Dancing to Learn: The Brain's Cognition, Emotion, and Movement

Dancing to Learn: The Brain's Cognition, Emotion, and Movement

Judith Lynne Hanna

Language: English

Pages: 230

ISBN: 1475806051

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Dancing to Learn: Cognition, Emotion, and Movement explores the rationale for dance as a medium of learning to help engage educators and scientists to explore the underpinnings of dance, and dancers as well as members of the general public who are curious about new ways of comprehending dance. Among policy-makers, teachers, and parents, there is a heightened concern for successful pedagogical strategies. They want to know what can work with learners. This book approaches the subject of learning in, about, and through dance by triangulating knowledge from the arts and humanities, social and behavioral sciences, and cognitive and neurological sciences to challenge dismissive views of the cognitive importance of the physical dance. Insights come from theories and research findings in aesthetics, anthropology, cognitive science, dance, education, feminist theory, linguistics, neuroscience, phenomenology, psychology, and sociology. Using a single theory puts blinders on to other ways of description and analysis. Of course, all knowledge is tentative. Experiments necessarily must focus on a narrow topic and often use a special demographic—university students, and we don’t know the representativeness of case studies.

Les théories des cinéastes (2e édition)

Baudelaire's Media Aesthetics: The Gaze of the Flâneur and 19th-Century Media

Walter Benjamin's Concept of the Image (Routledge Studies in Twentieth-Century Philosophy)

Flow: Nature's Patterns: A Tapestry in Three Parts

Ekphrasis: The Illusion of the Natural Sign
















old alike. Physical activity, such as dance, sparks biological changes that encourage new neurons and their networking. While dance as physical exercise requires complex motor movement, dance as a cognitive exercise stimulates “the areas of the brain involved in the full suite of cognitive functions . . . causing the brain to fire signals along the same network of cells, which solidifies their connections,” Ratey explains.60 The multimodal activities of dance, which require skills and thought

the body respond to the mind’s dictate while being aware of bodily messages. Figure 4.1. Ballet Photographer Chris Dame. Teachers work toward promoting student self-esteem by focusing on the whole person, not just the “dance” part. In addition, teachers try to involve the youngsters’ families in assisting with and attending performances. Parents’ and guardians’ praise of achievement further enhances students’ self-esteem. Young people’s views on the benefits of dance reveal that it gives

with Reach the Children and the Boys Choir of Kenya, PSI has programs in Nairobi at the Kamiti Prison youth correctional training center for seventeen- to twenty-two-year-old inmates getting ready to return to society. Ongoing programs are in Kahawa West, Soweto, and Kibera slums. PSI also has a dance program at Eternal Hope Children’s Home (orphanage) in Kayole, Kenya. Dance has been part of rehabilitation programs for child soldiers in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Mozambique, and Uganda. For over

interface as do brain and culture. The brain we are born with is adaptable, constantly renewing and rewiring itself as it alters the delicate circuits that shape memories, emotions, the self, and movement skill. Neuroplasticity is the lifelong capacity of the brain to change its structure and patterns of activity and create new neurons and their connections. And dance is a dynamic element of the process. A description of the architecture and the role of different parts of the brain illustrates

motor skills, pp. 177–202. New York: Psychology Press. Cross, E.S., Acquah, D. & Ramsey, R. (2013). A review and critical analysis of how cognitive neuroscientific investigations using dance can contribute to sport psychology. International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology 7(1):42–71. Cross, E.S., de C. Hamilton, A.F. & Grafton, S.T. (2006). Building a motor simulation de novo: Observation of dance by dancers. Neuroimage 31:1257–67. Cross, E.S., Kraemer, D.J.M., de C. Hamilton, A.F.,

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