Your Dancing Brain

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