The torus is a shape found in nature, especially when energy is in motion. Hence, torsion, I see it as a torus in motion. I thought a long time about this, as “cool” as the word vortex is, it is a little too cool. I wanted something that gives a person an idea of the motion involved with this style. The word torus certainly does that, but it just sounds so awkward when used as a name for a dance style. The word torsion, in a way denotes the movement of a torus and it also sounds like the dance sometimes feels. So, torsion it is! Something modern and inclusive, a word that I hope will endure over the ages along with this style. Or I could give it a cool Japanese name like, Odoru Ki (dancing Chi) or Chinese name like Qi Xuan Wu (spiraling dance of Chi).
It is strange how this style came about. When writing my book, I had some dance movements in mind that I wanted to offer as a way to open and strengthen the body and understand the natural spiraling movements of the body. Once I finished writing my book, I was able to start focusing more on practice. As I developed it further, more moves started to show up and more foundations came too. I would just practice a movement and it would go deeper, get more defined and more moves would happen.
Then as I continued to practice, I saw that this was a whole dance style that wanted to come through. By that I mean, I believe that all knowledge and ideas already exist in the universe, it is only by an aligning or opening up of the mind to receive the idea does it come. I also like to think of a dance style, or even any art form, as an entity of its own that, in some way, by opening to it, moves me. This I would compare one of the shamanic aspects of dance. Not shamanic in the tribal concept most people see or taking substances to access other realms of life and the mind. I mean the opening up of one’s-self to the creative forces and surrendering to them.
Even though I say torsion cultivates Chi, it is not alone in the dance world. I believe all dance cultivates Chi. For one, by being fun; it lifts the spirits. Also, by coordinating breathing with movement Chi is cultivated. But for cultivation to really be effective, proper alignment must be included. Also, movement promotes blood flow in the muscles and opens the body. The Vortex offers a bit more by incorporating movement within the proper alignment of the body and twisting movements. My Wu Shu master told me that Tai Chi masters cultivate Chi by twisting the arms, legs and spine. The Vortex can be practiced slow like Qigong or Tai Chi to get the relaxation while in motion but also to coordinate movement on a highly refined level. This is necessary for balance and the perfection of movements. This may be why Tai Chi masters are regarded as some of the best martial artists. There is also a flow to torsion, it has a certain speed where the dance can take over and the flow becomes smooth and perpetual. Dynamic and spontaneous movement Qigong are said to be very powerful forms of Qigong. So, why not a dance style?
Another element that I added was the martial arts. Martial artist have refined the movement of the body to a degree of ultimate mastery for millennia. The footwork is easy on the body and efficient. The use of stances adds strength and stability to movement as well. The level of centering achieved is also incredible. When it came to fighting for one’s life, the person with the highest level of mastery wins. As with anything, the more you practice the better you get. The thing is, that by practicing torsion you will be creating a solid foundation for a full martial arts practice. All that would be needed is some martial theory and some punches and kicks. And much like the martial arts, torsion demands perfection of the body in centering, alignment and relaxed precise movements in order to be practiced and performed at its full potential. This is how I came to develop Qiyoda. I was working to get my body to be able to move not just for the Vortex but to just be able to dance the other styles I liked, freely without fear of injury. The aspects of the martial arts I incorporated are the footwork, centering, stances and spiraling movement.
Other Shamanistic concepts I incorporate, other than connecting to the creative, are intention, spiritual experience, energy healing. The intention can be accompanied by visualization, but once a good flow is initiated, a person can give an intention for something they may want to create in the world or within themselves, like a prayer or magic. So, once the flow is initiated the person dancing can just think of what they want to happen or do, and the body will instinctively do it. If you want to heal yourself or someone else of something, just think about healing them. You can focus on the sprit realm to possibly gain access. This happened to me once. Crazy story for another time. Dance has been a spiritual practice long before it became mostly a performance art. Many cultures around the world used it for healing and spiritual experience. Gabrielle Roth’s documentary called Dances of Ecstasy is a very in depth look at that.
Side note on shamanism, from my studies and experiences I see the shaman as the character who might seem to use unusual or extraordinary methods to help other heal and evolve towards wisdom and understanding life and nature and the conscious nature of life. In tribal settings they are seen as the link between the spirit realm and the material realm. it is through various methods that they are able to commune with the spirit realm to gain knowledge, wisdom, insight, healing and magic. A wizard would be a shaman. Native American methods of reaching the spirit realm are drumming, chanting and singing, dancing, using shakers, plants and near-death experiences. This is much the same with other tribes and cultures. A priest is a shaman. Truly anyone employing and method or practice to reach greater knowledge, wisdom, mastery or spiritual experience can be considered a shaman.
My true point here is that along my journey I realized that life is like living in the spirit realm, one only need to become experienced and see the signs. Life brings along plenty for me to face and overcome for me to evolve towards what I want to accomplish. I would say it has literally dragged me kicking and screaming but I also see that in some strange way I feel as if life and the world around me has an intelligence. How, because as much as I know how much I impede myself, some things happen that are out of my control that may seem like it really sucks, but really it is what I needed to experience and/or learn to keep progressing. Also, good things happen too, sometimes it is so coincidental, that it seemed planned.
So, being that all of these elements were coming together into one style, I had to give it a name. I chose the Vortex because it seemed that the foundations are all part a Vortex, but now I see it is more of a torus. The name also helps with the visualization of it in the mind.
Along with these elements comes all the benefits of practicing dance, a martial art, Qigong or Tai Chi. It can be practiced slow or full on, with or without music. It is meant to be a fun an incredible way to practice expanding your center and alignment into other movements and explore the possibilities of your body. At the same time, you will be opening your body more, increasing flexibility and strength within proper alignment on a full range of motion. And many other things. It is also a style that is more for the practitioner than for performance. This is for the practitioner to go in and not so much a performance art the focuses out to the audience. Although the more I practice it the better it looks, so it can be both. I do however like to add some other elements and styles to give it some “showmanship.”
The links below lead to the foundational concepts and movements that make up the style torsion. I am sorry if not all of it is here. Once there is more of a demand, I will upload some for sure. Until then there are a lot of aspects to the Innerverse that require attention.
Singularity Double Helix Funneling Waves Footwork
Singularity is a movement that I created from Liquid that I always liked because of its similarity to martial arts movement. On a small scale it may not seem like a martial arts movement but when Singularity opens up and expands, it will then be obvious.
The Double Helix, like that of DNA, is a movement that mimics the line of energy convergence from two opposing spirals using the hands.
This can be expanded to encompass the body in which the arms and body become the spiraling movement of the Double Helix. This can be observed in the line of convergence on the inside of a Torus. The example below is the inside of a Torus but is of a single helix (spiral/vortex). This happens when you have “Entered” the Vortex. In order to enter the Vortex funneling must be practiced.
Funneling mimics the vortex of the Torus leading to the line of convergence using the hands and arms. There are 11 areas around the body where funnels are made. The 10 directions and into the body. Where the point of convergence lies, is up to you. So is the size of the funnel you are mimicking.
Waves is moving the body in a way that it mimics that of a wave moving through the body, either through the arms, legs and torso. Waving was a popular style used in the dance style popping which was very two dimensional. moving from hand to hand and hand to foot moving through the body. The Vortex version utilizes waves in a more 3 dimensional way by moving the arms and legs together and adding twists and turns. Also when practicing singularity and funneling you will see the waves that are created within those movements.
The footwork mostly comes from the martial arts utilizing the 8 directions and stances. This creates an strength and efficiency of movement that allows the mover to remained centered at all times while moving through complex movements. You may see elements of a style called Glides that comes from the dance style Popping. This is part of what I like to add into my style of the Vortex. In essence though a martial artist must also be able to glide with their footwork. This gives the illusion of non-movement while actually moving, which can give the practitioner an advantage over their opponent. Also the practitioner must be completely centered, strong and stable through each step. This is one reason Tai Chi is practiced slowly, to create strength and stability through every part of the movement or steps.
You may also see elements of poppin, hip hop, break dance and house styles of dance. These are movements that I like and enjoy doing when listening to the music I like to dance to. Your style and journey may be different. And don’t think that what you see in these videos is the end all be all of this style. I am only a year in to practicing it since I started developing it in 2019.