Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A Small Challenge for the Adults: Please Report Back!

I’m going to give you a challenge. I want you to consciously reflect on how you are thinking while you interpret and reproduce a foot-based dance pattern.  You will get this pattern in two forms, one of them completely language based, the other in grid/map form. PLEASE try the word based one first and then, and only then, follow the link to the image.

Step One: Language based 
Note: Where you're facing when you begin is "front." All directions are set from this initial orientations, like a compass rose on a geographical map.

Beat 1: Jump, split right foot front, left foot back

Beat 2: Jump, split right foot front right corner, left foot back left corner

Beat 3: Jump, split left foot front left corner, right foot back right corner

Beat 4: (simultaneously) turn 90 right, slide left foot to meet right foot in back right corner

Step Two: Map based
Follow the link to the map image.

Step Three: Report back here in the comments section, PLEASE!
Your honest observations of your thinking/decoding/doing process will be incredibly helpful. If you have an opportunity to convince a child to try this out, I'd be even more grateful.

If you are having trouble leaving a comment, please visit the MiYF Facebook page and leave a comment there, or email me mjrbton at gmail.

I appreciate your time and comments!

Edited to add: It's really not scary. I'm happy with anything you want to report, including if you were confused. TRULY! It's all grist for the mill and extremely helpful. Give it a try!!


  1. I felt like I was playing Twister when I did the language-based one.

    I couldn't really tell how I would have processed the map when I got there because I had already figured out the steps from the words.

    But then I noticed that the map was eight beats, so I taught myself the last four beats from the map and it went much more quickly. Decoding the language into motion was much more challenging for me than decoding and implementing the map.

  2. Okay, you want to know what my brain did? First one: sitting at my desk, I translated those words and had my feet do waht was directed. It happened reasonably quickly, though I had to figure out each part separately.

    The map? I looked at it and went "huh? what? What do I look at? What do I do?" Looked for a clue... looked some more ... wondered what was supposed to have meaning ... then saw "JR" and "JL" and wondered what the heck that meant... oh, maybe jump? tried to remember if that was waht the words from before were... probably... oh, that's a key at the bottom? Okay, let's try to analyze this and put it together.
    Figuring out what the *heck* the map meant took about 32 times as much "translating" as the words, which I was "doing" with my feet as I read it.
    I should remind ya that ... I'm probably wired *hard* for verbal and learn physical tasks through words, not watching...

  3. At first I thought the written instructions were easier, then I looked at the map and realized I was confused about the instructions, then I went back to the written instructions, and found some more information yet.

    This reminds me of a discussion on Ravelry about people who much prefer written instructions to charts. I often need both, but work mostly from charts once I've read everything.

  4. Oh, and I agree with ChristineTheCurious about Ravelry and a preference for written instructions BEFORE charts, but keeping the charts to follow after I understand them thoroughly based on the written instructions.

  5. (I wrote this earlier but apparently it didn't post. Please delete if it turns out to be a duplicate.)

    I preferred the written instructions although the part that said "in back right corner" stopped me as I was wondering if that instructions was based on the original "back right" or the new "back right" based on having turned 90 degrees. I assumed it was the latter, but when I read the chart, I realized it was the former ... I'd suggest that one clarifies that "front always is this way no matter how you turn" before beginning any instructions.

    1. Awesome, thanks for the feedback. I've edited the post to clarify this point. :-)

  6. My experience was similar to Christopher's. I slowly decoded the language clues, moving between visualizing them in my head or with my hands, standing up to do them, and re-reading. It took me maybe a minute or reading and visualizing, then standing up, 15 full seconds to read, process, do, and check each beat, so a full 2 minutes to make sense of the written beats.

    When I opened the map it looked intimidating. What were were J's? Where was the information about how to move? I quickly figured out the key (without even noticing it was provided at the bottom) based on my knowledge of the dance. The firs four beats were easy, because I already knew the dance. I thought the second 4 beats would take another 2 minutes to figure out, as I would have to decode. Instead, figuring out beats 5-8 was easy. I could see which foot had to go where, and the movement to get there.

    However, I think I cheated on the map and faced front the whole time, instead of turning 90º on beat 4. I think I need a "facing" image or clue as well as the foot locations, arrows, and type of movement abbreviations.

    1. In other similar maps I've used arrows to indicate facing. I'm curious if you noticed that the letters on beat 4 on the map were turned 90 degrees? Based on all the responses I've got so far, it seems like arrows would make it more apparent which way to face.

  7. Language instructions had me going back and forth, a lot. For example, I imagined that I jump in place, THEN split. In general, I had no sense of what was sequential and what was simultaneous. I think I went back and forth about 30 times total before I figured out the moves.

    The diagram confirmed what I got from the text (I still had the lingering doubts if jumps and splits are separate moves or one move, but was leaning toward one.) I would not understand the diagram without the text.

    My preference would be an animation accompanied by human voice. But my preference for storing the dance (once I got it) is the static diagram.


Thanks for reading. I would love to hear your thoughts and comments!


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