The History of African-American Social Dance Short Video

“Why do we dance? African-American social dances started as a way for enslaved Africans to keep cultural traditions alive and retain a sense of inner freedom. They remain an affirmation of identity and independence. In this electric demonstration, packed with live performances, choreographer, educator and TED Fellow Camille A. Brown explores what happens when communities let loose and express themselves by dancing together. “

Explore more at Source: Camille A. Brown


The Horton Technique by Diana Dinerman | Bourgeon

The Horton technique can be separated into six movement categories. For each category Horton developed detailed exercises, that he called “studies.” Projections are studies that deal with varied and specific qualities of movement, for example, ‘Leg Slices’ and ‘Hip Pushes’. Locomotions are traveling steps (walking, running, leaping, jumping, gliding, skipping, etc.), for example, ‘Accented Runs’ and ‘Arch Springs.’

Preludes are short phrases of movement designed to quickly stimulate and tone the psycho-physical instrument. Rhythms are music dance patterns, rhythms of work and play, plus emotional manifestations of rhythmic consequences. Improvisations are used to awaken the students own movement sensibilities. Fortifications are long combinations of phrases designed to ensure protection and maximum efficiency of the body’s capabilities, for example the Hinge and Balance Studies.

The fortifications are considered the core of Horton technique. They establish a framework of movement mechanics, of muscular development and coordination, elasticity and range, rhythm and timing of phrasing, and movement quality. Horton’s intent was to make the whole body dance so he developed a system of facility, not a style.

“A well trained dancer shouldn’t look trained,” said Kristina Berger, Horton instructor at Marymount Manhattan College. Horton wanted to see the dance, not the effort behind it. As a result, many of the studies, when put in combination present like etudes full of dynamic contrasts and broad, sweeping movements, such as Spiral Falls, where a dancer moves from standing to the floor in one fluid spiraling motion. The technique is not separate from the act of dancing.  In order to execute the technique properly, you must dance it. Therefore, his technique addresses every possible movement that a choreographer might want a dancer to perform.”

Read more at Source: >The Horton Technique by Diana Dinerman | Bourgeon

>Library of Horton Technique Dance Videos

>Lester Horton’s Legacy



The Healing Powers of Dance; Including Seniors

“Dance can improve balance and flexibility.

Some of the physical effects are obvious: dance can – among other things — boost cardiovascular health and bone strength (because it’s weight-bearing exercise), as well as improve balance and flexibility. But there’s evidence it does much more.

Both intellectual and social stimulation have been shown to reduce the risk of getting dementia. Dance seems to help Parkinson’s patients as well, says Citlali Lopez-Ortiz, a research scientist at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.  “The focus is on helping them find new ways of moving and to improve the speed at which they move,” she says. Lopez-Ortiz introduces slow, ballet-like movements, sometimes taking the class to see the Joffrey Ballet for inspiration. With time, her students often become more mobile, and more confident

Dance/movement therapy focuses on dancing’s psychological benefits and its ability to encourage emotional connections. Today, dance is used in treatments for everything from eating disorders to autism to depression.Christina Devereaux, spokesperson for the American Dance Therapy Association, explains, “We really believe in the body/mind connection, and dance is a way for people to use what’s happening inside them and express it in an external, expansive way.”

Source: The Healing Powers of Dance – AARP The Magazine

MUVE is a dance method that helps people realize that moving to music is easy, fun and also effective in improving physical and mental wellness

>Use It or Lose It: Dancing Makes You Smarter, Longer. Richard Powers

“Frequent dancing apparently makes us smarter. A major study added to the growing evidence that stimulating one’s mind by dancing can ward off Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia, much as physical exercise can keep the body fit.  Dancing also increases cognitive acuity at all ages.”


>Dance therapy improves seniors’ gait, balance, researcher finds
“For seniors, dancing isn’t just for fun; it also can be therapeutic. Two recent studies found that participation in dance-based therapy can improve balance and gait in older adults. Improved functionality among seniors can decrease their risk of falling and reduce costly injuries.”


Maya Children In Guatemala Are Great At Paying Attention. What’s Their Secret? : Goats and Soda : NPR

The wisdom of indigenous cultures has implications for how we present music and dance events to youth groups: Give them more control of the outcome. I also know that indigenous moms have support from the next door village mommy network and have parenting knowledge passed down through examples from local indigenous culture (“it takes a village“).

>Listen to NPR Podcast

Maya children .. learn how to manage their own attention, instead of always depending on adults to tell them what to pay attention to, says Barbara Rogoff, who is a professor at the University of California Santa Cruz.”

It may be the case that [some American] children give up control of their attention when it’s always managed by an adult,” she says.

Turns out these Maya moms are onto something. In fact, they are master motivators. Motivating kids, the Maya way

Although neuroscientists are just beginning to understand what’s happening in the brain while we pay attention, psychologists already have a pretty good understanding of what’s needed to motivate kids.

Psychologist Edward Deci has been studying it for nearly 50 years at the University of Rochester. And what does he say is one of the most important ingredients for motivating kids?

Autonomy,” Deci says. “To do something with this full sense of willingness and choice.”Many studies have shown that when teachers foster autonomy, it stimulates kids’ motivation to learn, tackle challenges and pay attention, Deci says.

But in the last few decades, some parts of our culture have turned in the other direction, he says. They’ve started taking autonomy away from kids — especially in some schools.”

One of the things we’ve been doing in the American school system is making it more and more controlling rather than supportive,” Deci says. And this lack of autonomy in school inhibits kids’ ability to pay attention, he says.”

Read more at Source: >Maya Children In Guatemala Are Great At Paying Attention. What’s Their Secret? : Goats and Soda : NPR

Higher Empathy People Process Music Differently in the Brain – Neuroscience News

Researchers report people with higher empathy process music with greater involvement in the brain’s reward system and areas of the brain associated with social information processing.

People with higher empathy differ from others in the way their brains process music, according to a study by researchers at Southern Methodist University, Dallas and UCLA.The researchers found that compared to low empathy people, those with higher empathy process familiar music with greater involvement of the reward system of the brain, as well as in areas responsible for processing social information.“

Highly empathic people process familiar music with greater involvement of the brain’s social circuitry, such as the areas activated when feeling empathy for others. They also seem to experience a greater degree of pleasure in listening, as indicated by increased activation of the reward system.“

Researchers in 2014 reported that about 20 percent of the population is highly empathic. These are people who are especially sensitive and respond strongly to social and emotional stimuli.The SMU-UCLA study is the first to find evidence supporting a neural account of the music-empathy connection. Also, it is among the first to use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to explore how empathy affects the way we perceive music.

If music was not related to how we process the social world, then we likely would have seen no significant difference in the brain activation between high-empathy and low-empathy people,” said Wallmark, who is director of the MuSci Lab at SMU, an interdisciplinary research collective that studies — among other things — how music affects the brain.“

This tells us that over and above appreciating music as high art, music is about humans interacting with other humans and trying to understand and communicate with each other,” he said. This may seem obvious.“ But in our culture we have a whole elaborate system of music education and music thinking that treats music as a sort of disembodied object of aesthetic contemplation,” Wallmark said. “

In contrast, the results of our study help explain how music connects us to others. This could have implications for how we understand the function of music in our world, and possibly in our evolutionary past.”

Source: Higher Empathy People Process Music Differently in the Brain – Neuroscience News

Music and the Soul, Astral Fractals with a Beat

From:  >100 Famous and Inspirational Music Quotes

  1. “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” ― Plato
  2. “A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.” ― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  3. “Music is to the soul what words are to the mind.” ― Modest Mouse
  4. “Music, once admitted to the soul, becomes a sort of spirit, and never dies.” ― Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  5. “Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.” ― Lao Tzu
  6. “Music is an outburst of the soul.” ― Frederick Delius
  7. “Music is the language of the Soul” – Musical Instrument Museum

Published on Feb 24, 2010

“A great song from The Shaman’s Heart set to fractals”

Dance Games and Warmups

Fun dance games and warmups are a great way to engage a new community or prepare for a specific dance practice. Warmups are designed to prepare the body for flexible dance movements.

Fun Group Dance Warm Up Games

Warmups at Paradise Valley Community College, Phoenix. Sonia Valle, Dance Director:

Wolfgang warmups at the Musical Instrument Museum:

Read More at: >Dance Games and Warmups

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