Mathematics and dance

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At first glance it may seem that mathematics and dance have little in common. However, the two subjects are inextricably linked. Both are creative, both are based on exploring patterns, and both keep an eye toward aesthetic potential.[1]

In the field of mathematics education, there has been great interest since 2000 in embodied and sensory pedagogies to augment pencil-and-paper and lecture-based ways of teaching and learning mathematical concepts [2]. Dance and movement offer rich possibilities for embodied mathematics pedagogies and expression of mathematical patterning.

Math communication has become ever important in a world with increasing amounts of math anxiety. More and more mathematicians are using dance as a medium of communication to express mathematical concepts to the public in a more engaging and less anxiety-inducing way than the time honored chalkboard lecture.

Educational applications[edit]

Theoretical aspects[edit]

Dance analytics (an older historical term may be choreology)[edit]

Spatial only (Elements descriptions)[edit]

Temporal and spatial (Movement description and behavior)[edit]


Analyses (usage of collected data)[edit]

Syntheses (choreographic usage of data)[edit]

Data acquisition (hardware and software)[edit]

See also[edit]

  • Mathematics and art
  • Music and mathematics
  • Labanotation
  • Benesh Movement Notation
  • Eshkol-Wachman Movement Notation
  • Kahnotation, tap dance notation developed by Stanley D. Kahn.
  • Dance Your Ph.D.


  1. Schaffer, Karl; Stern, Erik; Kim, Scott (2016). Math Dance with Dr. Schaffer and Mr. Stern: Whole body math and movement activities for the K-12 classroom. MoveSpeakSpin. p. 5. ISBN 978-0615728186. Search this book on Logo.png
  2. Gerofsky, Susan (2016). Approaches to embodied learning in mathematics In English, L.D. & Kishner, D. (Eds.), Handbook of International Research in Mathematics Education, Third Edition. Routledge. pp. 60–97. ISBN 9780415832038. Search this book on Logo.png
  • Adshead J et al. Dance analysis. Princeton Books, NJ . 1988.
  • Bradley E, Capps D, Rubin A. Can computers learn to dance?, Proceedings of International Dance and Technology. Tempe, AZ. 1999.
  • Gray J. Dance technology, current applications and future trends. 1989.
  • Landsdown J. The computer in choreography. Computer; 1978; vol 11 Aug: pp 19-30.
  • Schaffer K, Stern E, Kim S. Math dance with Dr. Schaffer and Mr. Stern. Santa Cruz, CA. MoveSpeakSpin. Santa Cruz, CA. 2001.
  • Siegel KB. Order and chaos: approaching modern dance choreography in America through a mathematical lens. Thesis, Wesleyen University, Middletown Conn. 2013.
  • Thie, JA. Dance mathematics: rhythms & dances; analysis & synthesis. Knoxville, TN. 2018.

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