Yesterday we talked about the importance of play fighting, for many years I viewed all rough and tumble behavior as a variation of play fighting but as I expanded my movement practice to include dance it became clear that much of what goes on in roughhousing is not really about combat specifically but more akin to dance. My daughter like to push my face, pull my beard, jump on me, head but me and push and pull me around but more often she just wants to climb on me snuggle and be swung, lifted, flipped, and carried. This type of play helps her develop her balance, kinaesthetic sense, spatial mapping, proprioception and strength, as well as being a source of positive touch communication and trust building. Of course I will always be an advocate of play fighting but one doesn’t have to be rough to have good “roughhousing” and exploring the gentler side of what might be described as touch and tumble play is immensely valuable.
For those of us from more physical reserved sub cultures males in particular this type of play maybe uncomfortable at first, similarly for people from locomotive or manipulative sports or for combative athletes it might also be uncomfortable at first, but every one can benefit from this type of movement training and there is no barrier to entry expect having friends in your life willing to try it with you. Just like we all as kids once ran, jumped, climbed and moved on all fours, to explore our environments, we all probably did at least some of this type of play with our parents siblings and friends as young children. You just need to give yourself permission to go back there that is your challenge for today can you explore the way you body is capable of moving in gentle ways with a partner.
Your inspiration for today this awesome contact improv featuring a dad and his toddler