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Math Mondays::Math Dance!

The one thing most people have a hard time with, when I tell them we don’t use any curriculum or schoolbooks, is the math issue. How, they wonder, can anyone ever learn difficult math concepts without workbooks?

We learn math in lots of organic, living forms, but one way I’m dying to try out is Mathdance, which teaches math through performing arts and whole body movement.

I’m thinking it’ll be perfect when Creative Math Club starts back up in a bit.

The brains behind it are two choreographers.

“We translate pattern into choreography and we translate pattern into math,” Erik Stern, an educator and choreographer at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., told Ivanhoe.
Erik Stern and Karl Schaffer are the creators of a “math dance. “Many math-phobic adults and children — young people — are put off by math because they are given symbols before they have a real solid experience on which to base it on,” Stern explains.
“Well, for many people, having a kinesthetic experience of an abstract idea is extremely helpful in understanding what that abstract is,” Karl Schaffer, Ph.D., an educator, choreographer and mathematician at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, told Ivanhoe.

Concepts such as patterning, sequencing, movement and symmetry are gradually built upon, so that while having fun and becoming coordinated, students are memorising their shapes and patterns. They learn by making, being and doing.

Their website, mathdance.org, has a handful of introductory lessons taken from their book…definately go check it out!

some articles:
Science Daily article
article at Suite 101

Different mathdances on youtube:

representing different graphs to “Eye of the Tiger” (the first minute of this is priceless, lol)

Quadratic Formula Dance: