“There is no such thing as a good or bad memory. There is a trained memory and an untrained memory.” — Jim Kwik
With our gadgets and gizmos aplenty, we can tend to be less reliant on memorisation as a means for information retrieval. After all, why commit mobile numbers to memory when your smartphone will?
Yet memorisation — or memory learning — remains hugely beneficial to our brains. It trains our brains to remember, and improves neural plasticity and agility — especially in ageing brains. Repeating poetry and rhymes drum in a sense of rhythm that also trains our balance and teaches symmetry, while rote learning facts and figures frees up time and saves brainpower. A strong memory ultimately helps us learn; how else can we go from easy to complex if we’ve already forgotten the foundation blocks to a problem along the way?
Dance and dance fitness definitely demands memory work, and it is just as much of a workout for the brain as it is for the body. Whole studies are dedicated to working out how dancers imprint movement on their bodies from their minds, until at last that magical connection between the two is so powerful that dancers no longer have to think — they do. And it’s only when the body knows what to do that the mind is finally free to let the imagination take flight.
That’s where the magic really starts to happen.