What is Dance Kinesiology?
Dance kinesiology is the study of the human body in motion as it most directly applies to dance movements, with a primary focus on the musculoskeletal system. A dance kinesiology course is designed to help dancers better understand their bodies and to enhance their performance, both aesthetically and technically. Information and current research from anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, motor learning and motor control, psychology, nutrition, injury management, conditioning and somatic practices are topics which may be included in a dance kinesiology course. The dancer's body is often the main “textbook" for this course, augmented with visual aids such as skeletons, models, DVD's, props and additional illustrations, books and articles which facilitate learning. A dance kinesiology course might also be called "Dance science", "Anatomy for Dance" or "Foundations of Movement".
What are the benefits of studying dance kinesiology?
In a dance kinesiology course, dancers learn the scientific and somatic language of the body and apply this knowledge to their dance training through practical experience. The scientific and somatic information provides dance students with a reference for understanding movement in general, and their own bodies specifically. In a dance kinesiology course, a dancer learns to understand the systems of the body; through focused study and exploration, students enhance knowledge of the body, and may increase body awareness and proprioception. Studying and experiencing the scientific and somatic information is done outside the demands of a dance technique class; this experience then can be applied practically within a formal dance setting, such as class or rehearsal. A dance kinesiology course also introduces dancers to topics of study in the scientific and somatic fields that they may wish to pursue in more depth.
Who teaches dance kinesiology?
Dance Kinesiology teachers often have eclectic educational backgrounds; many dance kinesiology teachers are, or have been dance performers and choreographers themselves, continuing their training and certification to keep up with current research. Dance kinesiology teachers seek additional information through various workshops and conferences, supplementing their training with scientific study, conditioning work and/or somatic education. Scientific study may include anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, motor learning, and psychology. Conditioning work may include physical therapy, yoga, Pilates, Gyrokinesis, and Gyrotonic, to name a few. The somatic field has many possible areas of study: Bartenieff Fundamentals, Body Mind Centering, Ideokinesis, Alexander technique, Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement, just to name a few. In the educational setting, a dance kinesiology teacher may establish and facilitate screening programs for students, consult with students on individual movement concerns, develop a supplemental training program, help raise awareness of injury prevention, injury management and contributes to overall dancer wellness and performance enhancement.
For more information on the Dance Kinesiology Teachers Group, you can contact Pamela Geber, Pam Matt, Jane Baas or Margaret Wilson. Information on the DKT Group can be found at: http://homepages.wmich.edu/~baas/DKThome.htm
Pam Geber <email@example.com>
Pam Matt <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Margaret Wilson <email@example.com>
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