News Flash: Dancing Helps your Brain

April 18th, 2013 by Live Well Omaha Kids

We know that physical activity is good for your body; did you know that it is just as healthy for your brain? Try this dance used by many educators and parents. The beauty of the Brain Dance is that it engages all students (and educators!), fulfills physical activity requirements, not just on the physical level, but on the mental and cognitive level as well, and it’s just a lot of fun.  You’ll notice a positive difference in kids attention, as well as your own enthusiasm for your curriculum, just by getting a little blood to the brain!

How does it work? Physical activity stimulates blood flow to the brain, allowing oxygen rich blood to stimulate all those neurons to help children become smarter, more alert and engaged.  So how do we get kids active in short spells throughout the day to keep them from falling asleep in class  (another sign of poor blood flow), and not lose their focus?  The key is to make these short, timed, and scheduled bouts of activity a part of the classroom culture so that children know how and when they will be engaged in this activity and how to conduct themselves.

There are educators out there who are doing the research for us (so no re-inventing the wheel)!  Ann Green Gilbert is the artistic dance director of the Creative Dance Center and has developed a curriculum around what she calls a “Brain Dance.” This “dance” is an excellent full body and brain warm-up for children and adults and can be done in any setting. The Brain Dance may be used as a warm-up for any physical or cognitive activity; before tests, performances, and presentations; after sitting for long periods of time; as a break during computer work and TV watching; and to increase energy and reduce stress. It is a centering body/brain movement tool for brain reorganization, oxygenation, and recuperation. The Brain Dance prepares us for learning and helps with appropriate behavior and social skills. -Creative Dance Center website”

Be sure to join the “Brain Dance” with Live Well Omaha Kids and the Moving Company at the Open Streets Omaha event on April 28th.


Kay Grant, MS
Healthy Families Coordinator

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