NDEO Movement Sesssion

Classes and Workshops, Presentations, Research

I am very excited to be leading a movement session at NDEO on Friday, October 7 2:15-3:15 in room Washington A.  See below for a description of the session.

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Exploring Embodiment: Applying Research in Embodied Cognition to Dance Practice

What does it mean to be embodied? The idea of embodiment is widely discussed in cognitive science, philosophy, technology design, dance research, and somatic practices. In this movement workshop we discuss and physically explore various viewpoints on embodiment–as well as the possibility of disembodiment.

Embodied Cognition is a theory that is becoming widely accepted in scientific communities. Its main premise is that cognitive processes do not only take place in the brain, but are shared between the body, brain and environment. Many scientists have turned to the dance community to study and validate this theory. For example, recent research suggests that our physical experiences influence how we perceive and observe movement. While this research is relevant to dance practice, it has not yet been fully integrated in teaching curriculums for dance.

The intersection of cognitive science and dance is an emerging field of study that can inform ways in which we teach and learn dance. In this workshop I explore ways of transferring knowledge in cognitive science to dance practice. Through guided movement exercises, participants experience concepts such as, cognitive interference, theories of attention, and modes of learning.

Through dance we can also explore bodily processes of cognition. In the last few years there has been a surge of government support in the United States to study the brain. However, as theories of embodied cognition gain traction in scientific domains, it becomes more apparent that it is difficult to study the brain without also studying the the role of the body.

Integrating cognitive science research into dance curriculum ensures a future where dancers are not only participants in experiments, but also researchers that develop theories of cognition based on their bodily expertise and experiences. The future of researching embodiment cannot be studied in a jar. Embodiment must be experienced, moved, and danced.

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