Saturday, July 10, 2010

My brain is changing - Originally posted 21 December 2006

Wait, how could that be?

I'm not sure when it happened. I kind of know how: it's thanks to all the belly dancing and letting myself go with it.

I've been meaning to write this blog for a while now. lol I read Tempest's article "Learning to View Dance as Art" (

Interestingly, that is one thing that I've thought of this year: if you do just the moves, without feelings, without intent, then dance is just a sport; but if you do them with purpose, to tell a story, to create a message, to embody a vision, then it's art. I guess that it was my transition from the left to the right side of the brain...

I've always been cartesian... for as long as I can remember. As I've posted before, I may have had a bit of an artistic side when I was younger but my father was so artistic that it made me shy in my puny little attempts at art. So I went with what was really easy for me, which is logic, evidence-driven and cartesian thoughts. And I'm quite successful with that.

So when it came to belly dancing, I had no clue what to do. My first teacher was very technical. I am very grateful that she passed on that knowledge. But she never told us how to do our own dances. And then, even at Pennsic, where it's all so inspiring, it was hard to dance "free style." I was a bit lost.

And then I started learning how to do things. First with Jaleela and then throughout the workshops that I took. And then I started experimenting on my own. Heck, I did my own pieces.

I saw that Tempest has workshops on "dancing with the right side of the brain" and, boy, did I want to take that. I was craving that. And we got a portion of it at the Bloomington workshops.

But I still thought that I was using my left brain too much.

And then I read Tempest's article. In it, she says to look at the 4 pictures of flowers and see which one appeals to you more. I KNOW that, before, the photo and the realist pieces would have been my favorite... But now, it was a toss between the Van Gogh and O'Keefe pieces. I think that I slightly like the O'Keefe piece more because of the sensuality in it. And then I read that, if you chose either of the latter two, then you are using your right brain.

OMG! What a change! I was using my right brain and didn't even know it! lol

So now I am learning to balance the two: I can learn from both sides of the brain and can probably do a good job by mixing my strong side with my developing side. Sweet!

PS: Thanks Tempest for giving me my other side of the brain back! ;op

Comments I had received

From Tempest:
I'm honored and excited for you :) (now, if we could just find where I stored my entire brain, we'll be set!)

From Amanda:
Hey I'd just be happy I was using my brain :) I'm happy for you! Right brain rock on!

From Jen:
Brain Sneeze I once had a Phys/Anat teacher that taught us what he called a "brain sneeze". You imagine your left brain, probably thinking of math or something analytical. I often pictured perfect shapes like squares and triangles and such. Then you imagine your right brain. Here I often thought of danceing to music and imagined the music slowing down or speeding up at random with the colors of the room and such changeing all the time. What ever works for you. He then told us to imagine the two sides switching places. While we were imagineing all this we were usualy listening to some kind of mellow music and we would do things like draw our hand without looking at the paper. It was kind of difficult at first but got much easier with practice. He was useing this because he was a mad scientist. Also it allowed us to look at something analytical in an artistic way. In this case we were able to look at our specimens and draw them perfectly. It realy did work amazeingly well.

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