Jenga begins with the stacking of 54 wooden blocks. Players then take turns removing one block at a time, the object being to keep the stack from falling down. Stacking is also a dance studio term, as students are encouraged to stack their joints, vertebrae and body parts.
A successful turn at the Jenga stack requires minimal movement, rather like a game of Pick-Up-Sticks. One slight vibration, and down goes the edifice. Stasis is essential. In contrast, a fine turn on the dance floor requires movement and vitality; stasis nowhere to be found.
In Jenga, stacking is done from the bottom-up, carefully arranging the blocks for stability, then figuring out how to maintain that base for as long as possible. Dancers, too, can stack themselves ‘bottom-up,’ feet to head, but this is not the only way to achieve stability. One can also balance from the top-down.
And this is how it is done in the Alexander Technique. Dancers free the primary place of balance in the body, that of head-on-spine. From the head/spine meeting place, the rest of the body’s structure, all the way down to the feet, can move with balance and ease.
Words matter. If stacking provides your heart’s desire as you dance, keep it! If not, examine what the word conjures up for you. If it is stasis, make a different choice. Let yourself move, and also consider the happy possibilities of ‘top-down’ thinking.
Game nights and dance concerts await! With high hopes all will be vaccinated, allowing a return to in-person gatherings and events. My second Pfizer shot is next Friday—-