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Each In Their Own Time

Each in their own time

In what I call developmental learning, each person will grasp a piece of the puzzle in their own time.

Developmental learning builds on whatever is being done. It’s different than conceptual learning. In conceptual learning, once a person understands the concept, the learning is complete. In developmental learning, once a person is able to do something, that enables the ability to do something more.

For example, turning a circle. With the outer connections (hands/feet, elbows/knees, hips/shoulders, upper and lower). And with the breath. When to inhale; when to exhale.

Gradually, the hands and feet will start to come together. Or maybe the hips and shoulders connect first. Little by little 慢慢来 the coordination will become easier, more complete. With each step, another step becomes possible. With each connection, another, more complete connection becomes possible. 1, 2 and 1, 2.

It seems simple. It is. But it is not easy to do. Not at first. But with practice, it becomes difficult to imagine any other way.

There will be a time when it seems nothing is correct. The timing is off. The coordination is off. The rhythm is off.

There will come a moment – sooner or later – when everything falls into place; when the timing of the breath and movement is well-coordinated and there is almost no effort. That is the moment to work towards.

Each person will come to this in their own time. One person may begin to grasp the ideas in a few weeks. Another may need a few months, or more. But with regular practice, there will come a day when a concept that has been discussed for months will suddenly make sense; when a particular coordination will comfortably drop into place. You will feel it. You will simile.

(When I was first learning a discipline ~1980, Ms. Shirley Weaver allowed me into her ballet class at the Conservatory at UMKC. It was special permission for me – I was not a dance major and it was reserved for dance majors only. I worked hard; I was good. Miss Shirley had given a combination. I hit it. Perfectly. She smiled. “How’d it feel up there?” she asked, already knowing the answer. I smiled. Really big. I didn’t need to say anything. She knew.) 


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