Professional reference for dancers, choreographers and dance educators
Attention and Focus in Dance supports dancers in honing the skills of attention, focus and self-cueing. Readers will learn about attentional challenges; discover advanced strategies for teaching, self-coaching and cueing; unlock their power reserves and release their dance potential.
Foreword: An Introduction to Attentional FocusGabriele Wulf, PhD Recent scientific research findings: "An external focus of attention is key to optimal performance and learning."Part I. Shifting AttentionChapter 1. Attentional Focus Challenges of Dancers Explores the multitasking demands and information overload of dancers today and the need for a systematic attention and focus strategy in dance training and performance.Chapter 2. Attentional Focus: A Scientific Perspective Looks at how scientific attentional focus research relates to dance practice, translating attentional focus findings into dance vocabulary for practical dance contexts.Chapter 3. Attention and Focus: The Intersection of Eastern and Western Movement Investigates attention and focus in Eastern movement practice where it intersects with recent scientific findings to provide depth and alternative attentional tools for the dancer.Chapter 4. Attentional Focus: Enhancing Power, Precision and Artistry Revisits dance foundations with attention and focus techniques that renew meaning and develop energy, stamina and speed for specific dance challenges.Chapter 5. Refocus Mind, Replenish Energy Introduces remedial attention and focus techniques for performers and teachers to clear the mind and replenish energy in motion to protect from energy depletion and exhaustion.Part II. Cueing AttentionChapter 6. Teaching With External Attentional Focus Presents practical attentional strategies for teaching, self-coaching and optimal cueing from beginner skills to refining of movement with advanced and professional dancers.Chapter 7. Beyond Attentional Focus Places attentional focus in context to explore complementary holistic strategies that support the autonomy of the dancer to bring further benefits to learning and performance.Chapter 8. Optimal Attentional Cueing Refines the art of optimum self-cueing, teaching cueing and feedback to enable high performers' need for powerful, efficient movement at the service of an artistic intention.
Om bidragsyterneClare Guss-West is a former professional dancer, choreographer, holistic health practitioner and author specialising in the integration of holistic health and dance.
Clare's innovative work translates recent scientific research findings on attentional focus for direct application in professional, vocational and inclusive dance practice. Supported by her Eastern-movement practice, she provides mindful attention and focus strategies that harness mind, energy and effort to empower dancers, giving them the edge and the tools to enhance their own physical and mental performance and achieve their best. She shares this work with the dancers, teachers and health care teams of such companies and educational organisations as Finnish National Ballet and School, The Royal Ballet, Houston Ballet, Ballet de L'Opera du Rhin, Opera de Paris-Opera Universite, Dutch National Ballet Education, Pole Superieur de Danse Rosella Hightower and the Nureyev Foundation as well as the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) international CPD programme.
To facilitate inclusive dance practice, Clare adapts attentional focus theories as effective teaching tools to enable movement, promote creativity and restore well-being. She employs this approach in her Danse Senior projects at Konzert Theater Bern Dance Company and teaches it on the MAS Dance Science, Bern University, the University Diploma, 'Dance, Health & Aging', University Cote d'Azur and in RAD's CPD module Dance for Adults and Older Learners.
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 Opera de Paris.
As cofounder and director of the Dance & Creative Wellness Foundation (launched with the support of Dutch National Ballet) and chair of the Dance for Health committee of the International Association for Dance Medicine & Science (IADMS), she is an international advocate of the well-being benefits of dance and its role in innovative preventative health.