Releasing Institute

About Skinner Releasing Technique

We're all born dancers, with innate coordination and animal-like grace. As time goes by, we tend to lose touch with this natural ease. Muscles tense unnecessarily, and our alignment goes askew. The Skinner Releasing Technique™ (SRT) lets us practice letting go: letting go of stress, letting go of unnecessary holding in our body, letting go of preconceptions about what is supposed to happen, letting go of fear of awkwardness, letting go of the belief that we don't have the right body for dancing. We let go of habitual holding patterns and habitual ways of thinking in order to let something new happen. Eventually, we find energy and power. We rediscover our natural alignment, improve strength and flexibility, and awaken creativity and spontaneity.

SRT can be beneficial to professional dancers, actors, musicians and artists of all kinds, to people recovering from injuries as well as movers at any level. It can enhance any movement style and any activity. For many, it's catalytic in their lives, with multi-faceted, far-reaching effects of opening and enhancing, no matter what it is they do.

SRT classes include imagery as a powerful tool for transformation. Part of the class involves hands-on partner studies (partner graphics), where we can feel ourselves letting go of habitual holding patterns, maybe for the first time. At times, the teacher's guided imagery quiets the mind, and coaxes us into a deeper state of wholeness, tapping into the imagination while working on technical aspects of movement. Movement unfolds, sometimes in quiet gentle ways, sometimes in surprising and inventive ways. Integration of the technical with the creative is a unique aspect of the Skinner Releasing approach. Connecting our physicality with our imagination, we end up with an empowered self much greater than the sum of its parts.

Some parts of an SRT class involve 'deep states,' where our brain waves slow down and we journey just below conscious level. This mode is similar to meditation: the senses are heightened and we're open to learning. Moving from this state, or even just visualizing movement, can lead to astonishing transformations. People find themselves moving in ways entirely new for them, that they didn't think themselves capable of, often with an ease they didn't think possible.

The class atmosphere is gentle, interweaving guided imagery with a variety of musical environments that support and propel us in a comfortable, safe atmosphere. Each of us can proceed at our own pace and in our own way, accessing our fluid, natural grace and inner, creative impulses. Balance is found by expanding multi-directionally rather than by holding. We align with the forces of the universe, rather than strictly in relation to our own bodies. It's an experiential, intuitive approach, taking into account not just the physical body, but the energies that move through and around us.

In SRT, we find a class atmosphere that includes all parts of us. Although the work is specific, it's broad and deep enough to include our own thoughts and feelings as they come and go. And no matter how much or little we move in class, we leave with more energy than we had when we came. And with ideas flowing.