Motor Control of Rhythmic Dance from a Dynamical Systems Perspective a Review

Akito Miura, Shinya Fujii, Yuji Yamamoto, Kazutoshi Kudo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


While dancers and dance educators express great interest in motor control as it relates to rhythmic dance, the subject remains largely uninvestigated. In order to advance our understanding of motor control, a theoretical framework called the dynamical systems approach (DSA) has been used. The DSA was originally developed to describe mathematically the principle of synchronization patterns in nature and their change over time. In recent decades, researchers studying human motor control have attempted to describe the synchronization of rhythmic movement using a DSA. More recently, this approach has been applied specifically to rhythmic dance movements. A series of studies that used the DSA revealed that when people synchronize rhythmic movement of a body part 1. with a different body part, 2. with other people's movement, or 3. with an auditory beat with some phase differences, unintentional and autonomous entrainment to a specific synchronization pattern occurs. However, through practice dancers are able to overcome such entrainment and dance freely. These findings provide practical suggestions for effective ways of training in dance education. The DSA can potentially be an effective tool for furthering our understanding of the motor control utilized in rhythmic dance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-21
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of dance medicine & science : official publication of the International Association for Dance Medicine & Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Mar
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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