Sculpture of dancer at the bottom of her foot

Edgar Degas, Dancer Looking at the Sole of Her Right Foot (Danseuse regardant la plante de son pied droit), modeled c. 1896–1911, cast before 1932, Carnegie Museum of Art: Heinz Family Fund. © Public Domain.

Body Scan Meditation

People call me the painter of dancing girls. It has never occurred to them that my chief interest in dancers lies in rendering movement and painting pretty clothes.

Edgar Degas
Sculpture of dancer at the bottom of her foot
Edgar Degas, Dancer Looking at the Sole of Her Right Foot, modeled ca. 1896–1911, cast before 1932, Carnegie Museum of Art: Heinz Family Fund. © Public Domain.

Enjoy this guided meditation paired with Edgar Degas’ Dancer Looking at the Sole of Her Right Foot (Danseuse regardant la plante de son pied droit). Follow along with the audio or text below.

Step-By-Step Meditation with Degas

Listen to Body Scan Meditation:
  1. Take your time to scan the sculpture noticing the unique position of the figure.
  2. Breathe deeply as you slowly trace the form of the figure with your eyes.
  3. Does viewing this artwork produce any physical responses in your body? It could be tension, discomfort, release, or any other sensation. Take note of this response.
  4. Now, close your eyes and take a moment to scan your own body. Begin at the top of your head slowly moving through your torso, down your legs, and through your feet.
  5. Begin again noticing any tension you might be holding in any area. Focus on this area of tension, breathing deeply into the space to release the tension.
  6. Continue like this, moving your attention from one part of your body to another. Meditate on the different sensations that you feel, acknowledge the sensations, then release.

See Degas work in person at CMOA in Gallery 8, Scaife Galleries.