September, 2013


This paper was first presented at the “Dance and the Child International Conference in Kingston (Jamaica) in 2009 (daCi2009).

Curricula for formal education in schools have traditionally been designed to favour the acquisition of knowledge and the development of intellectual skills, an important part of which is the enhancement of cognition capability. The emphasis on mathematics and linguistic skills reflects this objective, while the same skills serve as the basis for testing and quantification of a student’s potential for learning, through the use of IQ tests.

Recent studies in psychology and neuroscience have brought this approach into question. The theory of multiple intelligences suggests that while logical-mathematical and linguistic capabilities are important, there are other skills that need to be considered equally and the quantification of human capabilities through IQ tests leads to false judgements. At the same time, studies in neuroscience suggest that the cognition process can be greatly enhanced by consideration of the multiple facets of the information coming in through all the senses. Of particular importance is the influence of emotional responses on cognition and intelligence.

The paper will expand on the above ideas and also show how dance can contribute to the total education of the child and therefore merits a place in formal education...Read More


This paper was first presented at the “Dance and the Child International Conference in The Hague (Holland) in 2006 (daCi2006).

Ordinarily the process of observation involves mainly the sense of sight that renders the physical features of the observed scene with all its hues and colours and the shades of meanings they generate. This is especially so for objects and phenomena observed at a distance. But there are occasions when other senses enter our field of attention and give additional dimensions to what we observe. Two senses that are known to play prominent roles in colouring our observations are those of smell and hearing. There is however another sense, less known perhaps, but nevertheless much felt, that enters into our perception. This is the sense of body experience, which until recently was only vaguely described by such imprecise expressions as gut feeling. In this paper the author describes how studies of the functioning of the brain explain how emotional experiences give rise to these feelings and affect our observations, giving rise to the notion of experiential observation...Read More

Place of Dance in Basic Education

by Harbans L. Nakra, Ph.D. No Comments


This paper was first presented at the “Dance and the Child International Conference in Regina (Canada) in 2000 (daCi2000).

The author gives a historical review of efforts made over the ages to get dance activity recognized as having educational values...Read More

Past Forward with Guri ji & Amma

by mamata niyogi-nakra, Ph.D. No Comments


There are moments in one’s life when destiny smiles in the face of adversity. One such moment came in my life when I had an accident in1969, which left me with a permanent injury and brutally cut me off from performing Bharata Natya. Some of my well-wishers helped me to overcome the initial shock and despair by encouraging, to the point of coaxing and goading me , to teaching Bharata Natya in Montreal. “What a formidable task to undertake” I thought at the time; but, as if by divine intervention, my gurus, U.S. Krishna Rao and U.K. Chandrabhaga Devi (Guruji and Amma to me) appeared on the horizon just when I needed them most, to provide guidance and inspiration and above all, to help regenerate my passion for dance....Read More