Effects of dance training:

Nervous system: A network of cells that transmit signals

How the nervous system "learns"

Keyword: synaptic facilitation.

The effect of training on the nervous system is to establish / reinforce the nerve "pathways" necessary to perform a certain movement.

Movements are initiated by cerebral cortex (part of brain). New movements are controlled by cerebral cortex, and often feel awkvard till the new pathways are established and other parts of nervous system learn to facilitate the movement. (Pyramidal system, alpha and gamma).

Training improves neuro-muscular coordination. 'Repetition reinforces these patterns and improves coordination, speed and skill.' This is why repeating movements makes your body able to do them more efficiently.

Structure of nervous system

This is an attempt to illustrate this simple classification of the nervous system (subdivisions of peripheral only). Please click hotspots to see a brief recapitulation of what the different parts do, how they learn and why dancers need them:
Nervous system classification (simplified)
Don't miss the dancer web poll on the usefulness of exteroceptive nerves.. Vote! - View Results!


Arnheim, Daniel: Dance Injuries. Their prevention and care. Princeton book co., Princeton 1991.
Fitt, Sally Sevey: Dance kinesiology. Schirmer books, New York 1996
Olsen, Andrea: Body Stories. Station Hills, New York 1991
Rosser, Mo: Body fitness and exercise. Hodder and Stoughton, London 1995
Vay, David Le: Human anatomy and physiology. Hodder and Stoughton 1981.


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