Dancing in the Brain

The cerebellum is largely responsible for coor...

The cerebellum is largely responsible for coordinating the unconscious aspects of proprioception. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Training to become a dancer requires kinesthetic, visual/spatial, musical/auditory, and creative intelligences as well as linguistic and mathematical intelligence. Creative endeavors like dance, art, and music are guided by the right hemisphere of the brain, although the left hemisphere also plays an important role in one’s ability to master these skills. The cerebellum is vital in learning to dance as it controls muscle coordination, equilibrium, and posture (Thibodeau & Patton, 2008). The frontal lobe is responsible for conscious thought, memory, and movement which allows the body to learn the proper positioning and movement required for ballet. The auditory and visual functions necessary to maintain balance and recognize rhythm are located in the temporal and occipital lobes. The parietal lobe’s sensory function also helps the dancer control their movements through proprioception. Lastly, the hypothalamus controls neural impulses and is therefore essential for all bodily functions, including dancing (Thibodeau & Patton, 2008). The neurotransmitters that are most active while dancing include endorphins and enkephalins which reduce the body’s perception of pain and acetylcholine, ACh, which increases sweating to prevent overheating, improves memory, and controls muscle contractions (MedLinks, n.d.).


MedLinks. (n.d.). Neurotransmitters and Drugs Chart.Β  Retrieved from http://ocw.mit.edu/ans7870/SP/SP.236/S09/lecturenotes/drugchart.htm

Thibodeau GA, Patton KT. (2008). Structure and function of the body (13th Ed). St. Louis, MO: Mosby-Elsevier Inc.


One thought on “Dancing in the Brain

  1. Pingback: Dance With Us Ottawa Answers The Question: Why Is Dancing So Good for Your Brain? | dance with us ottawa

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