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Sunday, 31 May 2015 15:40

Your Dancing Brain

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When exploring new subjects to write about, I became very curious about the human capacity for movement. 

Whatever your relation to dance is, maybe you’ve found yourself asking some of these questions:

How can dancers remember choreography?
What is “muscle memory” and how does it work?
Why do people love to watch dance?
Why do I get mentally maxed out in dance class?
Why aren’t my students able to remember their choreography from week to week?
Why do some students take so long to perform their steps correctly?
Why can’t I make changes to my technique faster?

Well, the field of neuroscience has some answers!


According to, “Neuroscience, also known as Neural Science, is the study of how the nervous system develops, its structure, and what it does. Neuroscientists focus on the brain and its impact on behavior and cognitive functions. Not only is neuroscience concerned with the normal functioning of the nervous system, but also what happens to the nervous system when people have neurological, psychiatric and neuro-developmental disorders.”


This field can provide you with important information on not only how we learn to dance, but what is activated in our brains when we watch dance. As with many things relating to the performing arts and particularly with dance, the research on dance and the brain is not as extensive as many other subjects. However, there is some great reading out there. It may also benefit you to know just how much of the brain is being used when we dance. It is remarkable just how complicated even the most basic steps are to coordinate. In reading some of the below listed articles, I couldn’t help but be impressed by how much brain functioning has been going on in this head all these years! And thankfully so! Layering information about the brain into your own role(s) within the dance field can give you or someone you know some wonderful insight to love dance all the more!

Here are some great articles for you to explore! Happy dancing!

Use It or Lose It: Dancing Makes You Smarter

How Dancers Think When They Dance

Anatomy of Movement – (Major brain activity is required for movement)

Dance, Choreography, and the Brain

The Dancing Brain

Is Dance The “New Wave” in Cognitive Neuroscience?Dance and the Brain

Why is Dancing So Good for Your Brain?

Why Do We Like to Dance and Move to the Beat?

Making it Stick  - (Remembering Choreography)


Just for Fun

Read 4988 times Last modified on Thursday, 04 June 2015 00:27
Kate Fox Colie

Kate Fox Colie, CMT, CLMA is endlessly passionate about movement and the body. Kate has been a licensed and certified massage therapist (CMT) since 2001, training extensively in therapeutic and rehabilitative bodywork modalities throughout her career. Her intrigue for musculoskeletal anatomy and kinesiology provides valuable information to not only her private clientele, but to the many performing and visual artist students she has taught in her anatomy courses as faculty at California Institute of the Arts (2005-2009) and California State Summer School for the Arts (2006-2008). Kate earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance performance, production, and choreography from CalArts in 2005 and went on to receive her graduate level credential in somatic movement therapy in 2008 as a Certified Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analyst (CLMA). In early 2015, Kate completed an extensive certification in the Symmetry for Health system, which utilizes objective body measurements and corrective exercises to realign posture and remedy chronic patterns and pain.

Kate specializes in the treatment of performing artists, which dominates much of her time in both her private practice, NewPath Wellness in Glendale, and on-site therapy work with the elite student musicians and dancers at The Colburn School in downtown Los Angeles. This field work deeply informs the content of her guest teaching workshops with presentations most recently at The Colburn Conservatory of Music, Music Academy of the West, OriginPop, Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance at CalArts, Primrose International Viola Competition and Festival, and Pasadena Dance Theatre.

Kate’s dynamic 20 year dance career as a performer, producer, and manager continue with her roles as board member of Vox Dance Theatre, advisory panelist for Youth Protection Advocates in Dance (YPAD), and as dance editor for, where she writes regular features on community events and dancer health and wellness. She is a proud member of the Performing Arts Medicine Association (PAMA), Association of Bodywork and Massage Professionals (ABMP), Dance Resource Center (DRC), California Massage Therapy Council (CMTC), and Glendale Chamber of Commerce, and attends their conferences and professional gatherings annually.

For more information and to contact Kate directly, visit

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