Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Are There Genetic Differences If You Dance In Ballet Shoes and Pointe Shoes?

"Are Dancers Genetically Different Than The Rest Of Us? 

Yes, Says Hebrew University Researcher ScienceDaily (Feb. 16, 2006) - What makes dancers different than the rest of us? Genetic variants, says a researcher at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem." Part of dancing in performance is transporting the audience to where YOU are while you're dancing. They are not just looking, they are going with you. You change their brain chemicals!

"The dancer "type," says Ebstein, clearly demonstrates qualities that are not necessarily lacking but are not expressed as strongly in other people: a heightened sense of communication, often of a symbolic and ceremonial nature, and a strong spiritual personality trait."

What an intriguing subject!

Tricking your brain with your own nutritional chemicals and neurotransmitters is an art, I have learned - it's more than eating well and thinking well. is where you'll find the whole article.

"...a heightened sense of communication, often a symbolic and ceremonial nature, and a strong spiritual personality trait." know that electric field that snaps into the audience when a powerful dancer steps onto the stage? It pervades everyone. They are IN that field.

Ballet is ceremonial starting right in class. The world is shut out while students work and the teacher works, in a field of concentration. All the right brain chemicals are neurotransmitting with enthusiasm.

The brain chemical serotonin is found lacking in depressed people - it is abundant in dancers and other artists. Despite the stressful lifestyles, lack of social support, common disorderly eating (and sometimes eating disorders) serotonin is abundant. It seems to be related to the "ceremonial nature and a strong spiritual personality trait". I have known dancers I wouldn't put in that camp - and I envied them! They came to work, did a reasonably good job and went home.

This article from is extremely interesting. There are genetic differences in artists. It indicates a power we don't suspect. It indicates a consciousness that is a component of talent, I think. Not physical ease, but the intangible magnetism where we follow the dancer wherever he/she goes.

It's a brain chemical thing. What isn't? Yet, it is more.

I'm updating this today (years later) to put this link to an article by Dr. Judith Lynne Hanna  which I just read at 4 Dancers.  "What Makes A Dance? The Brain As Choreographer, Dancer And Spectator".

Here is her book which is the next dance related book I will read!
 You can click on the book image to see more about it. 

(That link is an affiliate link of mine which will give me an ad fee of 4%, and will not change your purchase price.)

1 comment:

  1. That is soooooo cool! No wonder everyone thinks I'm weird going to rehersals 5 days a week!