Why Dance, Why Not – A Book Review on Dancing

Over the years, I’ve been very impressed with what Sir Ken Robinson has to say about creativity in our schools. He explains the problem with rote memorization, and seems to speak with the aversion that most Americans have with the No Child Left Behind legislation (NCLB). Some of my friends have called the NCLB Legislation; the No Child Allowed to Advance directive. I guess in some regards I do agree with that observation. In one of Sir Ken Robinson’s most famous TED Talk, he suggests that we ought to be teaching dance in our schools, yes dance.

Why you ask? Well, it is a creative exercise and it helps your brain develop and think. He’s right and now neurologists know why. The nerve endings are attached to nerves which run up the spinal column and right into the brain, it’s an extension of that system. In fact, if you’d like to learn more about all this, maybe I can save you some trouble in your personal research as I had recently asked myself some of these questions, trying very hard to confirm what many teachers and educators have speculated for decades. If this topic also intrigues you there are some very good books I’d like to recommend that you read;

1. “The Artful Mind: Cognitive Science and the Riddle of Human Creativity,” edited by Mark Turner, Oxford University Press, New York, NY, 2006, 314 pages, ISBN: 978–0-19-530636-1.

This book is a compilation of academically peer reviewed articles and essays on the topic, much of which has taken all the old works of white dead men famous psychologists and merged it with modern day neuroscience. Some of which proves what we inherently already know and have readily observed in case studies, other essays challenge the status quo and knowledge we thought we believed turning everything on its head. A very important set of reads for sure, for anyone researching this topic.

2. “Dance/Movement Therapists in Action: A Working Guide to Research Options,” edited by Robyn Flaum Cruz, Cynthia Florence Berrol, Charles Thomas Publishers, Springfield, IL, 233 pages, ISBN: 978-0-39-80750-40.

Edited in a similar format, but the essays focus on what to do with all this new information and how to best utilize it for therapy. Not only does it do tremendous physical good, but it can be used creatively in therapy and learning to do wonders for cognitive ability, helping the student to overcome challenges and increase their ability to think. It all starts with a little dance. I hope when you get a change, you will choose to dance. Please consider all this and think on it.

What is Ribbon Dancing And How Do I Ribbon Dance?

Ribbon dancing is a style of dance done while holding a long, thick satin ribbon on a stick. It has many gymnastic elements, and can be fun for participants of all ages. To ribbon dance, all you need is some music and a ribbon, which you move to the beat of the song. Though it is based on ancient Chinese choreography, people from all over the world do ribbon dancing now in many styles.

In competition, ribbon dancing is a rhythmic gymnastics event. There are standards for the stick material and length and width of the ribbon. As with any gymnastic event, there is a list of required movements that must be made at some point during your routine. They include circles, spirals and snakes, flicks, and throws.

One part of ribbon dancing that is especially difficult for newcomers to the sport is keeping the ribbon from getting twisted around their bodies or knotted in itself when performing circles or spirals.

When making your own, be aware of your own height in relation to the ribbon. If you are 5 feet tall, using a 15 foot ribbon would be incredibly difficult. Try starting with a ribbon the length of your arm span. Now you can start ribbon dancing!

The easiest move to begin with is the wave. To make a wave in your ribbon all you have to do is make a wave in your arm! (Think of the ribbon as an extension of yourself.) Begin with your hand straight out in front of you or to your side. Flicking your wrist and moving your whole arm up and down in a wave, watch your ribbon begin to follow the same path. Moving your arm further up and down or faster will affect the speed and size of your ribbons waves. When you are comfortable with this, try moving on to other ribbon dances by bringing your arm overhead, waving it side to side, or walking, dancing or running while waving your ribbon.

Dancing As a Hobby

A hobby is something that you pursue out of interest. People have all kinds of hobbies, ranging from keeping pets, dancing, singing, drawing, to collecting stamps. The number of people participating in dance classes is increasing day by day globally as dance classes offer you the opportunity to socialize, be active, have fun, make friends and develop your creative skills.

Dancing is fun. When you are bored of your routine in life, then you should consider learning some dance moves, be it Latino, Zumba, Pop or any style. Dancing is a good break for your monotonous life and makes you feel refreshed. Initially, the dance moves may look daunting to you but in reality they are not. All you need is determination and a good amount of practice to excel. Once you enrol, you will realize that you have relatively reduced stress levels, stronger bones and muscles, increased flexibility and an improved zeal for life. So go for it!

Dancing can open up careers for you. The entertainment industry is vast and is always on the lookout for dancers. You can master your dance moves and can consider professions in dancing, teaching, choreography, etc. The skills that you learn make you feel confident. You will also feel that you have better social skills, an increased self-esteem and a happier sense of being. All this, in turn, will make you feel optimistic.

Here are some reasons why you ought to participate in dancing classes:

• Dance keeps you physically and mentally active.

• Dance can improve your flexibility and strength. You may have healthier joints and muscles.

• Dance helps you to learn about your body. You will have a better posture and body balance.

• Learning dance moves will help in reducing stress levels.

• Through dance, you get exposure to different cultures around the world. You get to learn their customs and their varied art forms.

• Dance can help you in improving your communication skills as you get the opportunity to interact with new people.

• Dance can open up career opportunities for you.

• Dance is a good way to increase your creativity.

• By mastering dance moves, you gain more confidence and self-esteem. This makes you a happier person.

• Dance makes you age gracefully. It can actually boost your memory power and prevent you from getting dementia.

• Dancing can help in reducing depression. Dancing can lift your spirits if you have the blues.

• It is a good activity for people with cardiovascular diseases. Such people can dance and improve their heart health.