The Brain Dance — ITPedia

How to Do The Brain Dance

Here I will provide descriptions of the eight steps of The Brain Dance. They will be fairly general, as there are many ways you can execute these movements. As long as you are moving the proper parts of your body in the following order, you’re probably doing The Brain Dance.

Step 1: BREATHE, A LOT. Take at least 4, maybe even 6 deep breaths, inhaling through the nose and out through the mouth. Fill your belly, diaphragm and lungs. Stand with both feet planted firmly on the ground, feeling your body fully aligned. Feel free to allow your arms to move overhead and back down as you breathe if it helps you.

Step 2: TOUCH YOURSELF. No, not in a dirty way. Slapping, brushing, pinching, tapping and squeezing your muscles stimulates them, and (I know this sounds silly) also leads to sensory integration in your brain. So spend some time getting tactile with your body. Slap your leg muscles. Squeeze your face muscles. Brush your arm muscles. Tap your belly.

Step 3: BIG AND SMALL. Squat down into a little ball and fold your arms into your belly. Now reach out from your core to the ends of your fingers and toes (the distal ends). Grow, shrink. Stretch, curl. Try it in different directions.

Step 4: HEAD AND TAIL. First move your head in many directions. Then move your pelvis in many directions. Then move them both at the same time in the same or opposite directions. Try movements that bring your head and pelvis closer together by arching and rounding your back. You can also try this movement on all fours, like a yoga «cat-cow» pose. Wiggle your spine to loosen it up.

Step 5: TOP AND BOTTOM. In this step, we are isolating the lower half of our body from the upper half and vice versa. Start by stomping your feet and picking up your knees to activate the lower half. Then swing your arms in many directions to activate the upper half. Switch back and forth between your upper and lower halves, choosing different «dances» for each.

Step 6: LEFT AND RIGHT. In this step, we are isolating the left and right sides of the body. To ground one side of the body, stand up tall, feeling aligned, then place one hand on your hip on the same side (i.e left hand on left hip, vice versa). Move the ungrounded side of your body by swinging the arms and legs, rolling the shoulders, stretching in different directions, etc. Move fast and/or slow. Change your energy between sharp and smooth movements. Change sides.

Next, pretend you are crawling up a wall, reaching up with the legs and arms. This allows each side to move independently and also allows you to switch sides immediately.

Lastly, do horizontal eye tracking. This is where you allow your eyes to move on a horizontal plane. The easiest way to do this is to extend one arm and point a thumb at the ceiling. Move the arm back and forth and follow the thumb with your eyes without moving your head. Do this a couple of times with each arm.

Step 7: CROSS-LATERAL In this step, we’re doing movements that cross the center of the body. My favorite way to make this happen is to do an old school aerobics move where you touch opposite elbow to opposite knee (i.e. left elbow to right knee and vice versa). Do this a few times. Feel free to change it up by straightening your limbs or by swinging or twisting. Any movement that allows you to cross the vertical center line of your body is fair game.

Time for more eye tracking! This time we do it vertically. Pretend you’re climbing up a wall, sort of like in the previous step. Follow your hands with your eyes as you reach up then back down.

Step 8: SPINNING LIKE CRAZY. This is the most fun part. Spin in one direction for 15 seconds or until you get dizzy. Then spin the other way. It’s really important to get dizzy because this stimulates your Vestibular (or, balance) System. And everyone wants better balance, yeah?

Have Fun With It

Once you get familiar with the concepts, have some fun with The Brain Dance. If you want a more physical challenge or are an incredibly coordinated and/or flexible person, make it more difficult. Incorporate your sports warm up or dance technique or yoga poses. You can also do The Brain Dance as a mirroring exercise in pairs. Get a partner and face each other, then do the series of movements as mirror images.

How to Do The Brain Dance

Here I will provide descriptions of the eight steps of The Brain Dance. They will be fairly general, as there are many ways you can execute these movements. As long as you are moving the proper parts of your body in the following order, you’re probably doing The Brain Dance.

Step 1: BREATHE, A LOT. Take at least 4, maybe even 6 deep breaths, inhaling through the nose and out through the mouth. Fill your belly, diaphragm and lungs. Stand with both feet planted firmly on the ground, feeling your body fully aligned. Feel free to allow your arms to move overhead and back down as you breathe if it helps you.

Step 2: TOUCH YOURSELF. No, not in a dirty way. Slapping, brushing, pinching, tapping and squeezing your muscles stimulates them, and (I know this sounds silly) also leads to sensory integration in your brain. So spend some time getting tactile with your body. Slap your leg muscles. Squeeze your face muscles. Brush your arm muscles. Tap your belly.

Step 3: BIG AND SMALL. Squat down into a little ball and fold your arms into your belly. Now reach out from your core to the ends of your fingers and toes (the distal ends). Grow, shrink. Stretch, curl. Try it in different directions.

The Brain Dance - ITPedia

Step 4: HEAD AND TAIL. First move your head in many directions. Then move your pelvis in many directions. Then move them both at the same time in the same or opposite directions. Try movements that bring your head and pelvis closer together by arching and rounding your back. You can also try this movement on all fours, like a yoga «cat-cow» pose. Wiggle your spine to loosen it up.

Step 5: TOP AND BOTTOM. In this step, we are isolating the lower half of our body from the upper half and vice versa. Start by stomping your feet and picking up your knees to activate the lower half. Then swing your arms in many directions to activate the upper half. Switch back and forth between your upper and lower halves, choosing different «dances» for each.

Step 6: LEFT AND RIGHT. In this step, we are isolating the left and right sides of the body. To ground one side of the body, stand up tall, feeling aligned, then place one hand on your hip on the same side (i.e left hand on left hip, vice versa). Move the ungrounded side of your body by swinging the arms and legs, rolling the shoulders, stretching in different directions, etc. Move fast and/or slow. Change your energy between sharp and smooth movements. Change sides.

Next, pretend you are crawling up a wall, reaching up with the legs and arms. This allows each side to move independently and also allows you to switch sides immediately.

Lastly, do horizontal eye tracking. This is where you allow your eyes to move on a horizontal plane. The easiest way to do this is to extend one arm and point a thumb at the ceiling. Move the arm back and forth and follow the thumb with your eyes without moving your head. Do this a couple of times with each arm.

Step 7: CROSS-LATERAL In this step, we’re doing movements that cross the center of the body. My favorite way to make this happen is to do an old school aerobics move where you touch opposite elbow to opposite knee (i.e. left elbow to right knee and vice versa). Do this a few times. Feel free to change it up by straightening your limbs or by swinging or twisting. Any movement that allows you to cross the vertical center line of your body is fair game.

Time for more eye tracking! This time we do it vertically. Pretend you’re climbing up a wall, sort of like in the previous step. Follow your hands with your eyes as you reach up then back down.

Step 8: SPINNING LIKE CRAZY. This is the most fun part. Spin in one direction for 15 seconds or until you get dizzy. Then spin the other way. It’s really important to get dizzy because this stimulates your Vestibular (or, balance) System. And everyone wants better balance, yeah?

Have Fun With It

Once you get familiar with the concepts, have some fun with The Brain Dance. If you want a more physical challenge or are an incredibly coordinated and/or flexible person, make it more difficult. Incorporate your sports warm up or dance technique or yoga poses. You can also do The Brain Dance as a mirroring exercise in pairs. Get a partner and face each other, then do the series of movements as mirror images.


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