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Posts Tagged ‘Judith Lynne Hanna’

Guest post by Judith Lynne Hanna, Ph.D.

Judith Lynne Hanna, Ph.D. is affiliated with the University of Maryland. Hanna’s doctorate in anthropology at Columbia University focused on dance. She has been a dance critic and written many books and articles on dance published in numerous countries where she has given guest lectures and courses.  See www.judithhanna.com for more information.

I am excited to have just learned that in December, Rowman & Littlefield will publish my new book, Dancing to Learn: The Brain’s Cognition, Emotion, and Movement and so I’m sharing the news with you.

This book evolved because I believe everyone can benefit from a new paradigm of dance for young and old alike that is grounded in the new brain sciences and integrated with knowledge in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Dancing to Learn explains that dance is nonverbal language with similar places and education processes in the brain as verbal language, thus a powerful means of expression.  Dance is physical exercise that sparks new brain cells (neurogenesis) and neural plasticity, the brain’s amazing ability to change throughout life—I’m dancingflamenco, belly dance, jazz, and salsa!).  Moreover, dance is a means to help us cope with stress that can motivate or interfere with learning. We acquire knowledge and develop cognitively because dance bulks up the brain and, consequently, dance as an art, recreational, educational, and or therapeutic form is a good investment in the brain. The “brain that dances” is changed by it.

You may read the description, reviews, and contents here Judith Hanna Dancing to Learn Book Release

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Guest post by Judith Lynne Hanna, Ph.D.

Judith Lynne Hanna, Ph.D. is affiliated with the University of Maryland. Hanna’s doctorate in anthropology at Columbia University focused on dance. She has been a dance critic and written many books and articles on dance published in numerous countries where she has given guest lectures and courses. This essay draws from her book Dancing for Health: Conquering and Preventing Stress. Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press, 2006, which explains the physical harm of prolonged stress. See www.judithhanna.com

Ballet dancers vary tremendously in terms of what motivates them as they progress through their careers. Here are some factors that affect their decision-making to participate in this artistic realm.

A passionate commitment, a calling, is inherent in classical ballet. Dancers study from the age of eight for 10 years before they might—just might—move in a way that is interesting and beautiful to watch. Few students reach a professional level. “As professionals we work 12 hours a day for six days a week. We inhabit an environment of order, routine, discipline, beauty and youth. Our obsessive preoccupation with physical perfection is the external result of a deep, silent, and very private spiritual commitment,” wrote Toni Bentley who danced with New York City Ballet, one of the world’s most prestigious dance organizations. Most professional ballet dancers forego college, although some companies now encourage dancers to take university courses in their free time while they are with the company.

You may read the full post here Ballet Dancers’ Motivations and Constraints

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