For those of us with the athletic prowess of a one-armed sloth, the limber feats of dancers seem nigh impossible. Yet a recent study from UC Berkeley shows dancers do not actually have the strongest link between mind and body.
Research shows that it is meditators have a more highly developed bond. Participants in the study were asked to rate emotionally affecting scenes from movies while they were wired with electrodes. The results of the dancers, in fact, varied little from those of the control group, whereas the rate of the meditators’ heartbeats were more indicative of their described emotions.
This difference can be ascribed to the meditator’s inward focus on the “visceral” feelings of the body. Dancers place a greater amount of emphasis on “muscle tone, body alignment and posture.” They might not be in touch with their inner-selves, but then again, many of us can’t even touch our toes.