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Victoria Cresswell MSTAT

Alexander Technique, Movement  &  Dance


01425 480560

Art of Movement

Just Dance!

Dance Classes & Workshops

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My Approach to Dance Improvisation

Like most Dance Improvisation Teachers, my approach continually shifts and changes as different aspects of moving catch my attention.

I think it’s safe to say that the most influential teacher for me has been the late Gabrielle Roth whom I met in the mid 1980s. I learnt a variety of Dance Techniques including Classical, Contemporary and Morris Dancing from childhood to my early 20s.

My training in the Alexander Technique and the subsequent development of a different kind of movement awareness, broadened my vision and led me in search of movement that would unlock self-expression and meaning.  I pursued several possibilities before finding myself on a 5 day Intensive Residential course with Gabrielle in Devon. She was introducing ‘The 5 Rhythms’ (often called ‘The Wave’), a body of work that she had been working on for many years.  A life changing experience!

The 5 Rhythms describe how energy builds, moves and changes and, when skilfully placed within the Psyche, catalyses expressive movement, creativity and healing.  Afterwards no room was too big, no amount of dancing enough!  Gabrielle had the ability to see who resided in your body and entice it out through moving.  She used humour, instinct, impeccable timing and compassion to achieve this.  It was clear that the span of her work was enormous and the Practice life changing. On looking back, I feel full of gratitude that I was fortunate enough to spend so much time in her company, both on and off the Dance Floor.

She encourage me to “Just Dance, Vicky” and so it is from her that the title of my Dance offering comes.  

I lost contact with the 5 Rhythms ‘Tribe’ and sadly with Gabrielle herself. The years of practice in ‘The Wave’, however, are still inside me and Gabrielle and her work continue to inspire me, my Dance, and my offering as teacher.  I’m no longer an accredited 5 Rhythms teacher, but chose to explore other ways into movement.  For two years I experimented with dancing with the floor as partner, taking the group down and into the floor and finding that once we were down there, dancing horizontally, no one was really interested in standing up!  It is incredible how dancing with the floor softens body and heart.

Later, I worked more with action and response and improvisation took on a greater width and depth as the trust developed in the class. Lately I’ve been exploring the relationship between all the skills I teach.  I find the Alexander Technique and dance complement each other in their trust and presence; in their pauses and choices; in their awareness in contact.  I find that Pilates adds strength and flexibility to the dance.  

I learnt, and continue to learn, about the multi-dimensional aspect of dance with my life partner Philip, an enthusiastic dancer.

In order to expand my dance and movement experience and for the enjoyment of the local dance community I organise Dance Days, inviting guest teachers as well as teaching myself. I enjoy collaborating with other teachers. I don’t at present teach weekly classes, preferring to focus on a single day, a weekend or the week long holidays in Europe.