What is Kinesthetic Empathy?

Have you ever cried/felt strong emotions while watching a dance performance/musical play?

No words are being said, but you still get the message. How?

Have you ever wondered why do you feel these strong emotions?

It is because of Kinesthetic Empathy.

The word “kinesthesis” is derived from the Greek word kine (movement) and aesthesis (sensation).
Combining kinesthesis with “empathy,” this concept emerges as an empathetic interaction
between performer and viewer that embodies aspects of the performer’s movement. This
interaction is a sensory experience, perhaps facilitated by emotion, memory, and imagination.

The theory of Kinesthetic Empathy explains that though a spectator may be sitting still, they can still feel the effects as if their body is participating in the movements they see before them as well as experiencing the feeelings that the performance evokes.

Kinesthetic empathy is the capacity to participate in somebody’s movement, or their sensory experience of movement. It makes use of mirroring of sensations and movements of the body to enhance connection and synchronicity between people. With kinesthetic empathy, you explore, and become more aware of, how you influence each other’s physical space.

Our body subconsciously copies the movement of the performers & sends signals to our brain via neural pathways, thereby making us feel those exact same emotions which the performers are trying to convey.

In short, you subconsciously feel that you are performing & moving, hence you feel those emotions too.

Thus, embodied emotions & connection via movement have always been a subconscious part of our lives.

Dance Movement Therapy uses this connection with movement & emotions to help heal & connect with ourselves. Dance as a form of expression of the embodied consciousness has been a part of phenomenological considerations for some decades now.

In Dance Movement Therapy, we use this aspect of kinesthetic empathy consciously to help deal with emotions & connect with ourselves. We use kinesthetic empathy in workshops as well as 1-1 sessions.

Various techniques like group and one-on-one “mirroring techniques” as well as sequences like “body awareness” & “conflicted emotions activities” conducted in our sessions utilize this aspect of Kinesthetic Empathy.

You can discover this interesting bit of information & experience kinesthetic empathy first-hand in our workshops & sessions.

Upcoming Online Dance Movement Therapy Workshops:

1: 31st January 2022: Click for more details & registration.

2. 6th February 2022: Click for more details & registration.

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