In this week’s reading for creativity class, I learned how “body thinking” is one of the tools we can use in our creative thinking.
I’m an overthinker, and it’s true I’ve always believed that dance is what helps me stop thinking. But maybe, according to Sparks of Genius, dance doesn’t help me not think– it helps me think.
In fact, as the author says:
“We humans tend to overintellectualize, forgetting that our bodies ‘know’ how to do things that we understand only after we have done them.”
Everyone has always said, “Think before you act.” Think think think. Don’t do, until you’ve thought about what you’re doing. But perhaps sometimes it’s better to act before we think. Or at least in terms of creative thinking. It would probably be best to thinking first when you’re standing on the edge of a cliff, for example.
In my experience choreographing for dance, I’ve found it to be true that you choreograph with your body and not your mind. I can’t create movement using just my mind, and when I try to in class or sitting at a desk anywhere, my body involuntarily shifts around in my seat in an attempt to do what is in my head. Dance is the easiest way to wrap my head around the idea of movement as thinking. It’s less easy to imagine the scientist or mathematician using body thinking, but they do. Even artists do- Jackson Pollock is the example used in Sparks of Genius, famously known for the way he ran around on top of the canvas.
We’re taught to trust our minds more than our bodies, but after reading this chapter, I think it’s time I give my body a little more credit.