The Training Brain

conference/ talk/ discussion


In the recent years, rapidly evolving studies in neuroscience have helped us to understand our brains and thus our behaviour in a totally new light. However, learning about neuroplasticity*) and what our brains and nervous systems need for healthy functioning is not yet being addressed in dance training that often.  


In this lecture we look at the general needs of the brain and how we could better serve this vital organ of ours. We will focus especially on the limbic system and its healthy/unhealty functioning as our emotional center and the "safety guard" of our system.  Through understanding the functions of the limbic system, we can better understand one of the major threats of our times, chronic stress.


The lecture will be from the viewpoint of a dancer and a dance teacher, and the aim is to serve the questions: How can we train our brain in a healthy way as dancers? How do we create community where we can live in a brain healthy environment?



*) Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to adapt and change itself, at any point in life. This can have a positive effect but also create negative symptoms, and the process is mostly unconscious so we are unaware when it happens. The discovery of neuroplasticity has been a breakthrough in neuroscience, since before it was not believed that the brain can itself change after childhood.




Ulla Mäkinen is a dance artist, and a lecturer of dance in the contemporary dance education in Riveria, Outokumpu, Finland. She graduated as a MA in Contemporary Dance Pedagogy in 2010 in the University of Music and Performing Arts in Frankfurt a.M. Besides dance, she has studied contemporary Pilates, Iyengar Yoga and Thai Massage. She has been teaching in communities, festivals and educations worldwide since 2004. She has been studying and practicing with the Axis Syllabus community since 2014.

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