Dance & The Brain Conference
Luna’s first Dance & The Brain Conference was a great success! Classroom teachers, dance teaching artists, parents, therapists and performers traveled from all parts of California to participate in this unique collaborative learning experience. Ann Law presented body-mind connectivity through a creative experience called What is a Folk Dance? “I didn’t quite know what I expected to get from this, nor what I will put to immediate use with my students, but I am returning transformed,” stated one dance teacher from Riverside. Presenting one of the longest case studies on creativity, James Catterall shared his process and the preliminary findings of his work with the Centers for Research on Creativity. CROC’s surprise findings were nothing new to dance educators–children engaged in the arts exhibited increased collaboration, empathy and self-efficacy. After lunch, Pamela Wolfberg, originator of Integrated Play Groups, shared her work with children with autism. Her presentation revealed that children with autism learn through play, social interaction and movement. We de-briefed at the end of the day and confirmed the confluence and importance of relationship, play and movement to both the brain and creativity. This project was provided under a contract with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts with additional support from the Capezio Dance Foundation and the Louis Borick Foundation.