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Moving Ideas

Multimodality and Embodied Learning in Communities and Schools


Edited By Mira-Lisa Katz

What does it look and feel like to communicate, create, compose, comprehend, teach, and learn with our bodies? Reaching beyond existing scholarship on multimodality and literacies, Moving Ideas expands our capacity to understand the embodied dimensions of learning and stretches our repertoires for more artfully describing them. Wresting language away from its historically privileged place at the center of social science research and practice, this collection examines the strategic layering across semiotic modes, challenging educators and researchers to revisit many of our most elemental assumptions about communication, learning, and development. The corporeal pedagogies these authors describe illuminate a powerful kind of learning that we know far too little about; in this age of accountability and high-stakes testing, failing to pay adequate attention to the promise of multimodality means forfeiting significant resources that could be used to innovatively engage people of all ages in education broadly conceived.
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3. “All the World’s a Stage”: Musings on Teaching Dance to People With Parkinson’s




“All the World’s a Stage”

Musings on Teaching Dance to People With Parkinson’s


Sometimes, in the middle of a grocery store, Herb Heinz, a musician and composer in his mid-40s, finds it difficult to move. For almost ten years, he’s had Parkinson’s disease (PD), a degenerative neurological disorder that can affect muscle control, balance, and coordination, among other things. In 2007, he started taking dance classes specially designed for people with Parkinson’s. A few months into the sessions, he found that he had absorbed elements of the dance class so completely that when he experienced difficulty initiating movement at the local supermarket, he was able to choreograph a sequence in his mind to help him move again with graceful flow. By thinking like a dancer, Heinz leap-frogged over his body’s physical condition and started moving gracefully again. Just as dancers have been doing for thousands of years, he created vital movement out of stillness and forged a road where there had once been an impasse. He experienced dancing as a particularly profound type of embodied learning that activates the mind, body, and spirit in service of movement.

Professional dancers and people with Parkinson’s disease share a similar challenge: to execute difficult movement with ease and natural grace. For dancers, choreography or technical objectives establish the level of difficulty. For people with PD, the disorder’s effects complicate the act of moving. Both populations must use learned strategies...

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