This article argues that there is a tendency in movement and dance training to focus on an idealised symmetrically trained body. If this image becomes internalised and dominant, there is the potential for it to overshadow anatomical and acquired asymmetries in all performers and to thereby prevent full awareness of the attributes and potential for learning about movement that these asymmetries can offer. Moshe Feldenkrais' Awareness Through Movement lessons are particularly pertinent in this context since many hundreds of these are deliberately structured to enhance awareness of left/right differences. Through looking closely at examples of these, I suggest that movement-based performers can gain a greater appreciation of their individual asymmetries and that this can lead, paradoxically, to a more nuanced and flexible sense of balance. Through focusing specifically on lateral asymmetries, I further propose that a close understanding of left/right behavioural differences and hand dominance can bring a fresh perspective to the different types of thinking performers employ during performance preparation.
- symmetry/asymmetry, balance, Feldenkrais, movement, dance training, left/right handedness