Brain Dance® is a movement structure based on developmental patterns that children are programmed to move through their developmental years. It consists of 8 movement patterns: Breath, Tactile, Core-Distal, Head-Tail, Upper-Lower, Body Side, Cross Lateral, Vestibular. Strategic incorporation of Brain Dance® activities at 3-D Dance helps prime our students minds and bodies for learning.
No one part of the central nervous system works alone. Messages must go back and forth from one part to another, so that touch can aid vision, vision can aid balance, balance can aid body awareness, body awareness can aid movement, movement can aid learning, and so forth.
These patterns are explored in each BranDance class integrating dance concepts and utilizing a variety of movements, dance styles, music, and props allowing for a balance of repetition and novelty.
Upper-lower coordination can be a child’s greatest source of growth, skill and joy. They can run pumping their arms and at the same time leap, catch or kick a ball. They can do jumping jacks, jump rope, play hopscotch, and walk up and down stairs. When development is delayed a child has to think about each part of the activity, they may appear clumsy, may become anxious, or isolated at recess.
A child with intact body side awareness will have age typical right and left side awareness. They will be less likely to reverse letters and numbers. A child with solid body side awareness will become able to cross midline. A child with difficulty here may switch hands when writing. May have difficulty with managing jackets and backpacks.
Cross-lateral activities further refine a child’s ability to participate in higher levels of coordination as they can cross midline. They can write across a page with out switching hands, they can read across a page with ease and without fatigued eyes. They can play games with higher levels of coordination.
Balance skills support all movement and learning, whether seated or standing. Intact balance also supports us in accidental bumps, and varied terrain, like wood chips, sand, muddy grass.People with compromised balance systems should do this pattern seated.
Breath energizes our body, and nourishes our brain. Breath is the foundation for all learning and emotional stability.
Refined sense of touch enables us to be comfortable in our own space, and with closeness to others, allowing us to access our environment. We can open and close backpacks, work zippers, lunch trays and balls. Functional hands help us grow.
Core strength allows for participation in all parts of a school day, from climbing up steps, playing outside, and even the skill of sitting upright in a desk. A working core lets a student concentrate on the teacher, and inadequate core often looks like ‘the wiggles’ or slumped and poor posture.
Spinal movement supplies needed nourishment to the spine and brain in the cerebral spinal fluid. Spinal movement allows us to twist, bend and turn, and supports eye contact and social growth. If this is an area of challenge, we may see a child not watch where they are going, and accidentally crash into another. Or have an inward slumped posture, missing instruction or social cues.
Adapted from Anne Greene-Gilbert’s Brain Compatible Dance Education
Click HERE for a more in-depth view of Brain Dance and how the concepts can benefit your child.