OUR RHYTHMIC DANCE

When people jog, dance or even throw a frisbee in rhythm with each other, they seem to experience momentary bonding and a sense of unity. Rhythmic interactions forge people together. Rhythmicity provides a “glue” for establishing human connections.

Throughout the ages we find rhythmic interactions and the subsequent fostering of group cohesion in folklore and daily practice. Illustrations of these are rocking or singing lullabies to babies for comfort or sleep (evidenced in most cultures), or a gathering pulled together by the rhythmic beat of a drum, a dance, song, or a folk hymn.

We are also in search of internal rhythm. Such as playing rhythmically with one’s necklace or beard, humming a catchy tune, or repeatedly jiggling the coins in one’s pocket: each one of these activities is part of a search for the feeling of rhythmic flow within our self.

Research has shown when two people talk to each other their movements are synchronized. Sometimes this occurs in barely perceptible ways, when finger, eyelid (blinking), and head movements occur simultaneously in sync with specific parts of language (the words with pitches and stresses). In other cases, the whole body moves as though it were under the control of a master choreographer…. .when viewing movies of the details of human interaction in very slow motion, looking for synchrony, one realizes that what we know as dance is really what human beings do whenever they interact.

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