Chubby Geek Learns to Dance -#4

<<Robin’s Podcast: Dance for Parkinson’S Disease by David Leventha>>

Great people know great stuff. Great people talk great stuff.


You know what you want to do but your body refuses to move in that way. You start shaking without you being able to control it. You become sleep deprived, unable to control emotions, start building negative relation with others and becoming isolated…

That is what Parkinson Patients experience.

Yet current research on medicine and therapy is focused on the “loss”. Why not on leaning? – This was David’s big question.

Screen Shot 2016-02-07 at 9.44.30 PM

(source: Wikipedia >>> Parkinson’s disease)

What he does

  • Give classes for PD patients in NY
  • Train teachers
  • Offer online training programs (DVDs etc..)
  • Helps research

The best way to find what he is up to is by visiting their website.

Dance for PD website


How he does it

  • Treat PD patients not as PD patients but as “dancers” and “artists”

In the interview, he emphasized the importance of viewing them dancers and artists. He is extra careful on the use of his vacabs, honestly you can just tell that he sees them in such a respectful manner from the way he talks in the interview. He mentioned that this way, students see physical movement from “loss of ability” to “skills that can be developed”.

  • Access and Expand students’ imagination
  • Raise students’ self-efficacy, self-esteem, self-confidence à that breeds curiosity


(More on his teaching philosophy: His Video )


His Mission

Make dance available to all PD patients in the world!


My Expansion

I want to know his great ability on teaching. How he breeds students growth mindset instead of fixed mindset. I believe this could be the key for his mission, spreading dance for PD to all over the world. Through my experience of zumba, although we have semi-fixed class structures on DVD, it does depend on the facilitator if the class can be taught in a way students want to come back.


Chubby Geek Learns to Dance -#3

Storytelling Project   “Chubby Geek Learns to Dance”

Episode 3.

Academic Background and Dance

I have a very strong academic background. Everything that I did when I was younger related to getting into good university. This meant that I had little social support on anything artistic, including dancing. You see, I was a chubby geek.


Having this background, I am proud to say that my current occupation is a graduate student at the best private university in Japan (The founder of my school is the face of $100 bill in Japanese yen), doing a research on dancing.


Rebellious? Maybe. I feel my family not being supportive of what I am trying to do, when it is what I need the most right now. But I will work on communicating the message to them. Because dancing is really what we, as humans need, and more people should experience this ancient technology to happiness.



Dancing to overcome trauma


Dancing is facing and improving, rather than escaping.


You see, I had trauma. Trauma is created because we remember the physical arousal of shocking times with negative meanings. When you see something or hear something, it becomes a trigger to create certain posture. This posture is remembered with negative meanings. This is how trauma is created. It becomes embodied.

When I dance, I start breathing fast, just like the time when I lost control. But my attention is focused on the beauty of surroundings. I am fully experiencing the physical arousal that I used to fear and escape, and I embrace it. It is amazing. And at the end of the day, I realize, “hey the things that I was so worried about, maybe means nothing. It may be isn’t so important after all.”


I want you to feel free from the chains on your feet

I want more people to experience this. The beauty of living. At the same time I need dancing in my life. It is my trauma therapy. As we get old, we experience more sad things as well as wonderful things. Humans have an innate tendency to remember the bad rather than good. But this technology, dancing, helps you remember wonderful experiences more.


So… Shall we dance?

Chubby Geek Learns to Dance-#2

Storytelling Project   “Chubby Geek Learns to Dance”

Episode 2.

Today, I am going to evaluate some dance teacher.

Because my mission for life is to create a culture of dancing at workplaces 🙂


<<Scoring Base>>

Scoring Base


Date: 20.01.2016

Name: Billy (Expert)

Category: Ballet 1h


C1: Teacher’s Autonomy Support

P1: Students’ Motivation (2/5)

  • Leaning towards raising Extrinsic Motivation
  • Extrinsic Motivation Types: Beauty of a Dance

P2: Language Use   (5/5)

  • Informational Language Use

Everything seems to be related to the beauty

– Occasionally compliment (Rather very informative)

P3: Dealing with Negative Affect (4/5)

  • Acknowledges that some moves are hard
  • Doesn’t seem to be bothered when students make mistakes


C2: Teacher’s Structure

P4: During Introduction (5/5)

  • Clear Introduction
  • Use of terms (name of moves etc…)
  • Use of sounds (non-linguistic expressions)

P5: During Lessons (5/5)

  • Strong guidance with use of his own body
  • Strong guidance with use of language (counting, name moves etc…)

P6. Feedback (3/5)

– Skill-Building and Informative

– However, teacher tends to point many things that students get confused

(Need of break down)


  • Students seem to be confused since the skill was too hard
  • Students are willing to try since teacher never judges
  • “Don’t be selfish, think of the beauty as a group. Express individuality with face.”
  • Showed sign of welcome

(Came to talked to me how he still remembered me from 4 years ago)



Chubby Geek Learns to Dance-#1

Storytelling Project   “Chubby Geek Learns to Dance”

Episode 1.

Once upon a time, there was a girl. She was 19, 5ft1 and weighed a little over average.

Screen Shot 2013-04-16 at 11.17.15 PMShe felt mature and confident, because she finally entered the university which her parents wished her to go to. She was free to live her life!

Up until this time, she had only been to strict girls schools. Her parents kept telling her that one day when she gets into a good university she would be free to do anything. So until then she crammed, devoted all her waking hours into books. So this was a special moment, finally she was free to live!

During her university life, of course she went to parties. She met this guy, who spoke to her so sweet and gave her flowers. Being brought up at girls schools all her life, it was a wonderful to feel for the first time someone was paying special kind of attention. She felt like a princess in the disney movies.

So she did all she could do. She devoted everything to him until one day he said, “You are the chubbiest girl I have ever dated” and yes, cheated on her too.

Now this may not sound much to many people, but it was for her. Two main reasons: (a)because she had never known anyone who would compare and judge people with physical characters   (b)because he said it in a way that it was pre-determined and cannot be changed.


This story has deeper background but for now it is enough.

This is how I started learning dancing. To prove him and myself that there is nothing that defines anyone.

Coming from a very academic background, I was never really praised for being good at physical activity. So I focused on academics. That lead me to be highly confident in one area, but not in another.

I guess I still wanted him to accept me, I started applying the cramming technique to physical activity, yes, dancing. But the relationship with him ended, and I got more interested in the process of learning.

Learning is fascinating. Because it argues your perception. If you apply the same perception, you are never getting better.

Through this project, I want people to realize the unconscious “Learned Helplessness” that we all have. I want you all to argue your perception on your own capacity and the way of approaching towards things.

I am hoping that I can contribute in some way to break your unconscious leaned helplessness.