Ballroom Dance > Auditory/Visual/Kinesthetic Learning Styles

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by wooh, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. wooh

    wooh Well-Known Member

    We've got the right brained thread and the "why" thread, and well, I think we have a lot of people that think their way is THE way, when it all depends on the person. I mentioned in the why thread that I'd taken a preceptor class that really hit me with how foreign it is to try to learn in someone else's learning style. I'm a visual learner, and I had a bad lesson today, kept trying to learn in a way not my own, finally lost it and had to just shut the instructor down, because my brain felt like it was going to explode. Looking back on it, I know I'm a visual learner, and taking auditory teaching, it's like learning in a foreign language I'm only barely proficient in. Like I know a little spanish, but most of the time when I hear spanish, I hear it, I have to translate it into english, then take my english, translate it back into spanish to respond. To me, that's what auditory learning is like. I have to take the words I hear, and make them into a picture in my head translating it into my visual world, then if I have to answer a question, I have to turn the picture back into words.
    Anyway, I started wondering if maybe visual and kinesthetic learners are more the dancepros and elises, and maybe the auditory people are the Nik and Chris Strattons of the world. I'm sure we'd have to get into Myers-Briggs testing to really get into the down and dirty of it (we need another DFer that's going for a Masters or PhD to do some testing of this!) But anyway, here's the best thing I found with a very quick google of the auditory-visual-kinesthetic learning styles:

    I found really interesting on this page describing the different styles:
    that as a visual learner I "benefit from illustrations and presentations that use color" and thus on a post when dancepro was describing a champagne glass, it made total sense to me, but auditory learners "remember by verbalizing lessons to themselves" which is kind of like writing out the detailed technique maybe?
    Any thoughts? Any comments as to what kind of learner you are as far as auditory/visual/kinesthetic and if you fit into a right brain camp or Nik's why camp? Or both?
  2. wooh

    wooh Well-Known Member

    Just an aside, while googling I noticed on the Myers-Briggs perception part, there's the "sensing" people that like facts and data and the "intuitive" people that like impressions. I think we could definitely find some definite splits in how people learn with that.:) This is sooooo making me want to go do some studies!
  3. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    Thanks for this wooh - I'm a very mixed method learner so can try different methods but I think feeling it works best for me. For example, in our routine we have long sides that are pretty well worked out and I do have an idea of what is coming next but on the short sides pro confessed that even though we have a routine he never actually does it the same twice ;) that explains I suppose why I always think I've forgotten it - but its terrific. Now that I know I will just relax into following... love the RB approach and I'm going to try to make this my norm.
  4. WaltzElf

    WaltzElf New Member

    I guess I'm closest to a Kinesthetic learner, only not as hyperactive or bouncy.

    In lessons when working on technique I tend to unfocus my eyes or close them entirely, and feel what I should be doing. I tend to learn quickly, because once I feel how something's meant to be done, I'll generally do it right from then on.

    I could have a lesson where I'm blindfolded and my teacher doesn't say a word to me, concievably, and get a lot from it.

    The other thing I tend to do is improve when I'm not dancing. If I don't get get something in a lesson, I'll go home, think about it overnight, and it'll "click"
  5. Nik

    Nik Member

    I think I learn things better visually. The most noticeable thing for me is when I try to memorize a number, if I just hear it, ill forget right away, but if I visualize a picture of the number in my head then I can remember it for days.
  6. ChaChaMama

    ChaChaMama Well-Known Member

    Nik, having a little deja vu? ;)
    (Nik and I were talking about exactly this topic at my lesson maybe 3 1/2 hours ago!)

    I think of myself as an auditory person, and also a very verbal person. I need to be able to put things into language in order to understand them.

    I co-taught a class this year, and one of my co-professors said to me "Never in my life have I met someone who takes so many notes!" She was amazed that I could teach a class and jot down (in brief) the students' responses to questions I asked at the same time. To me, that seems very natural and it helps me focus on what someone is saying to listen, then jot down the main idea.

    Here's an interesting experiment, which I think draws on the visual/auditory/kinesthetic. How do you do directions?

    I *always* note landmarks, street names, etc. I can never just "feel" my way to a place. I need to make mental notes to myself. I hate having to detour and go a different way. (Oh, shut up, Nik! ;) )

    I know other people, though, who once they have been to a place once can find it again without even knowing street names. My sister's college boyfriend was like this. Not the brightest bulb on the porch, but this guy had an uncanny ability to refind a place. I think he was a kinesthetic learner.
    chomsky likes this.
  7. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    I'm interested to see where this and other discussion go, as I'm very much a mixed learner. Anything that might help me will be a godo thing. :)
  8. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member

    Well, interesting, CCM. I used to swear by landmarks but now I'm more intuitive and can usually figure my way around by going in what I think is the right direction (and it usually is).

    I think I am more inclined to remember a phone number by hearing it though, rather than seeing it on a piece of paper. And when it comes to dancing, I am probably better with visual learning than trying to do it by listening to directions.

    I guess I'm an all-over-the place learner. One of my main goals with dancing is really to figure out the optimal (and thus more time efficient) way of learning.
  9. wooh

    wooh Well-Known Member

    I'm visual, so I go by what I see. I still don't know the street names to get to my house from the highway, and I've lived in this house for over 8 years. It's turn at the the gas station, go by the church, go over the bridge, turn at the cemetery, turn at the fire station, turn at the other church and the other gas station, etc. I cannot give directions to people without a lot of effort, because I remember by seeing things, and I often can't put them into words. I'm like that with a lot of things, I understand it, but I can't put it into words, because I picture the process. Verbalizing it, no matter how well I understand it, is hard for me because I can never use enough words to describe the picture in my head and the words I have are never perfect enough to me.
  10. dancepro

    dancepro Member

    Thank you so much for your post, this is/was very interesting. I took the test three times. The first time I was Auditory, the second time I was Visual and the last time I was back to Auditory. I guess that makes me an Auditory learner, which does make sense to me. The only time I would go visual is if the teacher has a heavy accent, which makes it difficult for me to understand him/her.

    I personally like to listen to tapes and Cd's of people teaching or lecturing. I do read about two to three books a week but I do prefer to listen. I do listen to my mentors Cd's every day. It is on as background "noise", sometimes I hear it consciously and sometimes I hear nothing (even though I know it is playing).

    I do like to get into the very depth of things almost to the level of philosophy. I was always told and have a little experience myself, that my personal interest in the depth of things, does not create good dancers (top 12+ in the US or top 96+ in Blackpool). They need to learn to do it as that is what is judged. I have seen and talked to many great dancers that doesn't really know what and why they are doing, what they are doing, they just do it. That is why it is sometimes said, that just because somebody is a world class dancer, doesn't mean that somebody can teach.

    If a student book me for a lesson, I am assuming, they want to improve the dancing. I have never been asked by a competitor to have me help them pass a written text. Over the year I have now developed students (retired from competitive dancing) where we talk about dancing down to the splitting of the body in the 8 horizontal planes, the 8 vertical planes and the 6 diagonals planes. We go through using the 5 parts of the feet. The difference in turning standing thigh, free thigh, standing legs hip, free legs hip, center 1, center 2 or center 3, lower ribs or upper ribs and what effect each turn causes in their own body and what it causes the partner to do. We will go though the different detail of the initiation of at least 16 different steps that can be danced after a Feather Step. This is just to mention 4 principles on the 5 level, that high level dancers use but very often don't really understand. I often go through the how, when and why with my retired students.

    So don't get me wrong, I can talk detail all night long. However the philosophy to me, is more for the retired dancers, not for the once trying to work their way up the ranks. There is a time to dance and a time to think. If the thinking stops the dancing, then it's not good for the competitor. If the thinking stops the retired dancers, no harm done. I would actually say that is a great time to go even deeper into why it stopped.

    I gave Elise the suggestion that I did as she is trying to work her way up the ranks. If she was writing a paper on dancing, I would probably have done the details unless ask to keep it simple.

    Just my 2 cents worth.

  11. dancepro

    dancepro Member

    I like order, facts, numbers and data. My analyzer part of me found that I had to learn to get people to dance rather then lecturing to them, what they should do. I was trained to use my intuition by several teachers. I was actually taught to use all my higher faculties to learn.

    You are totally right that each student learn different. It is the teachers job to intuitively know what the student needs and give that to the student. I love studying human potential and ideas how, why and when. It is a subject that has fascinated me for years. I wanted to understand why two people given the same information and/or situation acted so different. I wanted to find out what makes people change and why.

  12. dancepro

    dancepro Member

    I am totally like that. Once I have been there, I know my way back to that point again. I don't really know street names, not even of where I live.

  13. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    I guess I'm primarily an audible learner, although it all plays in. Interestingly, before I started dancing, I was probably weakest in kinesthetic learning, because I've spent so long in this field (software) where you spend most of your time dealing with intangibles. At about the time I started dancing, I also revived a long-dormant interest in building electrical circuits. The two things have played together in interesting ways.

    One of the things that strikes me about dancing is how one can "feel" geometry when dancing. Lines, curves, planes, volumes, transfer of mass and forces... it all comes alive in dancing in a way it never did in the classroom. Nik hinted at it on the other thread; the assemblages of steps that we do aren't (usually) arbitrary; they are arranged the way they are to enable transfer and sustaining of momentum, and make it possible to move in a way that is graceful and doesn't require body parts to bend in weird ways. There's decades, sometimes centuries, of the experience of thousands of dancers experimenting with various movments that resulted in, say, the waltz open left turn and the exact form in which we do it.

    I come from a field in which great value is placed on using words precisely and saying exactly what you mean. When you're involved in flying an aircraft or a spacecraft, someone's life might depend on it. That sort of thing tends to focus the mind. And it's one reason why standard terminology exists for flight ops -- a set of words and phrases that have precisely defined meanings that everyone agrees on. One of the side effects of working in this environment is that you start to take casual conversation too literally. I admit to being a crummy mind-reader; if someone uses the wrong word, I'm unlikely to pick up on the fact that they didn't mean what they said. That's one of the reasons I value my instructor; she understands this about me, and she works very hard to describe things in terms that won't mislead me.

    (Actually, this focus in words long pre-dates my current occupation. When I was a child, I used to internally verbalize everything I read as I read it. When I reached my teenage years, I had to make myself stop doing that because I started to realize it was slowing down my reading, but it wasn't easy.)

    I have a good ability for visualizing things that are in static relationships. Things with a lot of motion going on, not so much (which makes it hard for me to learn steps from watching videos). Wooh asked about styles of giving directions. I'm actually rather obsessive about this, having been frustrated by other peoples' directions in the past. When I give directions, I usually like to include redundant clues for the reader to figure out where to turn and assure themselves that they are on the right path: "Turn right at Bailey Cove Road; there's a Texaco station at the corner. About 3/4 of a mile later, there is a flashing yellow light and a swimming pool on the left; that's Mountain Gap Road. Turn left there. If you get to the Publix, you missed it. At the top of the mountain, there's a hidden intersection where you need to bear right. If you went the right way, you'll see the firehouse on the left, about 200 yards down. If you pass a cell phone tower, you went the wrong way; go back and turn left after the tower."
  14. dancepro

    dancepro Member

    I am a member of that club too;). I am mixed leaner.

  15. dancepro

    dancepro Member

    That is one of the great things about dancing. You get to be and do the geometry, be "the apple", be the factions of a turn and the swinging pendulum.

    I went to talk to my science teacher, that I had from 1st to 9th grade. We were laughing as I was not the brightest kid, when it came to science. He said that I was probable the only one from my old class, that still work with many of the things, he taught me back then. I work with these principles almost every week of the year. He said that by know, I probably had more physical understand of the principles, then he could ever dream of having;).

    When I teach kids, that is what I help them understand, dancing is a fun way to learn some basic scientific principles.

  16. Warren J. Dew

    Warren J. Dew Well-Known Member

    This is an interesting topic.

    I don't think visual and kinesthetic learning are in any way particularly closer to each other than either is to auditory learning. I'm very much a kinesthetic learner, and visual is the worst way for me to learn.

    I do think kinesthetic learning may be more of a right brained, holistic, in the moment process, and what's called auditory learning more of a left brained, sequential thing. I don't think any of them are related to the conscious/subconscious issues raised in that other thread.

    I'm also not sure that the mode of learning has anything to do with what's being learned. Ultimately, dancing is a kinesthetic activity - you're moving your body - but some people may still learn it better by watching or listening.

    I couldn't take the test, by the way. Two thirds of the questions simply had no answers that made sense to me. Want to know how to spell a word? Look it up in a dictionary or type it into google and see what corrections it offers. That's the best method because it's quickest and most efficient, no matter what kind of learner you are.
  17. dancepro

    dancepro Member

    That was my first answer "use spell check". So I had to go, OK what would I do if I didn't have a dictionary, what did I do before spell check, what would I have done if there was no google and then I answered. There was some of questions like that. It does look like it could use a little updating. There was times where I just answered as if the three answers were my only choices.

  18. Bella

    Bella New Member

    Whoa, brings back memories from my psychology classes.

    I'm a visual learner all the way. You could stand there tell me exactly, play by play, what I need to do and I won't retain any of it. I have to see it to learn it. Referring back to the why's thread, not only do I need to know the reasoning behind the step but I need to SEE the step (the "what") and how it's delivered (the "how") FIRST to comprehend the "why's".

    I am a visual learner for everything though, not just dancing. For instance, on a history exam. I can immediately picture the page, where on the page, in which an answer to a specific question is located... Thank goodness for photographic memory.
  19. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    Kinesthetic, all the way. (I've taken a similar, if longer, test before during teacher training, that included a lot of other styles like inter- and intra-personal, etc.) There's a significant element of visual learning to it, but if I don't do it myself, forget it. I'm almost useless as an audible learner--keep talking at me too long, and I tune out and really stop hearing what you're saying. As far as dance goes, I take notes only if directly ordered to (the last time that happened was writing out the count for Paso) and I don't bother watching instructional videos as I get nothing from them. Writing down steps means absolutely nothing to me--it's a collection of words on a page. Videos of routines only help if I already know the routine, otherwise I have a very hard time converting what I'm seeing into what I'm supposed to do.

    I don't know if it relates to having been a rider, or I was a good rider becaue I'm a kinesthetic learner, but I do know I haven't been on a horse in almost five years but can remember exactly how everything is supposed to feel while I'm sitting here at my desk. I would have a very hard time telling you every fine thing needed to ask a horse for a canter, but I could do it.
  20. Chiron

    Chiron New Member

    According to the test I am split on visual/kinesthetic and not far behind on auditory. I would agree that I am a fairly multifaceted learner. I do write down notes for all my lessons, I visuallize my routines and practices, and recently I've been putting more time into kinesthetic practice where I am practicing with my eyes close so I can focus on what my body is doing and where my weight is. I am a very right brained performer but fall more into Nik's camp for practice and learning. As far as directions, the first time I go somewhere I like to have street names or landmarks. Once I've driven it once I can always get back there and can feel my way there if I take a different route. I also love taking detours and alternate ways to get somewhere. (When I was a little kid my mom would always find different ways for us to go home from kindergarten). So how is that for saying I kind of fit into all the categories.

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