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  • Writer's pictureSharon's Dance & Music

The Power of Dance and Kinesthetic Intelligence

Updated: Dec 16, 2023

When dance is taught well, students will benefit in all aspects of their life, emotionally, physically and spiritually.

Dance education aids in the development of kinesthetic intelligence. Kinesthetic learning or tactile learning is a learning style in which learning takes place by the students through physical activities, rather than listening to a lecture, watching a demonstration or reading. Below are the different categories of learning styles:

  • Visual learning

  • Auditory learning

  • Read/write learning

  • Kinesthetic learners

People who prefer the kinesthetic learning style are commonly known as “do-ers”. They tend to get things done in completion. Activities such as dancing and performing surgery require great kinesthetic intelligence, because they are using their bodies to create or do something. Margaret H’Doubler wrote and spoke about kinesthetic learning during the 1940s, defining kinesthetic learning as the human body’s ability to express itself through movement and dance.

Ben Zion found that kinesthetic learning, at its best, is established when the student uses language, in their own words, to define, understand and realize how his or her body should move. That’s why we encourage our students (especially at a young age) to say their steps out loud when learning. After the body knows and understands the moves we eliminate the words for the performance.

Depending on their memory systems, the kinesthetic learners will respond differently. There are whole body learners (dance, acrobatics, gymnastics, sports), hands-on (surgeons, builders), doodlers (artists), and learning through emotional experiences. The learning and memory is generally short term. To achieve long term memory for dance, acrobatics, drama and gymnastics different techniques are used. The whole body learner will gain retention ability through regular weekly classes, practicing at home, role playing (many of our tiny tots and their older siblings will play teacher and student at home), partner dancing (social or ballroom dance), and again saying their steps out loud until the mind and body become one with the movement. The following strategies can be used to support and build a strong kinesthetic memory:

  • Dance: ideas, concepts and processes can be expressed through creative movements

  • Musical Theatre: singing, acting and dancing

  • Gymnastics or acrobatics

  • Sports

  • Charades: drama, acting and musical theatre classes

If you have a child that you feel is a kinesthetic learner, give us a call to discuss what subjects of dance or tumbling would best fit your child’s needs and benefit him or her to develop their natural learning process to the fullest!

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