Week 1

Rhea R -


This post marks the end of my first week of working on my senior research project.

Here are my plans going forward for the upcoming months. As per my syllabus, I’ll be working on drafting the choreography that I’ll be using to teach the dancers and gather my data. I’m still debating on whether I should choreograph my own routine from the ground up or use a preexisting dance routine (that the respondents still won’t know) instead. Also, for my own choreography, I’m still wrestling with the song choice. I do want it to be upbeat since this will be in the hip-hop genre. Feel free to drop suggestions!

On Tuesday 2/13, I went into the studio and met with my off-site mentor, Ms. Gracia. We discussed the date on which I would begin teaching my routine to the Senior Hip-Hop Level 2 class. We also continued learning recital choreography in my class. I started to observe my own  journey to embedding the routine into muscle memory, and I would say that I am about 80-85% there. I also started to practice observing those around me while they were executing the recital choreography as a sort of “trial” before it’s time for me to teach and observe my assigned class. The material from about 2-3 weeks ago is fully committed into most of the student’s muscle memories, but the moves learned more recently (1 week ago) and the material covered just that day is still voluntary and needs to be thought about for a minute which leads to hesitation. I’ve noticed that hesitation is most prominent within the end of the routine, since it is still new. As for the middle part of the routine, some students show perfect execution while others still hesitate and are late. This may be due to factors like experience and talent, which will be further accounted for by the survey.  

As for the introductory research, I started to read and annotate sources from my bibliography, as well as locate sources about previous projects relating to dance, learning the physiological process behind the integration of muscle memory. Here is a list of my sources so far: 





www.theballetacademy.com.sg/post/all-about-memory-for-dance-choreography-and-how-to-improve-it#:~:text=“Dancers%20call%20it%20muscle%20memory, (Solway%2C%20May%202007





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    Rhea - the descriptive self-awareness while learning choreography is so fun to wade through, thanks for sharing. How will you discern, measure and record hesitation, integration, and muscle memory? Keep up the work. Super cool.
    Yajat Gupta
    It is really cool how you have been able to find a connection to dance and muscle memory and point it out during your own learning. One question I would have is “What is the difference between true muscle memory in dance instead of a quick processing of the steps that are needed to be dancing at that pace? And how can you tell the difference?
    Great question. True muscle memory feels more involuntary, so for example you are able to almost perfectly execute movements while doing other things, such as engaging in a conversation with others. (I've tried this and it works). On the other hand, a quick processing of steps requires a lot more focus and it often needs to be the main thing on your mind to even be 3/4ths of the way to mastering movements. This is more of a voluntary process. So basically, muscle memory = involuntary and quick processing = voluntary.

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