8 Anne Green Gilbert www.creativedance.org
BrainDance for ages 5 Adults
Put together movements from the 8 patterns below starting with breath and ending with vestibular stimulation. You can do the BrainDance standing, traveling through space or lying on a bare floor. I prefer the "5 minute Standing BrainDance" described below for a quick warm up before tests, performances, presentations, and during computer work and TV watching for brain integration, recuperation and oxygenation, a whole body/brain warm up, centering and to wake up or calm down.
! Breath 4 5 deep breaths through the nose and out the mouth filling the belly, diaphragm and lungs.
! Tactile First squeeze strongly each arm and each leg and the torso, back, head (whole body). Then tap lightly whole body, then slap sharply whole body and then brush smoothly whole body. It is best to do topside and bottom side of arms and hands, face, neck and front torso and down legs and feet then head, neck and back torso and back of legs.
Core Distal movement movement that moves from the center out, through and beyond the fingers, toes, head and tail. Movement that grows and shrinks, stretches and curls in big "X"s and little "o"s is great!
Head Tail movement movement that connects the head and tail (lowest part of spine or coccyx). Play with movement that brings head and tail together curving forward and backward and side to side. Keeping the knees bent helps to release the tail. End with a spine wiggle.
! Upper Lower Connection ground the lower half of body by pressing legs into floor with a slight knee bend. Swing arms in different directions and stretch and dance upper body in different ways. Ground upper half by reaching arms out into space with energy as though you were hugging the earth. Dance with lower half try marching in place, simple knee bends, jumps, leg brushes and other actions.
! Body Side Connection Make a big X with your body. Dance with the left side of your body while keeping the right side stabile (still). Then keep the left stabile and dance with the right side. With knees and elbows slightly bent like a "W" bring the left half of the body over to meet the right half and vice versa (like a book opening and closing). Follow your thumb with your eyes as it move$ right to left and left to right. Do the lizard crawl with arms and legs open to the sides one side bent and the other stretching like a lizard crawling up a wall. Move your eyes right to left and left to right (looking at the thumb near your mouth helps) to develop horizontal eye tracking.
Cross Lateral Connection Do a parallel standing crawl with legs and arms in front of you. Let your eyes travel up and down looking at one thumb as it reaches high and low for vertical eye tracking. Do a cross lateral boogie dance finding as many ways of moving cross laterally as possible such as touching right knee to left elbow, left hand to right foot, right hand to left knee, left hand to right hip, skipping.
Vestibular Stimulation swing upper body and head up and down and side to side. Make sure head is "upside down." Spin 15 seconds one way, breathe and rest 15 seconds, then spin 15 seconds the other way. Take 3 4 deep breaths to center yourself after spinning!
Smart Moves, Carla Hannaford. Arlington, VA: Great Ocean Publishers, 1995.
Teaching With The Brain in Mind, Eric Jensen. ASCD, Alexandria, VA, 1998. 800 933 2723
Arts with the Brain in Mind, Eric Jensen. A4CD, Alexandria, VA, 2041. www.ascd.org
Sparks of Genius: The Thirteen Thinking Tools of the World's Most Creative People, Robert and Michele Root Bernstein. Houghton Mifflin, 1999.
Learning and Memory: The Brain In Action, Marilee Sprenger. ASCD, Alexandrai, VA 1999 ,www. ascd.org
Connections, Total Body Integration through Bartenieff Fundamentals, Peggy Hackney. Gordon Breach Publishers (available in paperback from amazon.com).
Brain Gym, Paul and Gail Dennison. Edu Kinesthetics PO BOX 3396, Ventura, California 93006.
Ph: 805 650 3303, Fax: 805 650 0524.
lOl Questions Your Brain Has Asked About Itself But Couldn't Answer Until Now, Faith Hickman Brynie, Mihbrook Press, Brookfield, CT, 1998
The Learning Revolution, Goraon Dryden &Dr. Jeannette Vos, The Learning Web, 800 637 6893
Knowing Dance, Marion Gough, Dance Books Ltd, London 1999. (best practices philosophy)