on Sundays in Williamsburg, Brooklyn beginning at 4:30. The 2016 audition class will be held on Sunday, Jan. 17 from 4:30-7:00 PM.

Scholarship Requirements
  • Be a dancer of color 18 years of age or older and currently study dance on a professional level.

  • Email us at about your intent to attend the free audition class and receive a confirmation from us by Saturday, Jan. 16.

  • Sign our waiver before participating in the scholarship class.

  • Attend the scholarship audition class on Sunday, January 17

  • Commit to attending class on a regular basis and inform us of any prior commitments that would conflict with your ability to attend the Sunday class.

  • Send us a paragraph about why you want to study Aerial Dance with us and what you expect to get out of the experience.
Multiple Scholarships are available for our Beginner's Mind Workshop which runs January 24, 31 and February 7 from 4:30-6:30.

A few dancers will be invited back for a 10-week scholarship after the initial 3 week workshop. This longer workshop will begin February 14 and run for 10 or more Sundays. It will involve more technique and the chance to learn company repertory.

NOTE: We welcome and encourage anyone who has auditioned before to attend our audition again.

Support Fly-by-Night's Scholarship Efforts

for Dancers of Color HERE

1 dancer received our Beginner's Mind Workshop = $75
2 dancers receive our Beginner's Mind Workshop = $150
5 dancers receive our Beginner's Mind Workshop = $375
1 dancer receives our 10-class Workshop = $225
2 dancers receive our 10-class Workshop = $450 

Read about our classes HERE