FitOldDog Learning To Dance By Studying Continuum: Feels Good, Great Training, And Women Like It!

Hi folks,

[A quick question to my readers before I start: how can I improve my blog to make it more interesting, informative, and potentially of value? All input would be very much appreciated.]

Hurricane Irene 2011. BEWARE - I've experienced a hurricane first hand. They are extremely beautiful and dangerous, like something else I know. From:

We live in and consist of a system of flow fields. Externally, we have the air, the sea, the earth, and all the busy activity that goes on at the interfaces of these media, not to mention stars, galaxies, and the entire Universe itself, swirling around. Internally, blood, lymph, mucus, cellular fluids (cytosol), intestinal contents and the viscera themselves are all flowing – if they cease to do so, so do you.

I had the good luck to become interested in flow (fluid dynamics) for about 15 years of my research career. I even had a flow tank, where I would spend hours watching swirls, eddies, standing horseshoe vortices, and all the other structures that populate a flow field. To do this just take some ink and a bowl of clean clear water in a well-lighted place and play. Play is a key component of research, by the way!

This little book will change your perception of the world around you, from the flight of bees to the design of leaves. From:

We can’t really see the air that we breathe, whilst we do experience the impact of airflow on our lives, as do all biological systems. For instance, the leaves of plants are designed to cope with the stresses of high wind velocity, folding to reduce drag forces as the wind speed increases, which would otherwise tear them away from the plant. The role of fluid flow in biology is beautifully explained in a little book by Steven Vogel, ‘Life in Moving Fluids.‘ I highly recommend it, as Steven played an important role in my work on fluid flow in the nose, and without his encouragement [on the validity of kinematic viscosity adjustment for water versus air] I might have abandoned my studies as hopeless. Instead, I spent many rich years immersed in the mechanics of fluids, as we all do but generally don’t realize when we swim, bike and run.

Another aspect of fluid mechanics involves the effects of sound, or high frequency vibrations, on the movement of particles and fluids. Sound can be a powerful force, especially if resonance occurs. Take a look at the video below, where a vibrating table is sprinkled with sand. At select frequencies specific resonant patterns emerge. The application of vibration, including sound, will set up such patterns in the particles of your body. You cannot see these patterns but maybe you can feel them. Perhaps this is why people like to dance to music, and why they select one piece of music over another?

Of course, as far as dancing is concerned, this was all new to me. I never did understand why people did it. They say ‘Don’t give a sword to a man who can’t dance.’ This saying always had me worried, as I never did enjoy dancing; I could pretend, but that is not the same thing. Now I am enjoying a great personal discovery, solely due to Continuum training using vocalization (eeeee, zeeee, chtheeeee, etc) combined with an open mind and a good teacher, Rebecca. At the age of 68, I have found that dancing actually feels good. Our bodies consist of about 70% water, and sound can create patterns in water in the same manner that it does in sand or other particulate matter. Maybe this is what I we are tapping into when we dance. Take a look at this ‘Tibetan Singing Bowl’ from YouTube for further insights.

I was raised in England in the 1940s and 1950s, where boys having feelings was really frowned upon by other boys, being seen as a sign of weakness, which would trigger an attack (dogs will do this, too, I noticed). Pretty silly behavior for humans, if you ask me. This could account for the fact that many English men of my generation, much to the chagrin of women, refused to dance!

And just to make it even more interesting, most of the fluids in our body are what is known as non-Newtonian fluids, with mucus being the prime example. They are fluids that respond to the stresses to which they are subjected, like a good paint that is easy to brush on (high shear condition), but does not drip down the wall (low shear condition). Now take a look at the quirky response of a non-Newtonian fluid to vibrations and ponder the nature of your body’s responses to music. [You may have to wait for the video to load for the best viewing conditions]

I attended my first free-form dancing session yesterday, and it was a great workout especially for my feet. Give it a try as part of your exercise program, and if you’re like me maybe a few Continuum classes might do the trick. Furthermore, ‘old dogs,’ not only does it feel good, but women like it when you go to the trouble to learn to dance, which is an added bonus.

I am now convinced that this is a promising road to becoming a better athlete and a more complete human being.

-k Your Medical Mind



  1. Pauline Watson says

    Re improving your blog – I think its absolutely wonderful the way it is! I look forward to every update, especially the British comedy videos, to illustrate points. I’m amazed that you have time to write so much quality material.

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.