Karen Wood

My research project investigates the kinaesthetic sense and how this is communicated and received between people.  Kinaesthesia is a felt sensation experienced through doing movement and through watching movement; it has been termed the ‘sixth sense’ and likened to proprioception however, proprioception is a sense of what is ‘one’s own’.  Kinesthesia is more akin to the sensation of movement when viewing or experiencing, for example, when sat on a stationary train and another train comes past, for a moment you question who is moving, you or the other train?

Thanks to the award, I have been able to attend a workshop conducted by Sandra Reeves entitled Cross Currents: Movement and Communication.  This workshop used improvisational movement to explore how we communicate with each other on a daily basis, using our bodies.   It focussed on how we engage with other human beings through movement and how our beliefs and assumptions shape our movement.   It was useful for me to reflect on my own practice and to consider how I communicate through my body.  I realised that the intention of my movement was expressed differently to how I wanted it to be received and the workshop really made me consider how I approach moving my body.  I have a natural, instinctual way of moving that sometimes requires thinking and adaptation in my approach to be communicated effectively.

My second workshop does not take place until 10th July and is with the Institute of Body Mind Therapy (www.ibmt.co.uk).  The workshop is an Introductory Authentic Movement Workshop with Linda Hartley.  This will explore the relationship between self and other and help to clarify the communication that exists between ‘mover and witness’.    Authentic movement looks at how we move from internal impulses and becoming present to whatever arises in the moment.  This workshop, along with the first, will provide a valuable insight into movement communication.

These workshops will feed into my future writings on kinaesthesia and will inform my teaching of dance.  I am currently investigating kinaesthetic empathy and watching dance and having firsthand experience of these workshops gives clarity to my writing.  They have been extremely helpful in making me adapt my teaching style to use more kinaesthetic terms to try and help the students understand the intention of the movement material.  However, ultimately, they have been of great assistance to reflecting on my own practice and analysing the way I use movement material in my communication process.   This will inevitably be great support to future projects I will be involved in and will continue to contribute to my teaching practice.  This type of information embeds itself as knowledge of the body and is transferrable to all practices that I endeavour to be involved in.