Body Language Is The First Language – Teaching Dance to the Deaf

Not long ago, I was talking to a PhD dance instructor who spent a good part of her career in Washington DC teaching dance to the deaf, along with teaching at the university level dance instructions to all different groups of groups. She would often take deaf dancers on tour to cities around the world.…

Not long ago, I was talking to a PhD dance instructor who spent a good part of her career in Washington DC teaching dance to the deaf, along with teaching at the university level dance instructions to all different groups of groups. She would often take deaf dancers on tour to cities around the world. The audiences and crowds loved it, and were amazed at how good these dancers were. The PhD dance instructor noted that it was easier to teach dance to the deaf because they queued off of each other's body language. Okay so, let's talk about that shall we?

My acquaintance tells me that body language is the very first human language. This makes sense, and we see this is really true another species. They all queue off each other's body language even though they do not have vocal chords the way that humans do. Any minority move triggers a reaction from members of their own species. Have you ever watched a bird sitting on top of a post, and then watched another bird fly in to get that space, and then the other bird moves over really quickly so there is a space for them to land? That's all about body language is not it?

So not just mammals, but all other species do this, they are also able to tell if there is an aggressive posture or move from perhaps a different species which may be of a threat to them. It should not be surprising that those mammals, such as humans, with larger brains are adapted so well to the language of the body. Still, it is interesting that dance is something that humans refer to when put to music and sound. But if those who are deaf can not hear those sounds or feel those vibrations, how are they able to do it so well?

Not long ago, I was watching the National Song Leader Competition in Florida. There was a group from Salt Lake City area which had perfect synchronicity, every single beat of the music and all the girls involved performed to perfection. In the middle of their routine the sound went out for a few seconds, although it was not more than four or five seconds, it almost seemed like an eternity.

Neverheless, the girls did not miss a beat, they continued their routine as if nothing had happened and as if the music was still playing. When the music came back on, they were still at the exact same spot they were supposed to be in their routine. It was like nothing ever happened. That's amazing, or is it?

My acquaintance stated that it was not very hard to teach the deaf to dance, in fact they were very good learners, and caught on quite quickly. That's amazing is not it – dance without song, and dancing without vibration. Perhaps my acquirement is right; body language is the first language, so of course they can do it, and that's why they can learn the dance steps faster than those who can hear, and stay in perfect rhythm without a sound. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.