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Your Brain when Dancing

"The Dance is a poem, of which each movement is a word." - Mata Hari.

 

We recite this poetry as part of our own dose of fun. From functions, clubs, and festivities to closed bedrooms, dance is everywhere! And dancing is in our veins. All we need is a beat, and watch how your body leads you to rhythmic movements!

However, have you ever considered your brain's movements and the chemical explosions that dance propels it towards? Dancing engages various brain regions, leading to a complex and integrated neurological waltz!


Motor Cortex (The boss that runs the show)

This brain region is responsible for planning, controlling, and executing voluntary movements. The motor cortex is highly active when dancing as it coordinates muscle movements and sequences necessary for different dance steps and routines.

 

Cerebellum (The Secretary to the boss)

A boss is nothing without his secretary; just like that, the cerebellum plays a crucial role in coordinating movement, balance, and posture. It receives information from sensory systems and integrates it to fine-tune movements. The cerebellum maintains balance, rhythm, and smooth coordination of body movements during dancing.

 

Basal Ganglia (The Executor

The Basal Ganglia is like a man on a mission: He will do it without questions and without thinking.0 This group of structures deep within the brain is involved in the control of voluntary movements. The basal ganglia contribute to automating dance movements over time, allowing dancers to perform complex routines with less conscious effort.

 

Somatosensory Cortex (The Supervisor) 

And what would the workers do without a supervisor? Sensory feedback from the body, such as awareness of body position and tactile sensations, is processed in the somatosensory cortex. Dancers rely on this feedback to adjust their movements and maintain spatial awareness while dancing.

 

Prefrontal Cortex (The Parent

Just like a parent might have the final say in whether you go for that night out or not. Similarly, the prefrontal cortex is involved in decision-making, the final decision-maker. While dancing, this region may be engaged in tasks such as memorizing choreography, coordinating movements with music, and adapting to changes in the dance routine.

 

Limbic System (The feeler

Ever feel super excited, aroused, or sad after a dance sequence? Well-dancing often evokes emotional solid responses mediated by the limbic system. This network of brain structures, along with others, processes emotions, memory, and motivation, enhancing the overall dancing experience.

 

Mirror Neuron System (The Copycat!)

Mirror neurons are specialized brain cells that fire when an individual acts or when they observe someone else performing the same action. This system helps people learn new dance moves by mimicking the movements of others and empathizing with the emotions expressed through dance.

And hey, it can help you coordinate with your partner as you slow dance to John Legend!

So, whether you like Bachata, Kathak, hip-hop, "nobody's at home" moves or the good ol' Ganpati dance, it's time to put on your dancing shoes and show everybody that Kamiya!

 

Signing off in Misty Copeland's words- "I can do anything when I am in a tutu."

 

So conquer the world, one thumka at a time! -Rinaaz Nadaf


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