Is Rhythm Innate?

dancing with cats

Dancer demonstrating the question of innate rhythm in humans









Dancing in infancy, these babies demonstrate human rhythm as nature intended.

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I’ve blogged in the past about animals, like cockatoos, that have a real sense of rhythm, and inherent in that concept is the supposition that it is also innate in humans.  When I work with students who have problems finding the beat, some of them are convinced that some people are just born without it.

It is my belief that everyone is born with a sense of rhythm.  I acknowledge that there may be unusual cases of people for whom that is not true, just like some people are born without arms or legs, but barring such anomalies, I believe most people who lack rhythm did have it at one time but lost it along the way.  That’s why I’m able to help those students find it again.  It’s still in there somewhere.

My theory is that as we go through life encountering various traumas, we instinctively shut down various natural inclinations because it felt like the safest solution at the time.  We may have forgotten all about it, or we may remember.  It may make logical sense or it may be the seemingly irrational conclusion of a very young child.  In any case, it’s loss is wired up with a sense of safety and it’s hard to get at now.

Any time we unlock something we locked up for self preservation, we experience freedom beyond the gift of the thing itself.  I hear all the time from extremely left brained women who learned the right brained skill of following that it opened up all kinds of unexpected shifts.  I’d love to hear from people who were reunited with their sense of rhythm about how it affected the rest of their lives.  Please comment if you can relate to this one!

Didn’t you just love that video?  Just for fun, here’s the same twins still dancing a year later!

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By LaurieAnn Lepoff

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