Movement Education: Its Evolution and a Modern Approach

That's French for "the ancient system," as in the ancient system of feudal privileges and the exercise of autocratic power over the peasants. The ancien regime never goes away, like vampires and dinosaur bones they are always hidden in the earth, exercising a mysterious influence. It is not paranoia to believe that the elites scheme against the common man. Inform yourself about their schemes here.

Movement Education: Its Evolution and a Modern Approach

Postby admin » Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:18 am

Movement Education: Its Evolution and a Modern Approach
by Margaret C. Brown, Ed.D. and Betty K. Sommer
Margaret C. Brown, Ed.D., President Emeritus, Panzer College of Physical Education and Hygiene, Montclair State College
Betty Sommer, Assistant Professor of Physical Education, Montclair State College, Formerly, Assistant Professor of Physical Education, Prague University
© 1969 by Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Inc.




Table of Contents:

• About the Authors
• Introductory Note, by Francesco Cordasco
• Preface
• Acknowledgements
o 1. Physical Training through Natural Activities
 Gymnastics in Greece and Rome
 Body Training in the Middle Ages
 The Effect of Church Doctrine
 Chivalry
 Humanism
 Philosophies of
 Physical Training in Realism
 Human Realism
 Social Realism
 Sense Realism
 The Influence of Naturalism on Physical Training
o 2. The Development of National Gymnastic Systems
 Nationalistic Gymnastics
 Denmark
 Sweden
 Germany
 Czechoslovakia
 Naturalistic Gymnastics in France
 Physical Training in English-Speaking Countries
 England
 The United States
 Summary
o 3. The Evolution of Natural Movement Education
 Pioneer Concepts of Movement and Rhythm
 Francois Delsarte
 Emile Jaques-Dalcroze
 Bess Mensendieck
 Isadora Duncan
 Rudolf Laban
 Contributions of American Dance Pioneers
 The New Free Dance
 The Modern Dance
 The Dance in Education
o 4. German Interpretations and Methods
 New Trends in Physical Education in the Early Twentieth Century
 The Loheland School
 The Bode School
 The Hellerau-Laxenburg School
 The Years of the Weimar Republic
 Deutscher Gymnastik-Bund
 Other Schools of This Era
 Carl Loges and Reform in Turnen
 Gymnastic Education in the Nazi Period
 The Revival of Movement Education since 1950
 The 1949 Conference
 The Deutsche Sporthochschule Koln
 Summary
o 5. Effect of New Methods on School Programs
 Scandinavia
 Central Europe
 Russia
 England
 The United States
 Summary
o 6. Basic Concepts
 Natural Body Movement
 The Rhythm of Body Movement: Dynamics, Time, and Space
 Objectives and Fundamental Principles of Movement Education
o 7. Teaching Techniques
 Planning a Lesson
 Starting Positions
 Basic Position
 Exploring the Interactions of the Body Sections
 Creating Movements
 Movement Accompaniment
 Costume and Group Arrangement
o 8. Beginners' Work
 Explorations in Walking and Running
 Relaxation
 Eutonie
 Passive Movements
 Mobility of the Joints
 Strengthening the Muscles
o 9. Intermediate Work
 Exercises for Dexterity and Quick Reaction
 Partner Work
 Movements with Objects
 Leading and Following Exercises with Movements and Sounds
 Leading by Movements and Responding with Movements
 Leading with Sounds and Following with Movements
 Leading by Movements and Following with Sounds
o 10. Advanced Work
 Techniques of Walking and Running
 Central Release
 Falls
 Sustained Movements and Balance Exercises
 Swings
 Bouncing
 Jumps, Hops, Skips, Gallops, Slides, Leaps
 Turns
 Waves
 Movement Sequences
• Terminology
• Bibliography
• Index
• List of figures
• 1. Movements in the Different Planes
• 2. Starting Positions
• 3. Positions of the Pelvis
• 4. Curling the Spine by Tucking Pelvis Forward
• 5. Curling the Spine by Lifting Legs
• 6. Tension-testing Positions
• 7. Reactions of Passive Body to Actions of Helper
• 8. Side View of Joints and Regions of the Spine
• 9. Positions in Partner Work
• 10. Movements with Objects
• 11. Moving Ball in Figure Eight on Frontal Plane
• 12. Movements with a Wand
• 13. Movements with a Drum
• 14. Percussion Instruments
• 15. Percussion Instruments
• 16. Terminating the Sound
• 16a. Gong Player Interprets the Leader's Movements
• 17. Floor Patterns
• 18. Scales
• 19. Knee Bends
• 20. Movement Sequence One
• 21. Movement Sequence Two
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Re: Movement Education: Its Evolution and a Modern Approach

Postby admin » Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:18 am

About the Authors

Margaret C. Brown is President Emeritus of Panzer College of Physical Education and Hygiene, East Orange, New Jersey, now Panzer School of Physical Education and Hygiene, Montclair State College, New Jersey. She received her B.S. in Education and Ed.M. from Rutgers University, and her doctorate in administration from New York University. A former teacher in the Montreal school system, and Professor of Education and President of Panzer College, she also taught in the New Jersey State Teacher-training Summer Schools and served as executive secretary and consultant for the New Jersey Association for Health, Physical Education, and Recreation.

Widely known for her innovations in teacher education and physical education and for her contributions to professional organizations, Dr. Brown received both the Anderson Award and the Honor Award of the American Association for Health, Physical Education, and Recreation and also the Honor Award of the New Jersey Association for Health, Physical Education, and Recreation. She specialized in teaching the comparative history, principles, and progressive methods of physical education, and she is the author of many professional articles and research studies. Dr. Brown was a delegate to the women's technical committee of the International Federation of Gymnastics at the Olympic Games in Berlin, London, and Helsinki, and also served as judge of gymnastics at the London Games in 1948.

Betty K. Sommer is an assistant professor in the Department of Physical Education at Montclair State College, New Jersey. A specialist in movement education and eurhythmics, she received her diploma from the Hellerau-Laxenburg School for Movement Education, Eurhythmics, and the Dance in Vienna, Austria. She did postgraduate study in languages and anatomy at Prague University, and in movement education, eurhythmics, and the dance in the Laban and Wigman Schools of the Dance, Germany, the Dalcroze Institute, Switzerland, and the Hanya Holm and Humphrey-Weidman Dance Studios, New York.

Formerly, Professor Sommer established in Prague a state-accredited school of movement and rhythmic education for children, adults, and teachers, and she was also assistant professor at Prague University. She was specialist in movement and rhythmic education at Park School, Baltimore, Maryland, at Centenary College for Women, Hackettstown, New Jersey, and at Panzer College of Physical Education and Hygiene, East Orange, New Jersey. A guest teacher at the graduate school of Carnegie Institute of Technology, now the Mellon Institute, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at the Pan-American Summer School for Dalcroze Teachers, National Music Camp, Interlochen, Michigan, and at the Dalcroze Institute, Geneva, Switzerland, Professor Sommer is currently giving many workshops and lecture demonstrations in movement and rhythmic education for children and adults at schools and colleges, and for professional associations.
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Re: Movement Education: Its Evolution and a Modern Approach

Postby admin » Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:19 am

Introductory Note
by Francesco Cordasco [i]
Professor of Education, Montclair State College

In his perceptive essay on the historiography of American education, Professor Lawrence A. Cremin quotes Lloyd Morris who once remarked that great books are either reservoirs or watersheds; they sum up and transmit the past, or initiate the flow of the future. [ii] In many ways, this book fulfills Lloyd Morris' observation. Few people have been more intimately involved with the history of American physical education than Dr. Margaret C. Brown, and few individuals have been more intimately identified internationally with movement and rhythmic education than Professor Betty K. Sommer; together these authors have distilled the wisdom of manifold experiences into the pages of this textbook, and have initiated out of the world of the immediate past the flow of the future. That they should work together is a most felicitous arrangement.

There is no doubt that physical education has had an extraordinary history in the United States and that particular emphases, both developmental and theoretical, have been established at different times. [iii] Movement education has always been an important part of the greater context of the development of physical education both in Europe and in America. However, one must deplore the fact that movement education has not yet received the attention that it deserves in America; nor has movement education assumed in American education the logical place that it merits in the evolution of educational practice.

In answer to what is obviously a critical need, Dr. Brown and Professor Sommer have given us a text which is both an historical and a practical manual. Part I is the best succinct history of natural movement education yet available; and it furnishes the correct historical perspective for Part II, which deals with the basic concepts of natural movement and rhythm and also with the objectives and techniques of teaching a modern approach to movement education. A rich depository of exercises, descriptive and illustrative, completes the work with Part III. The text affords a basic resource for teaching physical and rhythmic education in elementary and secondary schools and in colleges. At this time, it should furnish a critically needed impetus to the practice of American physical education, and contribute to the development of its principles.

If American education is to prove successful in confronting new needs, its major strength will be derived from progressive ideas and approaches like those articulated by Professors Brown and Sommer. It is axiomatic that a social institution like the school must constantly guard against sterility and societal obsolescence. Physical education has always had noble champions, those who have recognized that the concept of the education of the whole man as a unity of body, mind, and spirit is a desirable goal. If physical education moves in the direction that this text indicates, a modernity of purpose and a new resurgence will have been given to an area of crucial educational concern.



[i] Dr. Cordasco, an educational sociologist, is a consultant to the U.S. Office of Education (teacher education) whose recent books include: Education in the Urban Community (New York: American Book Company, 1968); Jacob Riis Revisited: Poverty and the Slum in Another Era (New York: Doubleday, 1968); and Puerto Rican Children in Mainland Schools (New York: Scarecrow Press, 1968).

[ii] Lawrence A. Cremin, The Wonderful World of Ellwood P. Cubberley: An Essay on the Historiography of American Education (New York: Bureau of Publications, Teachers College, Columbia University, 1965). p. 1.

[iii] See generally "Physical Education," in Encyclopedia of Educational Research, 3rd edition (New York: Macmillan, 1960).
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Re: Movement Education: Its Evolution and a Modern Approach

Postby admin » Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:19 am


Movement education as a basic training for all activities of life is presently assuming an increasingly significant function in education. Human movement has been extensively analyzed in relation to body mechanics and muscle function, physiology, the neural mechanism of sensory feedback, and perceptual motor learning. The importance of movement in medicine and therapy and the role of movement in the arts of expression and human behavior have also been reported in numerous publications. However, publications which reconcile the heritage of the past with modern movement education are limited. Also scarce are writings which define and clarify "organic" movement and rhythm and give materials and practical teaching techniques, particularly for adolescents and adults.

The history of physical education reveals that past methods of body training have had a decided influence on modern movement education. Theories and practices of great educational leaders are evident in the current philosophy and methods of teaching natural movement. This text, therefore, traces the evolution of movement education and presents basic concepts and teaching techniques of a modern method.

The method, emphasizing exploration and discovery of sound natural movement, is oriented toward the improvement of movement behavior of children, adolescent girls, and women and toward a feminine quality of movement. However, the basic concepts and principles of human motion discussed in this book and the objectives of this approach to movement education apply equally to the male organism. Naturally, if used for men, the exercises must conform with masculine movement characteristics and with the motivation of the male student.

Because movement is the basic source of expression and function of the whole living organism and because the human body follows natural laws of motion, this method stresses an awareness of the body's movement reactions to internal and external stimuli. This awareness is a major factor for improving movement behavior and rhythm. The primary goals of this approach are enhancement of the student's self-image and the development of sensitivity and creativity through good movement.

For ready reference, the book is divided into three parts: the historical overview, theory and methods of natural movement education, and an exercise manual. The historical review of methods in Part I shows that body training in various periods of Western civilization was influenced by social and political conditions and by educational theory. Natural movement was generally stressed, although at times progress was delayed by artificial forms and practices. It would be impossible to mention all of the personalities who exerted an influence on the evolution of natural movement education. Therefore, the historical overview is limited to the best known pioneer movement theories and approaches to movement education in Europe, England, and the United States.

Part II deals with basic concepts of natural movement and rhythm, and includes teaching techniques and suggestions for exploring, creating, and accompanying movement. Part III contains descriptions and illustrations of a great variety of exercise examples, organized into beginners', intermediate, and advanced work. Most of the suggestions and many of the exercises described in beginners' and intermediate work can be used for children and adults.

This text provides an historical background and a practical manual for teachers and students of physical education, rhythmic activities, teachers in the field of dance, drama, mime, and music in elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, and private studios. It may also be used in teacher education, history of education, and as a reference source in libraries. The book, written primarily for the professional and scholarly reader, can also be easily understood by the layman who is interested in self-improvement through body movement.
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Re: Movement Education: Its Evolution and a Modern Approach

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Personal correspondence and interviews with contemporary authorities in movement and dance education, as well as participation in international workshops and conventions of rhythmic and gymnastic education, have enriched our study of movement education and helped to link our findings with our professional experiences of many years. We are deeply indebted to many distinguished authorities for providing information and clarifying points of view, for reading sections of the manuscript, and for personal interviews and permission to quote. These sources of information appear in the footnotes together with some personal experiences of the authors. For their constructive criticisms and helpful suggestions, we are very grateful to Dr. Katherine Ley and to those physical education authorities who reviewed the manuscript at the request of the publisher.

We also wish to express our appreciation to Ted Shawn, director of Jacob's Pillow dance center, Lee, Massachusetts, for advice and materials about the Delsarte system; to Professor Henrietta Rosenstrauch, internationally known Dalcroze teacher and member of the faculty of Carnegie Institute of Technology, for information about her personal association with Jaques-Dalcroze; to Annemarie Meusser, pupil and associate of Bess M. Mensendieck, M.D., and director of the Mensendieck Central Institute, New York, for her revision of the section on Mensendieck's methods; to Irmgard Bartenieff, Laban authority and director of the Effort-Shape Program at the Dance Notation Bureau, New York, for amplifying information and editing the text on Rudolf Laban's work; to Gerda Alexander of Denmark and Rosalia Chladek, Vienna Academy of Music and the Performing Arts, for permission to include some of their methods in the manuscript; and to Dr. Warren H. Southworth, professor of health science at the University of Wisconsin, for his assistance on technical questions of biology. For his invaluable information about the development of movement education in Germany, we are greatly indebted to Dr. Franz Hilker. As the first president of the Deutscher Gymnastik-Bund and editor of its publication, Gymnastik, Dr. Hilker was closely associated with the development of modern gymnastics from the very beginning.

For the illustrations, we recognize with appreciation the artistic and illuminating drawings of Lynn Thompson Welch, a graduate of Montclair State College and a student of both movement and art. We also express to Dr. Frank Cordasco, professor of education, Montclair State College, our gratitude for his advice on the organization of the book and for other helpful suggestions.

East Orange, New Jersey M.C.B.
April 1969 B.K.S.
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Re: Movement Education: Its Evolution and a Modern Approach

Postby admin » Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:21 am

Part I. Historical Overview

1. Physical Training Through Natural Activities

In uncountable years of environmental changes, the human organism met with innumerable movement experiences and developed specific movement patterns. From the time of primitive life when man lived close to nature up to the time of modern culture, the human body adapted to the needs of each era. Alleviation of living conditions, organization of tasks in group living, specialization of occupation, urban living and technology altered man's functions and specific movement requirements. The hardships of living in primitive life, man's exposure to the elements and the struggle for the means of survival demanded fortitude and skill in natural, useful movements. Man's very existence depended upon the development of strength, speed and skill, and upon the mastery of the simple tools and weapons of the times. As civilization advanced, social and political change, the developmental stage of the arts and sciences, and changing standards of living brought about the need for education and physical education, and different methods of body training evolved.


Skill in natural activities was imperative for living in early Greek civilization, which was established about 776 B.C. [i] These activities were not only the means of survival in both peace and war but they were also used in the traditional gymnastic contests and displays of the religious festivals. Physical training thus became an important part of Greek education and all the Greek states gave careful attention to the training of boys and men in running, jumping, throwing the discus and javelin, boxing and wrestling. [1] [ii] The Greeks named these activities "gymnastics" and they were often performed to the accompaniment of music and song. [2] Other useful activities commonly practiced were the pancration, ball games, archery, riding, hunting and dancing.

Ancient Greece consisted of a number of small, independent city-states which were constantly involved to some degree in warfare. The most prominent city-states were Sparta, a strong military state in the interior of the Peloponnesus, and Athens, a maritime power in Attica. Both Athens and Sparta practiced similar physical activities, but their educational objectives and methods often show marked contrasts. The Spartans stressed constant military preparedness in order to overcome the insecurity of their geographical location, and to maintain sovereignty over conquered people. In Sparta the state was the supreme authority and it prescribed the regulations for the life and training of the citizen-soldier. From the age of seven years to manhood, the youth was trained by hard, often brutal methods to develop strength, courage, cunning, obedience, and patriotism. The Spartans stressed perfection in athletics, vigorous dancing, and skill in handling arms. Even the young women were taught to "wrestle, run, throw the quoit and cast the dart" to gain maximum physical development and so breed healthy children. [3] Women also took part in religious choruses and processionals and they competed in women's games. [4] The Spartans were famous soldiers and athletes at the expense of intellectual and artistic pursuits.

The Athenians were more individualistic and imaginative than the Spartans. Their maritime economy brought them in touch with other cultures and they prized intellectual, artistic and cultural achievements. Education for citizenship in Athens meant "the harmony of mental, physical, aesthetic and moral development." [5] From childhood to manhood, young men were schooled not only in gymnastics, hut also in literature and language, philosophy and religion, music and dance. Patriotism, morality, manners, the health and beauty of the body, and physical perfection were equally stressed. Although education was supervised by the state, Athenian parents were responsible for the schooling of their sons. The Athenian women led secluded lives and no provision was made for their physical training, although some girls of the lesser sort were skillful entertainers as dancers, jugglers, and acrobats. [6]

During the Golden Age of Athens (479-431 B.C.), Athens produced its greatest literature, philosophy, architecture, and art. Its commerce and empire grew and Athens gained wealth and power. It was in these days of glory that a transition from old to new values in Athenian education commenced. The personal discipline demanded for the harmonious development of mind and body and the social discipline required for service to the state began to decline while intellectualism, philosophy, and oratory for personal aggrandizement began to flourish. In the course of time, instead of participating in physical activities, the majority of Athenians became spectators at the performances of highly trained professional athletes. [7]

Prosperity and wealth brought luxurious living and consequently lack of exercise which, in turn, caused illnesses. Physicians from Hippocrates (460- c.367 B.C.) to Galen (130-201 A.D.), as well as philosophers and athletic trainers stressed the importance of diet, exercise and bathing for healthful living. Dietetics and exercise became an important part of hygiene and medicine, and bathing grew in popularity. Luxurious buildings, with hot, cold, and vapor baths, with facilities for exercise and swimming, were erected for the wealthy, while public baths were built for the masses. [8]

Still the internal wars continued, [9] sapping the strength of the little city-states, and their power began to decline. Even in the centuries of decline, however, Greek learning continued. Greek culture spread through the Eastern Mediterranean countries, and the University of Athens became a world center of higher learning. After Greece was conquered by Rome in 146 B.C., Greek culture flowed into Roman civilization, and when the Roman Empire was broken up by the barbarians, the Greek influence remained in the Eastern Empire. When East and West met again in the Renaissance, Greek learning was revived and Greek concepts of education and physical training reappeared. Furthermore, the natural beauty of human motion which was portrayed with such fidelity to nature in Greek sculpture and friezes has had a continuing influence on the dance, gymnastics, and athletics which transcends time.

About the time of Athens' Golden Age, a small Latin tribe settled in Rome and started a new civilization, a civilization which became the foundation of the civilization of the Western world. The Romans were a practical people bent on war and conquest, and their physical activities were directed to the training of the superior soldier. Courage and endurance, skill in arms, patriotism and heroism were stressed in this training. In the simple rural life of the early Roman Republic, the father was responsible for the education of his sons and for teaching them virtue, religion, and citizenship. Children played a wide variety of games, and military exercises began early in youth since each boy was subject to compulsory military service. The Greek idealistic concept of gymnastics as an essential part of cultural education seemed ridiculous to the Romans, [10] although they used practically the same gymnastic activities for the training of their soldiers. The Roman legionnaires, with their superb military discipline and personal bravery, extended the Roman Empire throughout the Mediterranean countries and as far north as the Rhine and the Danube and across the channel to Great Britain.

Rome established the pragmatic foundations of civilization, law and order, government and politics, roads and engineering, military arts, and a common language.
While the practical Romans did not equal the creative achievements of the Greeks in philosophy, art, and science, they did adopt the Greek educational system and thus spread Hellenic thought and learning throughout the Greek-Roman world. [11] The influence of Greek culture is also evident today in ruins of Roman theatres, stadiums, and baths in the Mediterranean countries. As the Romans became prosperous and wealthy, they adopted the more luxurious refinements of Greek life including Greek health exercises. Today, the ruins of the Baths of Caracalla in Rome show hot, warm, and cold baths, sun rooms, rooms for ball exercises and wrestling, and the palaestrae for the practice of gymnastics [12]

In the early years of Roman life, the citizen himself was actively engaged in farming and in the practice of military arts, but as wealth and luxury grew and urban life developed, the prosperous Romans depended on the activities of others for their livelihood, their protection, and their pleasure. Slaves did the work, mercenaries fought in the legions, and professional gladiators entertained the people. The physical and moral deterioration of the Roman nation, its consequent social, political, and economic instability, the rise of Christianity, as well as the invasion of the barbarians, all contributed to the decline of Roman power and to the fall of the Roman Empire.


The centuries from the decline of Rome as a world power about 500 A.D. until the fifteen hundreds are known as the Middle Ages, and in these centuries the Church was the supreme spiritual, political, and educational authority. From the time that Christianity first gained a footing in Rome, it spread steadily, for the Christian message of faith, and hope of a better life in the world to come, drew many adherents, particularly among the oppressed. The appeal of Christianity was moral and emotional rather than intellectual, and to the early Christians, education was of little importance because Christian doctrine prophesied the imminent end of the world. According to the American historian E. J. Power, "there was no Christian school worthy of the name until the fourth century," because "Christian education meant family education" and, though hostile to pagan learning, Christians both attended and taught in Roman classical schools. [13]

Even before Rome was conquered in 493 A.D. by the barbarians, the Christian church had been organized in accordance with the political structure of the Roman Empire. Converts to Christianity were prepared for Christian doctrine in simple catechumenal schools. Monasteries had been founded, monastic schooling for the brothers had been introduced, and cathedral schools had started to prepare clergy and staff for various church services and offices. As the Roman Empire disintegrated under the impact of barbarian invasions, the Roman Christian church assumed power and eventually Christianized the pagan barbarians and spread Christian ethics over the whole Western world. It developed its religious and educational institutions, and many prominent church scholars contributed to the evolution of the Christian doctrine and educational theory. Many monasteries became famous for their promotion of learning and they are known in history for the preservation of ancient and medieval writings. [14]


In contrast to the emphasis on body training in Greece and Rome, the Christian religion stressed morality and the denial of body indulgences. Ascetic discipline was the ideal of Christian life and it was opposed to the Greek belief in bodily exercises for health and the enjoyment of life. As church philosophy developed, church scholars began to seek an intellectual basis for Christian doctrine, and so scholasticism evolved.

Power explains scholasticism as "a means for employing reason in the search for truth." [15] Following the Aristotelian method of deductive logic, truth was reached through a logical analysis of issues and problems which were then reasoned through to a conclusion. Scholasticism increased mental skill; it produced many famous church scholars and it stimulated an intellectual awakening which led to the founding of universities. Yet, as Power states, "medieval educational theory remained within a rather narrow framework of educational thought," education was primarily for clerics, "and its purpose was largely otherworldly." [16]

Thus neither asceticism which disdained the body, nor scholasticism which stressed mental discipline provided fertile soil for body training, and except for court schools where knights were trained, physical training was ignored.


In the constant wars of the Middle Ages, the knight on horseback was the mainstay of the military system, and of necessity a training for knighthood and chivalry, restricted by birth to the upper classes, evolved. Chivalry consisted of a "body of laws and customs related to knighthood," laws which regulated conduct in warfare and instigated a culture of courtesy. The Church fostered the development of chivalry, blending religion with military training. [17] The duties of the knight were the defense of the Holy Church and Christendom, protection of the weak and injured, tempered judgement, humane and honorable behavior, reverence for women, and gallantry. The knight fought in honor of his chosen lady in accordance with the precepts of chivalry, and so exalted womanhood. Although chivalry did not always function in practice, it did have a civilizing influence on the existing brutalities of warfare, and it also set a standard for the manners of the true gentleman and lady. [18]

Practice in the use of lance, sword, and battle axe, perfection of the knightly arts of riding, hunting, and fencing, and engagements in tournaments and jousts prepared the knight for actual warfare. [19] Training in arms was regulated by the code of chivalry, and the knightly arts of riding and tournaments served as activities for recreation as well as war. Chivalry reached a peak at the time of the Crusades against the Saracens, who had overrun the Holy Land, and declined toward the end of the Middle Ages. With the introduction of missiles and gunpowder in warfare, the knight in armor became outdated.
The forms of chivalry continued as social procedures and artificial deportment in court life, and the gestures of courteous behavior became formal and punctilious. Today, some chivalric formalities are still evident in equestrian events and fencing.


With the progress of civilization, medieval scholarship grew and universities were established. The search for new knowledge and truth led to the Renaissance, which began with the discovery of ancient Latin and Greek manuscripts. Power regards the Renaissance as "a renewal of contacts with classical Greece and Rome," "an emphasis on humanness," a "criticism and dissemination" of the contents of old manuscripts, a disregard for medievalism, and a heightened "spirit of individualism." [20] The Renaissance brought about a revival of classical learning and subsequently a movement known as humanism. The search for new knowledge permeated every aspect of civilization, and stimulated exploration and new discoveries in the arts and sciences, in geography, invention, and industry, and in physical education. The Renaissance laid the foundations of modern civilization.

The Renaissance started in Italy in the fourteenth century and gradually spread to other countries. In general, the patrons of humanism in Italy were the aristocracy, wealthy merchants and the bankers who ruled the small north Italian city-states. In North Italy, the time was ripe for an emergence from the sterile rigidity of medievalism, and the rediscovered literature of Rome and Greece stimulated the desire among men for recognition of the intellect and reason, for personal dignity and individual distinction. Rulers of both republic and despotic states vied with one another in attracting scholars, artists, and writers to their courts to promote the new humanistic education. [21]

In contrast to medieval clerical education, the new education for the patrician layman was "based on the study of Greek and Latin, combined with the courtly ideal and some of the physical activities of the old chivalric education." [22] Both Christian morality and Hellenic thought are evident in the humanist ideal of the harmonious development of the whole personality. Italian humanists mention, in both letters and tracts, the value of physical education for military efficiency, for a sound mind in a sound body, for health, relaxation, and recreation. Thus after centuries of indifference and silence, humanism restored the old Athenian concept of the importance of physical education in the education of the whole man.

Humanistic studies were first introduced in the Italian court schools where many noted humanist scholars and courtiers were educated. Vittorino da Feltre (1378-1446), the famous schoolmaster at the court of the Duke of Mantua, was a humanist who believed in the education of the complete personality. According to Woodward, "The aim of Vittorino, the aim of the true humanist educator, was to secure the harmonious development of mind, body, and character," and to prepare young men to "serve God in church and state in whatever position they might be called upon to occupy." [23] Vittorino's humanist approach to education is apparent in his effective and humane methods of teaching, his deep interest in the progress of his pupils, and in his attention to the health, morals, manners, and physical training of each student. He aimed to develop strength and stamina through the physical disciplines of games and bodily activities such as riding, running, leaping, fencing, ball games, and exercises for military skills.

The model for the citizen of the Italian Renaissance city-states was the patriotic Athenian and the noble Roman of antiquity. This ideal the humanists endeavored to reproduce through a harmonious liberal education.
Writing about courtly manners and physical graces, Matteo Palmieri (1406-1478), a humanist and a cultured diplomat, insisted that appearance, manners, and other manifestations of human behavior should be true to nature and reflect inner worth. He asserted that the walk, indeed the whole movement behavior, should be natural and dignified and "reveal orderliness and modesty." The hands, he said, have "a language of their own" and should always be "used with grace conforming to our intentions." [24]

The work of Count Baldassar Castiglione (1478- 1529), Il Cortegiano (The Courtier), embodies the Renaissance views of "the qualifications and perfections of the Italian gentleman living in the court of princes." His writing had a great influence on the education of gentlemen in both Europe and England. According to Castiglione, the courtier must be a master of arms, skillful in languages and conversation; he must possess extensive knowledge of literature and the arts, a personal comeliness, virtue, and distinction. In addition, the courtier must be "a master of all those bodily exercises which belong to a person skilled in arms," an expert in wrestling because it "generally accompanies all engagements on foot," a perfect horseman, and an "expert in tilting." Hunting and other activities which "have some relationship and agreement" with arms and "require much courage and bravery" were advocated.

Castiglione considered it quite suitable for the courtier to "play at tennis where the disposition of the body, the quickness and dexterity of every limb is visible," and to practice vaulting on horseback because it "renders a man more active and pliant and nimble." If the courtier is "well instructed in these exercises," he said, "he need not concern himself with others such as tumbling, rope-dancing and such mountebank tricks which are not so proper for a gentleman." For women, Castiglione advised riding, hunting, dancing, and attendance at games so that they could converse intelligently about them. [25]

Following the model of the court schools, new secondary schools with broader programs of classical studies were established, in both Italy and France, to prepare scholars for the universities. In other European countries, preparatory secondary schools such as the gymnasium in Central Europe were also formed at this time. Many of these latter schools concentrated on Latin and Greek as languages and neglected the import of their content, and the spirit of inquiry which started the revival of learning was quenched in the discipline of drill in ancient languages.  [26] Under these circumstances, physical training was again forgotten.

While the Italian Renaissance brought about cultural changes, in northern countries, social, political, and religious revolutions took place. In the North, the validity of medieval secular authority and the religious practices of the Church were challenged, and this challenge led in 1516 to the Reformation in Germany, Protestant revolts in other European countries, the English Reformation in 1534, and eventually, in the Post-Reformation era, to far-reaching educational reforms.

Early in the Middle Ages, grammar schools for the teaching of Latin and religion had been established in England. After the Reformation, a large number of new grammar schools for secondary education evolved, and eventually the new humanistic studies and Anglican church doctrine took the place of Catholic medieval education. Prominent scholars and educators of the Elizabethan Age stressed the need for training the upper classes for leadership in the national affairs of the Post-Reformation period. In addition to classical studies, they recommended bodily exercises and games for health and military efficiency, as well as for gentlemanly pastimes in peace.

Eventually humanist ideas of physical training materialized in the English grammar schools. Many of these private schools still exist and their traditional programs, games, and sports have spread throughout the world. The first American Latin grammar school, founded in Boston in 1635, followed the English tradition, but the Puritan asceticism of the English colonists was not a favorable climate for physical training in the school program.

The health exercises of the Greeks were rediscovered in the Renaissance when Galen's medical theories of the hygiene of exercise, diet, and bathing were translated from Greek into Latin. Several publications on gymnastics which were based on Galen's work appeared, but the book of an eminent Italian physician, Hieronymus Mercurialis (1530- 1606), was most influential. Boykin states that his De Arte Gymnastica, published in 1569 and in later editions, is a "perfect mine of information relating to ancient gymnastics" and that "his arguments are enforced by facts and testimony of one hundred and twenty-three classical authors." Mercurialis described a great number of exercises, games, and sports, and his exercises for the improvement of physiological functions revived ancient theories of gymnastics for health. [27] He thus established a basis for the present physiology of exercise.


As the influence of the Renaissance continued into the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, old ways of thinking were reexamined and new thoughts about the nature of man and his world appeared in the various philosophies of realism. Just as today we seek the truth about the mysteries of outer space, so did the realists seek the truth about the nature of man, the nature of the world, and the nature of God in religion and in life. The human realists tried to find their answer in the culture of the past, the social realists in the society of the present, and the sense realists in the observation and exploration of the nature of things. It was in these centuries that the foundations of modern science and modern education were laid.


The human realists believed that the study of the culture of Greece and Rome should be related to the tangible realities of contemporary life. A prominent proponent of human realism was Francois Rabelais (c.1483-1553), a French monk, cure, physician and law student. His book dealt with the deeds of his hero Gargantua, and Gargantua's son Pantagruel. In so doing, Rabelais satirized the religious, social, and political life of his times. His chapter on the "old education and the new" reveals clearly his scorn for the old monastic and Latin schooling and gives his ideas for an education in which the study of the past is applied to the things of the present, where theory is combined with practice, learning with doing, mind with body, play with work, and gymnastics with music. His goal was the harmonious development of all the mental and physical capacities of the individual. [28]

Rabelais' ideas for physical training can be gathered from his account of a strenuous day in which Gargantua "did not waste an hour." Gargantua alternated his humanistic studies with the practice of arms and feats of horsemanship. He hunted, swam, and played games. He wrestled, ran, jumped, leaped, and he climbed trees, practiced throwing the dart, the stone, and the javelin. To develop muscular strength, he lifted heavy lead dumbbells and held them aloft for as long as he could. As a physician, Rabelais included in Gargantua's program hygienic practices, and as a cure, he stressed religious devotions. [29] His ideas had a strong influence two centuries later on Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who, in Emile, set down his theories of natural education.


The social realists were primarily concerned with the kind of education which prepared the sons of gentlemen for effective participation in the social, political, and economic affairs of their times. Two social realists, Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) in France and John Locke (1632-1704) in England, are notable for their ideas about the education of gentlemen. Montaigne, like Rabelais, deplored the exclusive pursuit of intellectual achievements and proposed a more useful education for gentlemen's sons, boys who were customarily taught by tutors in the home. Opposing the Renaissance emphasis on book learning and the memorizing of words, he maintained that the goal of education should be the molding of the man of wisdom and virtue whose reason and judgement enable him to participate effectively in the affairs of his social class. [30]

Influenced by Montaigne's work [31], Locke developed theories and methods which represent the first psychological approach to education. In his book Some Thoughts Concerning Education, Locke, who was both a physician and tutor, starts with a "sound mind in a sound body"' and stresses the importance of sleep, diet, play, games, and exercise in the open air for good health. He emphasized a disciplined training in good habit formation and the development of the capacity to reason while children are young and "like white paper or wax" can be "moulded or fashioned as one pleases." [32] He maintained that virtue, wisdom, and breeding [iii] were primary to man's character and that these qualities were learned through personal experience and through the senses. He described in detail the methods which parents and tutors should use in cultivating these faculties. Locke said that "one great part of wisdom is not the product of much reading, but the effect of experience and observation in a man who has lived in the world with his eyes open and conversed with men of all sorts." [33]

Locke deplored the years wasted in learning Latin and Greek and the "Noise and Business it makes to no purpose." He believed that Latin and French were necessary but he advised that "arithmetic, geography, chronology, history and geometry, too" [34] were more practical and useful in the business of life. He stressed the importance of travel in education; his goal was the polished man of the 'world, fluent in languages and seasoned in reason, judgement and virtue.

Opposing the soft way of living, the lack of parental discipline, and unmanly attitudes of boys then prevalent in the lives of the upper classes, both Montaigne and Locke recommended a Spartan-like physical training to habituate the individual to bear bodily hardship
. Montaigne recognized the unity of mind and body and he said that physical training should develop "a sinewy, hardy and vigorous young man." [35] The activities which Montaigne and Locke proposed to gain this end were running, wrestling, riding, and fencing, and both included music and dancing in the total education of gentlemen.


The sense realists stressed the acquisition of knowledge and understanding through the senses, and through personal experience with the material things of the environment. The theory of sense realism was substantiated by Sir Francis Bacon (1551-1626), civil servant and Lord Chancellor of England, when he showed a new way of discovering empirical truth by observation, experimentation, and the pragmatic interpretation of nature. In his book Novum Organum, published in 1620, he set forth the inductive method of reasoning which influenced later scientific thinking and stimulated the evolution of science and education. [36]

The sense realists were the first to organize methods and materials of instruction for educational programs. Although there were sense realists in various countries, the great Bohemian educator Johann Amos Comenius (1592-1670) must be mentioned here because he is known "as the greatest representative of sense realism, both in theory and practice, before the latter part of the eighteenth century," and "one of the commanding figures in the history of education." [37]

Contrary to the old religious concept that man was born evil, Comenius believed that man is inherently good and that education should develop his inborn virtues. He studied the nature of children and their environment and he organized methods and materials which conformed with the child's maturing capacities. He emphasized learning by sense perception and by associating words and thoughts with objects and experiences. Following the order of nature, Comenius introduced the concept of order in education, "order in the management of time, in the arrangement of subject matter and in the methods employed." [38] The methods which Comenius developed were based on the ways of nature, and his goal was the education "of the whole man, body and soul as well as mind" in accordance with the perfections of God.

His thoughts about rearing the infant show the depth of his understanding of the nature of the child. In his book School of Infancy, Comenius gives advice for maternal care, points out the need of diet, sleep, and play for health and strength, and he emphasized teaching and learning through the things which the child ordinarily sees, hears, does, and speaks about. A bishop of the Moravian Church as well as an educator, Comenius stressed the importance of early instruction in morals, virtue, and piety. [39] He organized orderly programs of education for both elementary and secondary schools, introduced modern subject matter and methods, and arranged elementary school methods for the children of the common people, progressive theories and practices which were an innovation in education in the seventeenth century.

Exiled from his homeland in the religious wars of the seventeenth century, Comenius developed his new educational methods in Poland, Sweden, Hungary, and Holland, and his textbooks were translated into many languages. Monroe states that his ideas also influenced the writings of the educational reformers who were to succeed him, particularly "Francke, Rousseau, Basedow, Pestalozzi, Froebel and Herbart." [40]

It can be noticed that the various proposals for physical education in the eras of humanism and realism did not come from physical educators but rather from philosophers, writers and teachers. Whenever they mentioned gymnastics, they meant the natural activities or the health exercises of the Greek tradition, and they were concerned only about physical training for boys and men. These activities, together with the knightly exercises and games, were emphasized in all schemes of education. However, the progressive educational theories of these centuries did not necessarily result in immediate educational reforms. Since periods in history are not sharply defined, new ideas overlap old ones, and cause a lag between theory and practice. Change and reform in education are slow because traditional thinking, entrenched principles, customs, and social conflicts delay progress. The lag between theory and practice may cover many years before the theory, carried on the stream of time, eventually influences the lives of future generations. Therefore, the concept of natural activities in physical training became an established method only in the naturalistic schools of the eighteenth century.


Marked contrasts and conflicts between old and new social and political customs existed in Europe in the eighteenth century. Feudalism had passed but serfdom continued. The supreme authority of the king and the general acceptance of his divine right to rule persisted, although nations had fought for the right to rule themselves. Naturalism was opposed to supernaturalism. Religions enforced their traditional beliefs while scientists were discovering new truths about the nature of man and his environment. In this century, interest in Greece and Rome gave way to thoughts of the nature of man within his own culture, his political rights, and his rights to freedom of expression. In France, the authority of the King and Church was challenged, and new social, political, and educational reforms were propagated.

In 1762, Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), the French social and educational philosopher and romantic writer, presented his revolutionary educational theories in his book Emile. Rejecting the customary treatment of children as miniature adults, and its consequences, artificial education and harsh discipline in the schools, he proposed a new kind of education. Rousseau believed that education should follow the child's natural interests and capacities and that it should aim to develop sense perception and natural reason rather than memory. His stress on reason, hygienic living, play, and games for the development of a sound body and mind shows Locke's influence. [41]

Following the way in which children naturally learn, Rousseau stated that the infant gains sense experience "by looking, feeling, listening" and touching; that through movement he learns the "difference between self and not self," and through movement he discovers the concept of space. As for the child, he wrote, "Let him learn to make all the steps which favor the evolution of his body, and in all his attitudes to take an easy position. Let him learn to make jumps, now long, now high; to climb a tree, to leap a wall. Let him always find his equilibrium and let all his movements and gestures be regulated according to the laws of gravity, long before the science of statics intervenes to explain them to him .... From the manner in which his foot rests on the ground and his body on his leg, he should feel whether the position is good or bad. A secure position is always graceful, and the firmest postures the most elegant." [42]

Rousseau's philosophy of natural education was banned in France but it emerged in the naturalistic and philanthropic schools of Germany. Two of the most famous naturalistic schools were the Philanthropinum, founded by Johann Bernhard Basedow (1723-1790) at Dessau, and the Educational Institute which was established at Schnepfenthal by Christian Gotthilf Salzmann (1744-1811), a teacher at the Dessau school. These educators adapted educational materials to the capacities and interests of children and used natural methods for teaching the arts and sciences, manual work, and physical training. Their gymnastics were mainly modifications of the natural activities of the old Greek pentathlon, games, current recreational activities, excursions, and military drill. Ditches, streams, and trees were used to provide opportunities for leaping, climbing, balancing, and the like. Eventually, these natural obstacles were supplemented by climbing poles, jumping standards, and the balance beam.

A curriculum for natural activities in physical education began to take form when Johann Friedrich Simon, the first special teacher of physical education at the Dessau Philanthropinum, prepared the first syllabus of exercises classified for different age-groups. His successor, Johann Jakob du Toit, amplified it, and Christian Carl Andre, the first teacher at the Schnepfenthal Educational Institute, introduced movements for the improvement of posture which represent the beginning of modern "free exercises." [43] Andre was succeeded by Johann Friedrich Guts Muths (1759-1839), who remained at the Schnepfenthal Educational Institute for fifty years and who is known as the "grandfather of German gymnastics." Two of his books, Gymnastics for the Young and Games, were widely read and his methods spread first through Europe and then reached England and the United States.

Guts Muths objected to the coddling and effeminacy of boys and to the tendency to blame nature for their lack of health and strength. He attributed these conditions to an unnatural way of life which overemphasized the cultivation of the mind to the neglect of the body. He emphasized the need for exercise to develop "hardiness and strength of body, courage, and manliness, combined with the education of the head and heart," and he extolled as a shining example the classic Greek physical education. [44]

While Guts Muths was "aware that a genuine theory of gymnastics should be constructed on physiological principles, and the practice of each exercise be regulated by the physical qualities of each individual," he nevertheless developed his method "from his own teaching experience. [45] He emphasized natural activities for youth and classified his exercises into gymnastics, manual labors, and social games. His gymnastics were of various kinds: leaping, running, throwing, wrestling, climbing, balancing, lifting, and carrying, as well as dancing, walking, military exercises, bathing, and swimming. He even included declamation and exercises to develop sense perception. Trees, ropes, ladders, and simple apparatus provided natural obstacles for a great variety of natural activities, and he arranged specific exercises for particular parts of the body.

The improvement of the lot of the deprived, illiterate lower classes was the basic concern of the great Swiss educational reformer Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi (1746-1827). Deeply influenced by Rousseau's writings, Pestalozzi believed fervently in social justice and in the regeneration of the underprivileged through universal elementary education. The aim of all education and instruction, he said, was "the harmonious development of the powers and faculties of human nature." [46] Pestalozzi based his methods on sense perception and, like Comenius, on the association of words and thoughts with objects and experiences. He was concerned about the development of each pupil and he constantly gave his pupils guidance in social living and morality. Pestalozzi's philosophy of developing the child's unfolding interests and capacities in accordance with the natural and orderly progression of growth and development is a generally accepted truth today.

According to Franz Hilker, a German historian of movement education, Pestalozzi developed two types of gymnastics, "natural gymnastics" and "art gymnastics." The natural gymnastics were activities for the development of the innate capacities of the child. The art gymnastics were a series of exercises of the joints for the improvement of structure, movements of the body and articulations. [47]

Pestalozzi's student Friedrich Froebel (1782- 1852), who became a teacher at the Yverdon Institute, founded the kindergarten. He based his teaching on the concept that there is an inner connection between the mind and things perceived, and between feeling, thought, and soul, and that these three latter factors are evident in all manifestations of life. He refers to the imagination of the child and he explained that education should utilize the interests which the child reveals through his natural activities and that the child should be helped to develop his true self within the image of God. As Froebel expressed it, "Education consists in leading man as a thinking, intelligent being growing into self-consciousness to a pure and unsullied, conscious and free representation of the inner law of Divine Unity and in teaching new ways and methods thereto." [48]

Froebel stressed the importance of the child's play in education. He explained that the child naturally expresses his impulses and that his feeling, thinking, and doing are united in play. The child thus reveals the good as well as the bad features of his true self. He maintained that through play experiences the child can be led to discipline his own actions and subdue the egotistical drives of his nature for the common good. Froebel's concept of the unity of the human being came years before the biological concept of organic unity was expressed, and his progressive ideas became the basis for many subsequent developments in education and physical education.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, Maria Montessori, M.D. (1870-1952), born in Italy, created a method of infant education which, she wrote, was guided by "the natural physiological and psychical development of the child." [49] Recognizing the child's inherent curiosity and biological compulsion for exploration, she provided opportunities for cognitive experiences by creating an environment which conformed to the child's level of maturity. Her school was actually a child's house and garden in which the infant experienced functional living.

To satisfy the infant's primary needs for motor, sensory, and language development, Dr. Montessori invented a number of teaching aids for manipulation and sensory exploration. Similarly, she originated materials and experiences [or the development of language. In her method, movement training evolved naturally through functional activities in personal care, housekeeping, gardening, manual activities, and through simple, natural "gymnastic exercises" for movement and rhythm. [50] Thus Montessori endeavored to bring order and purpose to the child's natural exploratory movements and to provide a social training for functional living in the child's miniature world.

The Montessori method has much in common with modern principles of natural movement education. What Montessori advocated for motor and sensory education is also emphasized in natural movement education. Both methods are based on the idea of adapting teaching to the experiences of the child's level of maturity and both utilize similar procedures and materials.

In the United States, it was the world-famous natural philosopher Dr. John A. Dewey (1859- 1901) who developed Froebel's theories into a modern philosophy of education. Unlike Pestalozzi and Froebel, his ideas were not colored by sentimentality, because in his time scientific knowledge about the nature of the human being and realities of society already existed. Dewey examined philosophy, ethics, aesthetics, science, and psychology in relation to education in modern society.

He recognized that "all conduct is interaction between elements of human nature and the environment, natural and social." [51] Refuting the explanation that special instincts determine human conduct, Dewey maintained that "the whole organism is concerned in every act to some extent and in some fashion," and "the only way of telling what an organic act is like is by the sensed or perceptible changes which it occasions." Some changes "will be intra-organic and they will vary with every act" while "others will be external to the organism." The latter are the most important "for they are consequences in which others are concerned" and they "evoke reactions of favor and disfavor as well as cooperative or resisting activities of a more indirect sort." [52]

In his pedagogic creed, Dewey stated that "the only true education comes through the stimulation of the child's powers by the demands of the social situations in which he finds himself." He regarded the individual as a social being, society "as an organic union of individuals," and education as a two-sided, organically related process, "one psychological and the other sociological." Psychology is the basis of the educational process and "the child's own instincts and powers furnish the material and give the starting point for all education." For Dewey, education was a "process of living," and the school a simplified "form of community life" where children could experience meaningful social living, learn to think and work with others, and develop desirable social and moral attitudes. [53]

Since natural play activities of children are primary organic experiences, rich in opportunities for learning social and moral judgements, Dewey's theories as well as his experience in teaching play, [iv]had a profound effect on physical education. Many leading physical educators who opposed artificial gymnastics in the early years of the twentieth century accepted Dewey's philosophy and began to teach natural activities.

The naturalism and romanticism of the late eighteenth century affected not only social and educational philosophies, but also literature and the arts of expression. Franz Hilker states that the German poets Lessing, Herder, Schiller, and particularly Goethe, had written about fusing nature with art, and that it was Lessing who stressed the need for natural movement in acting on the stage. Hilker points out that Johann Jacob Engel (1741- 1802), writer and dramatic director, pursued Lessing's principles of expressive and harmonious movement and gesture for the mimic, and that Enel's writings were later translated into French. [54] Subsequently, in the second quarter of the nineteenth century, Francois Delsarte (1811-1871) developed in France a system of movements and gestures to enable the mimic, the actor, and the orator to express thought and emotion naturally and effectively. His system, called "Applied Aesthetics," affected the performing' arts, and its great influence on the development of movement education will be explained in Chapter 3.



i. The time of the first ancient Olympic Games.

ii. Superscript numbers refer to the Notes at the end of the chapter.

iii. Locke uses this term in special sense of training'.
iv. Dewey conducted a play program at the University of  Chicago Elementary School.

1. In Olympic contests, the pentathlon usually consisted of running, jumping, discus, javelin, and wrestling. See Thomas Woody, Life and Education in Early Societies (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1949), p. 377.

2. Ibid., pp. 243, 307.

3. Plutarch's Lives of Illustrious Men, John Dryden et al., trans. (New York: John Wurtele Lovell, c. 1883), "Lycurgus," Vol. I, pp. 79-81.

4. Woody, op. cit., pp. 244-248.

5. Ibid., p. 287.

6. Ibid., p. 298.

7. Professional athleticism reached a peak in 331 B.C. See Clarence A. Forbes, Greek Physical Education (New York: The Century Company, 1929), pp. 89-90.

8. Woody, op. cit., pp. 400-402.

9. Thucydides, The History of The Peloponnesian War, ed. in trans. Sir Richard Livingstone (New York: Oxford University Press, 1960).

10. Woody, op. cit., pp. 513-514.

11. Ellwood P. Cubberley. The History of Education (New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1920), pp. 62- 63.

12. Personal study of ruins with a Roman teacher of history; see also Joseph Ripostelli, The Thermae of Caracalla (seventh edition; Rome: Terni, Stabilimenti Poligrafici Alterocca, 1925), pp. 9-56.

13. Edward J. Power, Main Currents in the History of Education (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1962), pp. 191-195. He mentions the influence of Roman and Jewish traditions of family education on the Christian view. p. 153.

14. Charlemagne (768-814) was a great patron of learning, and manuscripts written by monks in his reign were observed by Margaret C. Brown at the Charlemagne Exposition, Aachen, 1965.

15. Power, op. cit., p. 245; for an analysis of Aristotelian logic, see A. Francke, Esquisse d'une Histoire de la Logique (Paris: Librairie Classequede L'Hachette, 1838).

16. Power, op. cit., p. 268.

17. Church militancy was evident in the "order of soldier monks, the Hospitallers, the Templars and the Teutonic Knights." See Fred Eugene Leonard, History of Physical Education (Philadelphia: Lea &: Febiger, 1923), p.43.

18. Sir Edward Strachey, Bart. (ed.), Le Morte Darthur (Sir Thomas Malory's Book of King Arthur and His Noble Knights of the Round Table; London: Macmillan and Company, Limited, 1919), "An Essay on Chivalry", pp. xxxviii-lvi.

19. Cubberley, op. cit., pp. 165-169.

20. Power, op. cit., p. 269.

21. John Addington Symonds, The Revival of Learning (Capricorn edition; New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1960), pp. 18-26, 52.

22. Cubberley, op. cit., p. 267.

23. William H. Woodward, Vittorino da Feltre and Other Humanist Educators (Cambridge: University Press, 1912), pp. 36-37, 65, 245-246. Chronologically, the age of chivalry and medieval Christian education overlapped humanism, resulting in a blending of educational theories. See Power, op. cit., pp. 270-274.

24. William H. Woodward, Studies in Education during the Age of the Renaissance (Cambridge: University Press, 1924), pp. 247-248. Four centuries later, Francois Delsarte developed his art of expression on a similar thought.

25. Count Baldassar Castiglione, Il Cortegiano (a new version of his 1528 book, written in Italian and English by A. P. Castiglione of the same family; London: Printed by W. Bowyer, 1727), pp. 2-5, 37-40. Castiglione set forth his views in a letter to a friend, reporting a dialogue among "persons excellently qualified to determine" the attributes of the courtier. Count Baldassar Castiglione was a pupil of Vittorino da Feltre for eight years. See W. H. Woodward, Vitorino da Feltre and Other Humanist Educators, p. xi.

26. Cubberley, op. cit., pp. 283-284.

27. James C. Boykin, "Physical Training," Report of the Commissioner of Education for 1891-1892 (Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1894), Vol. I, Chapter 13, p. 477; P. C. McIntosh et al., Landmarks in the History of Physical Education (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1965), pp. 70-71.

28. Samuel Putnam (ed.), Rabelais (seventh edition; New York: The Viking Press, 1946), Chapter 3, "The Old Education and the New."

29. Ibid., pp. 124-132.

30. Cubberley, op. cit., pp. 402-403.

31. John Locke, Some Thoughts Concerning Education, (with introduction and notes by the Rev. R. H. Quick, M.A.; Cambridge: At the University Press, 1902). In the "Introduction," Quick gives the succession of thinkers about realism versus verbalism as Rabelais, Montaigne, Locke, (Fenelon?) Rousseau, pp. xlix, 1.

32. Ibid., p. 187.

33. Ibid., p. 74.

34. Ibid., pp. 128, 156. Locke was a great liberal and humane philosopher, yet he believed in class distinction. He wrote that "a Prince, a Nobleman, and an ordinary Gentleman's Son should have Different Ways of Breeding," pp. 186-187.

35. Boykin, op. cit., p. 474.

36. Catherine Drinker Bowen, Francis Bacon (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1963), pp. 8-11.

37. Cubberley, op. cit., p. 408. Although Comenius preceded Locke, they lived in the same century and both advocated learning through personal experiences and the senses.

38. Will S. Monroe, Comenius and The Beginnings of Educational Reform (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1907), p. 90.

39. John Amos Comenius, The School of Infancy, ed. with intro. by Ernest M. Eller (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1956), pp. 19,76-117.

40. Will S. Monroe, op. cit., p. 143.

41. Locke, op. cit., pp. xlix, liii.

42. Rousseau, Jean Jacques, Emile, or Education, trans. by Barbara Foxley (New York: E. P. Dutton &: Co., 1921), p. 31; Rousseau's Emile, or, Treatise on Education, trans. by William H. Payne (New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1909), pp. 100-101.

43. P. C. Mcintosh et al., op. cit., p. 110; Leonard, op. cit., p. 71.

44. Guts Muths, Johann, Gymnastics For Youth (London: J. Johnson, 1800), pp. 48-49, 106-107. A free translation of Guts Muths' book by William Blake, who "took a few liberties" with it and incorrectly attributed it to Salzmann.

45. Ibid., p. viii.

46. A. Pinloche, Pestalozzi (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1901), p. 125.

47. Franz Hilker, Reine Gymnastik (fourth edition; Berlin: Max Hesses Verlag, 1926), p. 27.

48. Friedrich Froebel, The Education of Man, trans. by W. N. Hailmann (New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1897), p. 2.

49. Maria Montessori, Dr. Montessori's Own Handbook (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Robert Bentley, Inc., 1964), p.17.

50. Ibid., pp. 20-29.

51. Reginald D. Archambault (ed.), John Dewey on Education (New York: The Modern Library, Random House, Inc., 1964), p. 67.

52. John Dewey, Human Nature and Conduct (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1922), pp. 150-151. Reprinted by permission of Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc.

53. Archambault, op. cit., pp. 427-432; John Dewey, The School and Society (revised edition; Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1967), pp. 6-29.

54. Hilker, op. cit., pp. 28-29. He mentions that Engel's writings probably influenced Delsarte's work.
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Re: Movement Education: Its Evolution and a Modern Approach

Postby admin » Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:22 am

Part 1 of 2

2. The Development of National Gymnastic Systems


As modern civilization evolved in the nineteenth century, nations reorganized in larger cultural and political units, science and industry developed, and international communication increased. With the rapid growth of industry, the middle class rose to positions of wealth and power, and gained social status and political rights. Since economic security and national progress were closely connected, national leaders propagated devotion to their own countries. Leading Western nations made determined efforts to modernize their economic systems, to promote industrial development, and to improve the life of the masses. The serfs were freed, slavery was abolished, and women began their long campaign for women's rights.

Throughout the century, the fight for freedom from autocratic rule and the struggle for more democratic forms of government continued in Europe. England fought its Civil War (1642-1649) to establish the authority of Parliament over a monarch's "divine right" to rule. The United States established individual freedom and a secular republic in the American Revolution (1775-1783). In France, the first republic was organized after the French Revolution (1789), and after several setbacks a democratic government finally evolved. The modern Swiss Federal Republic was formed in 1802, during the disruptions of the Napoleonic Wars.

The French Revolution, with its credo "liberty, equality, and fraternity," had great impact on the political and social development of other nations in Europe. It brought about revolutionary thinking about the rights of man, it encouraged demands for representation in government, and it inspired conquered ethnic groups living under alien rulers to renew the struggle for their own national identity. Furthermore, as nations succumbed to French military power and Napoleon became master of Europe, the reaction of the conquered people was to liberate themselves from French rule and to develop the necessary national strength to win their freedom. A new kind of gymnastics was founded at this time in order to increase the fortitude, endurance, health, and strength of boys and men.

Nationalism was found in its most striking form in the German states where the power to rule was still the prerogative of absolute monarchs. They promoted social and cultural reforms, economic and scientific developments, scholarship and education, and they patronized the arts, The people's efforts to gain constitutional government were countered by the reactionary policies of monarchs who desired to preserve their own powers and enhance the prestige of their countries.

Since a high degree of illiteracy prevailed throughout Europe, education became a primary necessity for the development and modernization of all nations, and leading states such as Prussia introduced many progressive educational reforms. [1] However, education was still under the jurisdiction of the state, which stressed subordination and loyalty to the current social order, In education for nationalism, physical education played an important role; this is shown in the gymnastics systems which evolved in Denmark, Sweden, Germany, and Czechoslovakia in the past century. Although the beginnings of nationalistic gymnastics were generally based on Guts Muths' natural activities, they eventually became a series of prescribed body positions similar to military drill exercises, which stressed primarily response to command, and discipline.


Gymnastics were introduced into Denmark by the Danish teacher and patriot Franz Nachtegall (1777-1817) at a time of national emergency during the Napoleonic Wars. Guts Muths was then the leading authority on physical education in Europe, and his book Gymnastics For The Young was translated into Danish in 1799. In the same year, Nachtegall opened a private gymnasium and taught the Guts Muths' gymnastics, [2] later adding some German turnen. The need for strong national defense and for patriotic fervor motivated Nachtegall to crusade for a broad national program of gymnastics in Denmark. He received full support from the Crown Prince Frederick, who later became King Frederick VI.

For the next forty years, under Nachtegall's leadership, Denmark was distinguished for its pioneer developments in nationalistic gymnastics. In 1804 it established a Military Gymnastic Institute for training noncommissioned officers as gymnastic instructors, and in 1808 a civil Gymnastic Teachers Institute was added. Physical training was made compulsory for boys in elementary and secondary schools and in teachers' colleges. Nachtegall participated in the preparation of an official manual of gymnastics for elementary schools, and he wrote a manual of gymnastics for secondary school boys. He was appointed professor of gymnastics at the university, state director and supervisor of all military and civilian gymnastics. When women were first admitted to teacher training in 1839, Nachtegall also supervised their program. [3]

Interest in gymnastics declined with the death of King Frederick in 1839, but it revived shortly before the Danish War with Prussia and Austria in 1861. The defeat of the Danes in this war generated an even stronger national spirit and the determination to achieve national strength through military training and gymnastics. Two "institutions of popular origin," the Danish rifle clubs and the folk high schools, fostered a renewed interest in gymnastics.

The rifle clubs, patterned on those of Britain, were founded in 1861 to prepare the people for national defense and to provide training in both shooting and gymnastics. Introduced by a Danish poet, Bishop Nicolai F. S. Grundtvig (1783-1872), Danish folk high schools started in the middle of the nineteenth century and they subsequently spread throughout the whole country. These voluntary schools, partially supported by the state, admitted young people of eighteen to twenty-five years for short courses of three to five months. The purpose of the schools was to develop an understanding of national culture and to prepare men for the responsibilities of the evolving political independence. Much of the popularity of gymnastics in Denmark can be traced to the inspired teaching in these institutions. The Danes make a distinction between gymnastics and "idraet," a Norse word which signifies the efforts of a person to reach a higher spiritual and cultural level. Hansen says that "idraet" "corresponds in English to games, sports and athletics" while "gymnastik" corresponds "to artificial gymnastic exercises." [4]

In the 1880's, through the influence of N. H. Rasmussen, a teacher at the Vallekilde folk high school in Zealand who had studied the system in Stockholm in 1883, Swedish gymnastics were introduced in the folk high schools and in some rifle clubs. A controversy between the supporters of the natural Guts Muths-Nachtegall method and those who promoted the Swedish system grew so bitter that in 1887 the ministry of education appointed a commission to study the problem and arrange an educationally sound system of exercises. This study resulted in the publication of a handbook which generally followed the Swedish system but also included some of the Guts Muths-Nachtegall exercises. In 1905, military gymnastics and school gymnastics were merged in a national program and it was this system of military-school gymnastics which continued until the First World War. Physical training in Danish schools was generally regarded as the teaching of gymnastics, and sports and athletics were practiced and promoted in clubs outside the school curriculum. [5]


Per Henrik Ling (1776-1839), who founded the Swedish system of gymnastics, spent five years in Copenhagen where, in addition to his studies at the university, he attended Nachtegall's private gymnasium. On his return to Sweden in 1804 he taught fencing at the University of Lund, and he started to develop his system of gymnastics. A man of broad culture, Ling was a student of anatomy, physiology, philosophy, and literature; he was also a romanticist with a deep interest in Norse mythology.  [6]

In the seventeenth century Sweden was a power in Europe, but as a result of her war with Russia in 1808-1809 she lost a large part of her territory, including the whole of Finland. The country was in a state of social and political unrest and Swedish national morale was low. Ling sought to inspire the Swedish people with poems, epics, and plays about the virtues of the Scandinavian heroes of mythology, and to strengthen the people's patriotism and national faith. [7] Like Nachtegall he, too, used gymnastics for this purpose.

At first, Ling taught the natural Guts Muths- Nachtegall activities, but later he began to develop his own system of gymnastics. He classified his exercises according to their functions, naming them pedagogical, aesthetic, military, and medical gymnastics. Aiming toward the prevention and correction of physical defects and the improvement of health, Ling's approach to both medical and pedagogical gymnastics was therapeutic. [8] Ling applied physics, anatomy, and physiology to his exercises, and so established kinesiology as a scientific foundation for body training.

With his free-standing exercises, he endeavored to develop posture, health, and discipline, to systematically strengthen the muscles and joints, and to improve body mechanics. Apparatus were used only where they were thought to be beneficial for specific physiological results. The exercises were executed in response to command, and exact positions were assumed and held until another position was ordered. Ling's goal was the harmonious development of the physical, mental, and moral qualities of the individual.

Ling had planned to include natural activities, games and sports through "idrott," [ii] a term which refers to these activities within the framework of Nordic idealism and culture. However, Ling's son, Hjalmer, and Ling's followers, when developing his work after his death, concentrated on his system of gymnastics and made it more militaristic, mechanistic, and dull. [9] Hjalmer Ling also organized the "Swedish day's order," with its ten groupings and meticulous progressions. [10] This system was taught in both military establishments and schools, although it was meaningless for children. It was effective therapeutically, but it failed to meet the child's biological needs [or movement, play, and expression and it did not differentiate between the capacities and interests of boys and girls.

While some of the principles of Ling gymnastics may be less valid today in the light of additional scientific knowledge, his kinesiological foundation for gymnastics represents the beginning of the application of physical laws to body mechanics. Many countries adopted the Ling system for educational and military purposes, and Bruno Saurbier, the German historian of physical education, maintains that it is actually the basis of every modern gymnastic system. [11]


Prussia, an aggressive nation with strong military traditions, was by 1800 the most powerful and influential state in Germany. Her defeat by Napoleon at Jena in 1806 brought about a great wave of patriotism which resulted in social reforms, new ideologies in philosophy, the arts, and education, and in the gymnastics of Friedrich Ludwig Jahn (1778-1852).

Jahn was both a naturalist and nationalist who lived a free, independent life close to the German people. He loved Germany, its language, and literature and he devoted his life to the struggle for social justice and for a free, united Germany. Through political activities, speeches, publications, and teaching, he pursued his patriotic endeavors to propagate his cause. As a Prussian school teacher, he taught gymnastics to prepare his pupils physically and patriotically for a war of liberation, and in 1811 he invited outsiders to practice gymnastics on an exercise field or "turnplatz" in the Hasenheide, a forest near Berlin. The turnplatz later evolved into the turnhalle and the turnverein became a strong organization in German culture. The motto "frisch, frei, frohlich, fromm" was the objective of the turnverein gymnast. [iii]

Jahn was familiar with Guts Muths' work and his gymnastics were initially contests in natural activities and rough games to develop hardiness, and to prepare youth for the war of freedom. Patriotism was fostered by songs and hikes through the German countryside and by the appreciation of German folklore. Encouraged by King Frederick William Ill, the turnverein idea of fitness, patriotism, and brotherhood in the cause of freedom grew and spread throughout Germany. Prussia won its freedom after Napoleon's defeat at Leipzig in 1813. However, progress toward individual freedom was blocked by the reactionary policies of the Metternich Era, and Jahn's dream of a united Germany materialized only in 1870, when the German Empire was established.

The liberal ideas and political activities of the German gymnasts were opposed to those of the autocratic rulers of Prussia, and Jahn was arrested in 1819; his teaching career was ended, and the turnvereins were closed. They were reopened after King Frederick William IV succeeded to the throne in 1840. Jahn's successors, conforming to the autocratic social order, made gymnastics more artificial, militaristic, and mechanical.

In his own time Friedrich Jahn was seen by both supporters and opponents as a liberal figure. He advocated that the German states should unite after the withdrawal of Napoleon's occupying armies, and establish a democratic constitution (under the Hohenzollern monarchy), which would include the right to free speech. As a German nationalist, Jahn advocated maintaining German language and culture against foreign influence. In 1810 he wrote, "Poles, French, priests, aristocrats and Jews are Germany's misfortune."[4] At the time Jahn wrote this, the German states were occupied by foreign armies under the leadership of Napoleon. Also, Jahn was "the guiding spirit" of the fanatic book burning episode carried out by revolutionary students at the Wartburg festival in 1817.[5]

Students marching towards the Wartburg, of which Sand was one.

Sand was among the nationalist students who gathered at the 1817 Wartburg festival, in which Kotzebue's History of the German Empires was one of the books ceremoniously burned.

-- Karl Ludwig Sand, by Wikipedia

Jahn gained infamy in English-speaking countries through the publication of Peter Viereck's Metapolitics: The Roots of the Nazi Mind (1941).[6] Viereck claimed Jahn as the spiritual founder of Nazism, who inspired the early German romantics with anti-Semitic and authoritarian doctrines, and then influenced Wagner and finally the Nazis....

Scholarly focus on the völkischness of Jahn's thought started in the 1920s with a new generation of Jahn interpreters like Edmund Neuendorff and Karl Müller. Neuendorff explicitly linked Jahn with National Socialism.[8] The equation by the National Socialists of Jahn's ideas with their world view was more or less complete by the mid-1930s.[9] Alfred Baeumler, an educational philosopher and university lecturer who attempted to provide theoretical support for Nazi ideology (through the interpretation of Nietzsche among others) wrote a monograph on Jahn[10] in which he characterises Jahn's invention of gymnastics as an explicitly political project, designed to create the ultimate völkisch citizen by educating his body.[11]

-- Friedrich Ludwig Jahn, by Wikipedia

In 1842 physical training was made compulsory in the Prussian schools, but it was not until 1848 that the famous turner Adolf Spiess (1810-1858) laid the foundation for German school gymnastics. Suspected of political activities in Germany, Spiess fled in 1833 to Switzerland where he taught physical training and began to develop his "free exercises." When political conditions became more lenient, he returned to Germany, and in 1848 he was engaged to develop a school program for the Duchy of Hesse. Spiess sifted and classified the many gymnastic activities which had accumulated in the course of time and he graded them for school programs for both boys and girls. His system of free exercises and apparatus work and his carefully worked out progressions were planned [or disciplined mass work. He introduced marching, dancing, and musical accompaniment for gymnastics. [12] That Spiess gymnastics were adapted to the authoritarianism of the social order is evident in some of his objectives, e.g. "submission, obedience, training of the memory, quick and accurate response to command," and "a thorough development of all parts of the body .... " [13] The "German's day's order" which he arranged was adopted by other German states and the prescribed formal movements of Spiess' gymnastics continued with little change into the twentieth century.

Jahn is revered as the "father" of German gymnastics and Spiess as the "founder" of school gymnastics. Wherever Germans settled, they continued their traditional gymnastics, and German gymnastics became the basis of most systems of calisthenics and apparatus work. In subsequent years, they were adopted by various subjugated ethnic groups, e.g., the Czechs and Poles, who used them to prepare themselves for their own struggles for freedom. German gymnastics are also the basis for the "artistic gymnastics" which have become a popular international competitive sport.


Tile philosophy of physical education and the gymnastic programs of Czechoslovakia are deeply rooted in nationalism. The Czechs are a Slavic people who settled in Bohemia about the sixth century. A small nation of old, historic, and cultural background, it retained its independence until the seventeenth century, when it was overpowered by its neighboring German-speaking nations and came under Austria's rule. In the nineteenth century, the liberal thinking in Europe had repercussions among the Czechs. These brought about a stirring of national consciousness, and the Czechs began their own struggle to restore their ethnic identity and to gain social and political rights. Only in the 1860's, though still under the firm control of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, did the Czechs receive some freedom by being granted representation in local and national government. [14]

Much of this revival of national consciousness was due to the Sokol organization, an organization founded in Prague in 1862 by Dr. Miroslav Tyrs (1832-1884), a young doctor of philosophy who taught history of art at the University of Prague. Dr. Tyrs was an active gymnast who genuinely admired the culture of the ancient Greeks, and in particular their use of gymnastics for developing the physical capacities, moral character, and patriotism of young people. He was acquainted with the educational methods of Comenius and Pestalozzi and also with Jahn's work in Germany. An inspired patriot and missionary, Tyrs devoted his life to the regeneration of the national spirit and freedom of the Czech people. In his teaching, writing, and lecturing, he endeavored to convince them that they could attain their freedom by developing their physical and moral powers and by a disciplined devotion to their country. The fate of a nation, he said, "was not decided on the battlefield, but was sealed before the fight," and not one nation had "died in its full vigor and soundness .... " [15]

On February 16, 1862, Dr. Tyrs, Dr. Jindrich Fugner, and a group of Czech patriots founded the first Sokol organization and prepared a constitution. The word "Sokol," meaning "falcon," was a symbol of alertness and intrepidness in the songs and legends of the Slavonic people. The falcon flies high and strongly in the freedom of the skies, and it symbolized the Sokol ideal. [16] Tyrs rearranged German gymnastics and other materials according to his own idea of methodical procedure, [17] and organized a system of Sokol gymnastics for the development of strength and stamina, skill, agility, courage, perseverance, precision, and discipline.

The Sokol program, however, was not limited to the development of physical qualities and a Spartan capacity for endurance. As Tyrs stated, "Sokol work does not mean to attain physical perfection only, but it means both physical and moral elevation of every man and every woman." [18] The goal of the Sokol program was the development of a physically, mentally, and emotionally balanced personality with a strong feeling for social relationships. Over all was the brotherhood of the members of the organization united in a common purpose-the achievement and preservation of freedom.

The Sokol ideal took root, not only in Bohemia, but also in neighboring Moravia and Slovakia. Local societies were established, club houses were built by volunteers, classes for boys and men started, and, later, Tyrs organized a separate division for training women teachers. Czechoslovakia was one of the first countries to make gymnastics for women more feminine. The Sokol program was eventually adopted in both schools and military establishments of Czechoslovakia.

In subsequent years, the Sokol organization expanded into a powerful national movement, and it spread to other Slavic countries. In celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the founding of the Sokol organization, the first "Slet" Festival was held in 1882. The word "Slet," meaning the "homecoming of the birds," is symbolic of the gathering of the Sokols. The Slet was a national holiday, and an international festival for all Sokols, including those from other Slavic nations and from foreign countries wherever Czechoslovakians had emigrated.

After some initial irregularity, a Slet was held every six years with the exception of the years of the First World War. The program of these festivals included competitions in all kinds of sports as well as cultural events. In the main events, large groups of men, women, boys, and girls competed in calisthenics, gymnastics on apparatus, in track and field, all activities emphasizing team work and national fitness. The whole enterprise was carried out with great patriotic emotion and national fervor.

After three hundred years under Austrian rule, the Czechs finally attained independence in October 1918 when the Republic of Czechoslovakia was proclaimed. Its boundaries were confirmed in the postwar treaties, and the great patriotic leader Thomas Masaryk was its president until his death in 1937. After the new nation was formed, the Sokol organization and the Slet Festivals continued with mounting effort to weld together the various segments of the Republic. The 1938 Festival was an historical occasion for it celebrated both the tenth Slet and the twentieth anniversary of the founding of the Republic, and it took place at a time when Hitler's Germany menaced Czechoslovakia's national independence. A festival for adolescents preceded the adult presentations of mass gymnastic drills in the Masaryk Stadium, in which thousands of men, women, and children participated. National feeling was intense. [19]

The tragedy of this little central European nation was that, without allies, it was unable to use the resources and national spirit which it had created through the Sokol. Submitting to Hitler's demands, the Munich Agreement of September 1938 gave to Germany certain areas of Czechoslovakia, the so-called Sudetenland where German-speaking people were in the majority, and on March 15, 1939, the Germans occupied the whole of Czechoslavakia. The Germans dissolved the Sokol organization, and thousands of Sokol officers and instructors were sent to concentration and slave labor camps. After the Second World War (1939-1945), the Sokol organization was revived, but it faced new difficulties when the Communists assumed power in February 1948. At first, the Sokols continued their progress and a great Slet was staged in June and July, 1948; on this occasion, anti-Communist demonstrations occurred. In retaliation, the Communist regime imprisoned thousands of Sokol leaders and expelled others, replacing them with Communists who took over the ownership and management of Sokol properties and programs. [20] However, the gymnastics so firmly established in the Republic continued, and impressive gymnastic festivals for large groups of children and adults are still held under a new name, the "Spartakiada." The former Sokol Slets of the Republic are now held only outside Czechoslovakia. [iv]


The French people were not receptive to the regimentation which was evident in the nationalistic gymnastics of Scandinavia and Central Europe in the nineteenth century. This nationalistic approach did not generally appeal to French individualism, yet the need of some physical training for national strength was recognized. Three schools of thought prevailed in France: the group which favored German gymnastics, the supporters of the Swedish system, and those who sought to discover the laws of movement and to create a national system that "would emphasize self-expression by harmonious movements, grace and utility." [21] The French did not organize a national system of gymnastics; however, the ideas and methods of some prominent French leaders strongly influenced the development of natural movement in gymnastics.

Don Francisco Amaros (1789-1848) was the first master of gymnastics in France. He was a Spanish officer who taught gymnastics in Spanish military establishments, and later continued the same work in France. A contemporary of Jahn and Ling, he followed largely the methods of Jahn, but he was also influenced by the teachings of Pestalozzi, whom he ardently admired. Amaros believed that high moral values and patriotism could be cultivated through gymnastics, and he emphasized in his teaching a strict subordination to the established social order. Rhythm and music, he said, should be united with gymnastics, because rhythm helped to maintain self-control and music elevated the spirit, particularly when it expressed noble sentiments. He stated that gymnastics tended to make man courageous, speedy, stronger, more supple and agile. The Amaros gymnastic system included exercises with and without apparatus, natural activities, movements of flexion and rotation, and exercises for balance and strength. Amaros considered apparatus as obstacles to be overcome and therefore valuable in preparing the individual to meet the obstacles of life. Much of his apparatus was German in origin; other apparatus which he used, he invented.

Although Amaros was inspired by the Rousseau- Pestalozzi philosophy of naturalism, he was a soldier and his contribution was mainly to military gymnastics. His methods did not appeal to educators, however, as they did not meet the child's needs for spontaneous movement. Yet the Amaros methods remained the basic gymnastic program in French military institutes and gymnastic societies, and the Amaros tradition persists in some measure in France even today. [22]

After the disastrous Franco-Prussian War in 1870, the army training school at Joinville officially adopted Swedish gymnastics, and Dr. Philip Tissie established a training school for the Swedish system at Bordeaux. About 1880, athletics and English sports were introduced into France by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, and, mainly through his efforts, the first Olympic Games of the modern era were held at Athens in 1896. Attempts to establish a more natural system of gymnastics continued, and toward the end of the nineteenth century a new approach was introduced by Georges Demeny.

Georges Demeny (1850-1917) is considered the founder of modern French gymnastics. He studied movement under Professor Etienne Jules Marey (1830-1904), at the Sorbonne in 1882, and later he became a professor of applied physiology at the higher normal school of physical education at Joinville. ''''hen a course in higher gymnastic studies was introduced at the Sorbonne at the request of the French Union of Gymnastics Societies, he became its director. Through observation and experiment, photography, and eventually motion pictures, he studied the range of motions of both animals and humans. Demeny's laboratory work, his personal experience in gymnastics, and his studies of the physical training of ancient Greece were the basis of his approach to natural movement in gymnastics.

Demeny believed that movement was a manifestation of life and that the stimulation to movement could be either external or internal, mental or emotional. In particular, his study of the motion of animals and birds convinced him that movement was not stiff or angular, but round; it was not jerky, but rather continuous, flowing out from the body in all directions and planes in conical or spiral form or in figures of eight. [23]

Demeny considered the Swedish approach to movement both unnatural and artificial. He opposed the method of body training which began an extension with a static contraction while the rest of the body remained in a fixed position. He claimed that the whole body is ready for movement, that the joints are ready to act without preliminary immobilization of parts of the body, that movement should be dynamic, and that the whole body should take part. Demeny was one of the first to affirm what is generally accepted today, that the speed of movement is in inverse ratio to the mass to be moved. Thus the larger the movement, the slower the speed, and the smaller the movement, the faster the speed. He maintained that the whole body and each of its parts have a rhythm of their own and that this rhythm is evident in our gestures, movements, sports, and games. Musical sounds, he said, were essential to the rhythm and beauty of movement, and gymnastics should lead to the dance. [24]

Another progressive development in movement education occurred in France when Georges de Vaisseau Hebert, a lieutenant in charge of the physical training of the marines, demonstrated his successful method of natural gymnastics in 1906. Hebert had travelled widely and had observed the movements of primitive people and of different races. Like Demeny, he had studied the movements of animals, and he was well acquainted with the various systems of gymnastics. His method of body training represented a continuation of the natural philosophy of Rousseau, Basedow, and Pestalozzi.

Hebert did not analyze movement, since for him movement was natural and spontaneous. He developed exercises which had functional purposes in either military or civilian life, and he based his exercises on the walk, the run, the jump, the climb, the crawl, the balance, lift and carry, the throw, natural defense and swimming. His purpose was to improve bodily efficiency and to cultivate a sense of the joy of life; he maintained that it was not necessary to go back to antiquity for a precedent when natural methods were available. Hebert was not concerned with the mechanics of execution nor with the effect of exercise on the body, but he endeavored to secure practical results through spontaneous movements. His natural methods were accepted by modern educators in France and his influence on French gymnastics continues today. [25]


The political freedom which existed in England and the United States was not conducive to tightly organized systems of nationalistic gymnastics. Both countries were protected from aggressive neighbors by their geographical positions and powerful navies, and thus their programs of physical training were not developed for military purposes but rather evolved according to their own particular cultural needs.


The great development of games and sports, which are such an intrinsic part of English life, began in the nineteenth century. Dr. Edward Mussey Hartwell, America's distinguished scholar and professional leader at the turn of the century, wrote that both "medieval and British types of physical training resemble the Grecian in being natural growths, which smack of their native soil, rather than manufactured productions .... " [26] Class distinctions were pronounced in England, and the sons of the upper classes were educated in the great public schools [v] and universities, where the social and moral discipline of games was emphasized in the education of gentlemen. Opportunities for the education of the lower classes were provided by local authorities in religious, voluntary, and charitable schools which, at that time, made little or no provisions for physical training. Education was voluntary but the Education Act of 1870 required local boards of education to establish elementary board schools wherever voluntary schools did not exist, and subsequent acts extended educational opportunities for the masses.

The growth of industry early in the nineteenth century brought numbers of people from the country to the city. Serious health problems became evident, and efforts were made to introduce gymnastics in the public schools and in military and naval services. In 1822, Phokion Clias, a Swiss army captain who had developed a system of gymnastics based on the work of Guts Muths and Jahn, was engaged to tcach in military establishments and in the Charterhouse School. He left shortly after, and in 1861 Archibald Maclaren (1820-1884), a Scot, was secured to train Army instructors at his Oxford gymnasium. Maclaren had developed a thorough system of physical training, which, he said, "aims at providing a progressive course of bodily training to every healthy frame at any period between childhood and adult life." [27] He trained physical training instructors for the army, but the Maclaren system did not hold up in public school education. Here, gymnastics could not compete with the popular games and sports which the pupils themselves conducted. [28]

From 1838 on, various graduates of the Central Institute of Gymnastics in Stockholm came to England and established private institutions for Swedish medical and educational gymnastics. Madame Martina Bergman Osterberg, a dedicated proponent of Swedish gymnastics, was engaged by the London School Board in 1881 to train teachers and to supervise gymnastics in the Board schools. She opened her own teacher training college for women at Hampstead in 1885 and then moved to Dartford in 1895. Her example of high cultural and professional standards for women teachers was subsequently followed by other teacher training colleges, such as Chelsea, Bedford, and Liverpool.

Teaching has long been socially accepted as an occupation for women, and P. C. McIntosh notes that the new teacher training colleges attracted many able women from the middle class. It was largely due to their high professional standards and progressive work that Swedish gymnastics were adopted for elementary school children and secondary school girls. To promote the teaching of the Ling system, a number of graduates of Madame Osterberg's college founded the Ling Association of Teachers of Physical Training in 1899, and in 1908 this organization published its first professional magazine, The Journal of Scientific Physical Training. [29] The Ling Association expanded its membership and professional activities and continued until 1956, when it was incorporated in the current Physical Education Association of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. [30]

At the turn of the twentieth century, Swedish gymnastics were officially adopted in the British army and navy, and the English School Board published "A Syllabus of Physical Exercises For Use in Public Elementary Schools." This syllabus, first issued in 1904 and reprinted with slight alterations in 1905, "vas revised and expanded in 1909, 1919, and 1933. The 1904 syllabus was "based broadly on the Swedish system of physical exercises, which had been widely adopted on the Continent as well as in the British Navy and Army." [31] Each subsequent revision reveals an increasing trend to natural movement in free style gymnastics and a diminishing emphasis on stereotyped positions. [vi]
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Re: Movement Education: Its Evolution and a Modern Approach

Postby admin » Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:22 am

Part 2 of 2


The people who left the Old World to settle in the undeveloped New World met with a hitherto unknown freedom of enterprise, and they created a new way of life through individual resourcefulness, perseverance, and hard physical work. In the pioneer life of the American frontier, neither culture nor gymnastics were of immediate importance. Although the various ethnic groups continued the recreational customs of their homelands, physical education did not become a public concern for a long time. The English aristocracy who settled in the South engaged in traditional chivalric activities such as riding, hunting, swordsmanship, and dancing. In the North, however, Puritan asceticism, which denied enjoyable bodily activities, hampered the progress of physical education.

After the American Revolution (1775-1783) and the formation of the new nation, concern for national security led to the introduction of military training at West Point and, later, in other military academies. However, military gymnastics had little effect on public school programs. In general, as Hartwell pointed out, gymnastic methods in the United States paralleled developments in Europe. [32] Although some Americans developed gymnastic systems of their own in the nineteenth century, on the whole, gymnastics were brought to the United States by European emigrants from Germany, Switzerland, the Scandinavian and Slavic countries, by foreign specialists, or by Americans who had studied abroad.

In the 1820's, Jahn gymnastics were first taught in the Round Hill School, Northampton, Harvard College, and the Boston Gymnasium by three political refugees from Germany who were associates of Jahn: Charles Beck (1798-1866), Charles Follen (1796-1840), and Francis Lieber (1800-1872). [33] However, Jahn gymnastics were not particularly successful at that time because German national and patriotic philosophy was foreign to American thinking.

It is of historical significance that school gymnastics for girls and women also started in the 1820's. Recent research by Barbara J. Hoepner, University of California, Berkeley, reveals that in 1822 Catharine E. Beecher (1800-1878), a member of a prominent American family, opened a select school for young women in Hartford, Connecticut. In 1827 the school became the Hartford Female Seminary, and in the spring of the same year a course in calisthenics was introduced and taught by an English lady. [34] The exercises which were probably used at the seminary were compiled in 1831 in a publication entitled A Course of Calisthenics for Young Women. [35] It was not until 1856 that Catharine Beecher published her system of gymnastics in her book Physiology and Calisthenics. By this time, Beecher had become acquainted with Swedish gymnastics and her health had benefited from Ling's medical gymnastics.

These exercises had been recommended to Miss Beecher by Elizabeth Blackwell, M.D., who had learned them from Augustus Georgii [vii] in England and had used them successfully for the improvement of her own health. The Swedish influence is evident in Catharine Beecher's system of calisthenics for girls and women. "This system," she wrote, "is arranged on scientific principles, with the design of exercising all the muscles and of exercising them equally and harmoniously. It embraces most of what is to be found in the French and English works that exhibit the system of Ling .... " Beecher's exercises were "simple movements to he accompanied by music" and they were "designed to strengthen every part of the body and to promote health, gracefulness and beauty." [36]

Few notable changes occurred in gymnastics from 1830 to 1860, yet the need for physical training was recognized in both private and professional circles. Manuals of exercise were published, personal methods of strength exercises were demonstrated, and some school systems introduced various methods of calisthenics. After the failure of the liberal riots in Germany in 1848, thousands of Germans immigrated into the United States, and German gymnastics reappeared. Settling down with their own language and cultural communities, the Germans established turnvereins and continued their turner customs. In 1850, the turners organized a national Turnerbund, and in 1866 they established training courses for turnverein teachers. Turnen did not have much influence in the United States at first, but in the 1880's, German gymnastics gained great popularity and they were introduced in public schools, especially in those cities where the German influence dominated. [37]

Gymnastics grew in importance during the years of the Civil War (1861-1865), after Dr. Diocletian (Dio) Lewis demonstrated in 1860 his system of "new gymnastics" at the thirty-first meeting of the American Institute of Instruction in Boston. [38] A teacher, lecturer on physiology and hygiene, student of medicine and physiotherapy, practitioner of homeopathy, and a crusader for temperance, Dr. Lewis developed a system of exercises for the improvement of the health of the weak as well as that of the strong. [39] "Constantly and painfully impressed" with "the feeble vitality of the thousands" with whom he came in contact, Lewis organized a system of light exercises with simple hand apparatus designed to develop strength of muscle, flexibility, agility and grace. He used music to accompany "marches, free movements, dumbbells, wands, rings, and mutual-help exercises," and he arranged exercises which were particularly suitable for girls and women. [40]

In 1861, Dr. Lewis founded in Boston the Normal Institute of Physical Education for the training of teachers in his method, and Catharine Beecher taught there for a short time. Although the Institute closed about seven years later, the Lewis gymnastics were widely used and even introduced in England, Canada, and other English-speaking countries.  [41] Racks of light apparatus installed in school gymnasiums until the First World War give evidence that his gymnastics were taught in some schools. Some of Lewis' claims for the value of his exercises were farfetched, but he used freer movements and a less rigid approach to body training.

During the Civil War, military training was emphasized in private schools, military academies, and the new land-grant colleges, but attempts to make it compulsory in the schools were unsuccessful. At the same time, physical deficiencies revealed in the Civil War brought about increased agitation for physical training, and a number of new approaches to gymnastics evolved in the 1880's.

Dr. Dudley A. Sargent (1849-1924), who became director of the Hemenway Gymnasium at Harvard in 1879, developed a system of exercises based on anthropometric tests and measurements which had been introduced by Dr. Edward Hitchcock at Amherst College in 1861. An ideal of the perfectly proportioned average man was established and each student was given a physical examination, including a series of body measurements. Exercises to promote symmetrical muscular development were prescribed for each individual and his progress was measured. Sargent invented over sixty gymnastic machines for the development of specific muscle groups. His individualized method for body development proved more appropriate for men in colleges, Young Men's Christian Associations, and clubs than for public schools, and it was not suitable at all for girls and women. Dr. Hartwell noted, "In many respects the Sargent developing gymnastics resemble the system of 'mechanical-medical gymnastics' devised by Dr. Zander, of Stockholm, in the early seventies." [42]

The Delsarte system of expression appeared in America in 1871 when the actor Steele MacKaye, a pupil of Francois Delsarte, started to teach Delsarte's expressive movements and gestures as well as his own "harmonic exercises." On the basis of these exercises, many of MacKaye's pupils created personal systems of "Americanized Delsarte Gymnastics" for physical culture. [43] Strange misinterpretations and exaggerations of Delsarte's principles of movement caused considerable bewilderment in professional circles. Nevertheless, Delsarte's ideas of natural and expressive movement continued, and they caused a loosening of the mechanical artificial gymnastics. In the 1890's, MacKaye's pupil Genevieve Stebbins developed a system of "aesthetic gymnastics" for women which influenced considerably the development of modern movement education in Europe, although it was not of lasting effect in America.

Concurrent with these developments, Swedish gymnastics, which had been known in the United States for many years, were introduced into school programs. Through the pioneer work of Hartvig Nissen (1855-1924), Baron Nils Posse (1862-1895), and Miss Amy Homans (1849-1933), Swedish gymnastics achieved professional recognition in the United States. Hartvig Nissen, a Norwegian who came to 'Washington in 1883, opened a Swedish Health Institute for medical gymnastics and massage, and his corrective exercises found ready acceptance in the United States. He also introduced gymnastics in the Franklin School, Washington, and at Johns Hopkins University.

It was mainly through the highly respected leadership of Miss Amy Homans and the graduates of the Boston Normal School of Gymnastics that the Swedish system was adopted by American schools and colleges. The first director of the Boston School, founded in 1889, was Baron Nils Posse, a graduate of the Royal Central Institute of Gymnastics, Stockholm, and an authority on Swedish gymnastics. He left the Boston School after a year to open his private gymnasium, which became the Posse School of Physical Education in Boston. [44] Through his writings, lectures, demonstrations, and teaching, Posse relentlessly promoted Ling gymnastics until his untimely death in 1895. Since both Swedish medical and educational gymnastics had a scientific foundation in kinesiology, they were accepted with some confidence in the United States, and particularly for public school programs of the East, as the exercises were simple, well suited for mass work, and inexpensive.

When gymnastics were introduced in the schools, the demand for teachers increased, and a number of private teacher training schools for physical education were founded. These normal schools were the main source of teachers from the 1880's until the 1920's, when teacher training in physical education became a major curriculum in state normal schools, colleges, and universities. [45]

The exponents of the various systems of gymnastics in America, as in Europe, battled bitterly over the merits of their particular methods. In 1889, a "Conference in the Interest of Physical Education" was held in Boston in order to clarify the situation. American points of view were given by Dr. Dudley A. Sargent, director of the Sargent School of Physical Education and the Hemenway Gymnasium, Harvard University, and by Dr. William G. Anderson, director of the Brooklyn Normal School of Physical Education and the Yale University Gymnasium, and Charles Wesley Emerson, head of the Emerson College of Oratory.

Dr. Sargent stated, "What America most needs is the happy combination which the European nations are trying to effect: the strength-giving qualities of the German gymnasium, the active and energetic properties of the Eng-lish sports, the grace and suppleness acquired from French calisthenics, and the beautiful poise and mechanical precision of the Swedish free movements, all regulated, systematized, and adapted to our peculiar needs and institutions." [46] Dr. William G. Anderson voiced his opinion that the system of gymnastics for schools "must be an eclectic one. It must embrace the best ideas of all known methods. The unmodified Swedish and German systems are not so attractive to Americans as the same arrangements changed to suit our likes and dislikes." [47] Charles Wesley Emerson, speaking- about the system of physical culture of the Emerson College of Oratory emphasized the physiological value of his exercises for the improvement of bodily functions and, consequently, for good health. [48] Illustrations of exercises in his book Physical Culture show the influence of both Greek and Delsarte traditions. [49]

As a result of these developments, gymnastics in the United States at the beginning of the twentieth century were generally systematized exercises based on anatomy and physiology. However, the basic interest in natural activity was never completely lost. and it persisted even while artificial gymnastics were developing. This is evident in the rapid growth of play, sports, athletics, and camping, after the Civil War, in the various Americanized Desarte systems, and in the natural dance of Isadora Duncan.


A review of the development of gymnastics in Western Europe from classical times until the beginning of the twentieth century reveals the many influences which determined the nature of body training in the different eras. The Greek concept of natural activities was revived toward the end of the Middle Ages through the study of Greek culture and through the philosophers, writers, and educators of the Renaissance and of the Post-Reformation eras. Comenius' organization of methods and materials of instruction according to the nature of the growing child, and Rousseau's theories of natural education led to the educational reforms of Pestalozzi and Froebel, and in turn, to the introduction of natural movement in play and gymnastics. Political and social conditions in nineteenth century Europe produced nationalistic systems of gymnastics. Delsarte's art of expression, which evolved about the same time as the nationalistic gymnastics, represented a continuation of the natural approach to movement and gesture. Delsarte's influence brought about new concepts of the aesthetics of movement, the beginning of movement analysis, and an entirely new quality of movement in the performing arts and gymnastics.

In addition, this review shows how the progress of science influenced bodily exercise. Ancient systems of exercise, such as Cong-Fu in China and Hatha Yoga in India, were based on rudimentary physiology and psychology as well as on a philosophy of mental, physical, and spiritual health. Medical science was the basis for the health gymnastics of Greece and Rome, and this approach to exercise, revived in the Renaissance, continued to be authoritative until modern times. New scientific discoveries in the nineteenth century were utilized in all human enterprises including bodily training. With the application of anatomy and the physical laws of motion to body mechanics, kinesiology became the basis for body training. Discoveries in chemistry brought a new understanding of the physiology of exercise, and tests and measurements of bodily functions became established tools of research.

A more recent scientific approach to exercise grew out of biological research which disclosed that the human organism is a unified whole in which all parts are interdependent though subject to some centralized control. Since 1890, this theory of "unity of the organism" has become an established biological principle. [50] It reveals that the human being is a growing, thinking, feeling, communicative, and learning entity. This theory is basic to Gestalt or organismic psychology and the behavioral sciences, and it explains the nature of human growth and development, sex differences, and activity needs of the maturing organism. In the twentieth century, the concept of "unity of the organism" became the basis for a new vitalistic approach to movement education. Human movement was explained as the natural response of the whole personality to inner and outer stimuli, and the term "organic movement" evolved to indicate the natural movements of the whole living organism.

While the beginnings of gymnastics served as a body training for boys and men, the particular physiological and psychological needs of girls and women were overlooked and women adopted the existing exercise practices of men. Although in the nineteenth century there were some prominent leaders in physical education who advocated a specific body training for girls and women, in general gymnastics were devised by men, taught by men, and adopted by women. In the nineteenth century, when women began their long fight for equal rights of both sexes in civil, political, and religious affairs, they challenged the validity of the lack of educational opportunities for women. [51]

At the turn of the twentieth century, concern about the depleted health and strength of women caused by burdensome clothing, hard domestic labor, and lack of wholesome recreation, gave rise to an increased search for methods of bodily training for women. Many prominent women teachers revolted against the old gymnastic systems and began to explore new ways of improving the health and beauty of the female body and to introduce a more feminine quality of movement. The new methods were based on the natural innate capacities of every individual, they conformed to new scientific developments, and their influence transcends current education in movement and rhythm. Early in the twentieth century, after women's suffrage was attained, women teachers became authoritative leaders in reforming bodily training for girls and women.



i. A turnhalle is a German cultural center with a gymnasium; a turnverein is a gymnastics club. Turner means  gymnast; and turnen means calisthenics and apparatus  work.
ii. Synonymous with Danish term "idraet."
iii. Henry W. Schroeder, director of physical education,  New York Turnverein, gives the following meanings for  these words: frisch (fresh, brisk, gay, jovial), fromm  (pious), frohlich (joyous, gay, merry), frei (free), letter of  March 23, 1967.
iv. A Sokol Stet at Montreal's Expo '67 was witnessed by  Margaret C. Brown.
v. These schools were the long-established private schools  such as Eton, Harrow, Westchester.
vi. The 1919 manual was used in method courses at the  McGill School of Physical Education which Margaret C.  Brown attended in 1921.
vii. Elizabcth Blackwell was the first woman in the United  States to receive the doctor of medicine degree; Georgii  introduced Ling's medical gymnastics into England.

1. Edward H. Reisner, Nationalism and Education Since 1789 (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1922), pp. 121-175.

2. Johannes Lindhard, Theory of Gymnastics (London: Methuen and Co., Ltd., 1934), p. 26.

3. Fred Eugene Leonard, History of Physical Education (Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger, 1923), pp. 179-182.

4. Emanuel Hansen, Sports in Denmark (Copenhagen: Det Danske Selskab, 1956), p. 26. Hansen was a former director of the Physical Training Teachers College of Denmark.

5. Ibid., pp. 3-16.

6. R. Tait McKenzie, Exercise in Education and Medicine (Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders Company, 1923), pp. 109-110.

7. McKenzie, loc. cit.; P. C. McIntosh et al., Landmarks in the History of Physical Education (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1965), p. 89.

8. Lindhard, op. cit., p. 28.

9. Bruno Saurbier, Geschichte der Leibesubungen (Frankfurt/Main: William Limpert-Verlag, 1963), p. 139.

10. Lindhard, op. cit., p. 29.

11. Saurbier, op. cit., p. 140.

12. Leonard, op. cit., pp. 112-116.

13. John Dambach, Physical Education in Germany (New York: Teachers College, Columbia University, 1937), p. 22.

14. Joseph S. Roucek, Central-Eastern Europe (New York: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1946), Chapter 3, "Czechoslovakia," pp. 60-85.

15. Miroslav Tyrs, Historical Preface to Foundations of Physical Culture and Our Task, Aim and Goal, trans. James L. Cihak (Chicago: American Sokol Organization, 1958), p. 31. Cihak mentions on p. 23 that Tyrs essay "Our Task, Aim and Goal" was published in the "first issue of the Sokol periodical in 1871" and it became "a true Sokol gospel."

16. Marie Provaznik, Director of Sokols Abroad, in an address at Panzer College, March 1952. Permission to quote secured.

17. James Cermak, Dr. Miroslav Tyrs (Chicago: The Sokol Gymnastic Union of the United States, 1920), p.18.

18. Ibid., p. 8.

19. As delegate from the U.S. gymnastic committee to the International Federation of Gymnastics, and guest of the X Sokol Slet in July 1938, Margaret C. Brown has an unforgettable memory of thousands of men gymnasts on the field and thousands of spectators in the Masaryk Stadium, standing at attention for the "Oath of Fidelity to the Republic":

"At this solemn moment we remember our brothers who sacrificed their lives, far away from their country, -in cruel battles-for our eternal rights and for our freedom-and victory was theirs.-We gather strength from their memory-and thus they have not died in vain. We stand firm in their places prepared to live for a better future of our Fatherland-to live and --- to die for it in battle."

See Official Programme of the Tenth Sokol Slet, Praha, 1938, p. 17.

20. Marie Provaznik, loc. cit.

21. McKenzie, op. cit., p. 131.

22. Ernest Loisel, Les Bases Psychologiques de l'Education Physique, (editions Bourrelier; Paris: Librairie Armand Colin, 1955), pp. 71-76.

23. Ibid., pp. 77-78.

24. Ibid., pp. 79-80.

25. Ibid., pp. 87-88.

26. Edward Mussey Hartwell, "On Physical Training," Report of the Commissioner on Education for the Yean 1897-1898 (Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 1899), Vol. I, Chapter 12, p. 521. Hartwell's reports to the United States Commissioner on Education are classic historical documents.

27. A. Maclaren, Physical Education (new edition with preface by Wallace Maclaren; Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1895), p. xcvii. His system consisted of preparatory exercises and apparatus work, and he measured the effect of his exercises on his pupils' physical development. See also his Appendix B.

28. Edmund Routledge (ed.), Every Boy's Book (London: George Routledge and Sons, 1884), pp. 259-300; P. C. McIntosh et al., op. cit., p. 193.

29. P. C. McIntosh et al., op. cit., pp. 195-200.

30. M. Gilbert, Secretary, The Physical Education Association of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, personal letter of March 26, 1965.

31. Syllabus of Physical Training for Schools (London: Ministry of Education, 1919), p. 4.

32. Edward Mussey Hartwell, "On Physical Training," Report of the Commissioner of Education for 1903 (Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 1904), Chapter 17, p. 745.

33. Ibid., pp. 748-749.

34. Barbara J. Hoepner, "Elizabeth Blackwell, M.D.- Her Influence Upon the Calisthenics of Catharine Beecher" (paper read at the Convention of the American Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation, St. Louis, Missouri, March 31,1968, citing Catharine E. Beecher, Educational Reminiscences and Suggestions (New York: J. B. Ford and Company, 1874), pp. 42-43; also Mae E. Harveson, Catharine E. Beecher-Pioneer Educator (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 1932), p. 50.

35. Barbara Hoepner found that although the 1831 publication, A Course of Calisthenics for Young Ladies, is "sometimes attributed to Beecher," it was unsigned. Catharine, not Catherine, was the original spelling of her Christian name.

36. Catharine E. Beecher, Physiology and Calisthenics, for Schools, Families and Health Establishments (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1860), pp. iv, 14. Italics were in the original text.

37. Hartwell, op. cit., p. 750; Henry Metzner, A Brief History of the American Turnerbund (revised edition; Pittsburgh: National Executive Committee of the American Turncrbund, 1924), pp. 7-17, 34-39.

38. Hartwell, loc. cit.

39. In 1851, the Homeopathic Hospital College at Cleveland, Ohio, conferred on Lewis an honorary degree of doctor of medicine. See Mary F. Eastman, Biography of Dio Lewis, A.M., M.D. (New York: Fowler & Wells Co., 1891), p. 37.

40. Dio Lewis, New Gymnastics (New York: Fowler & Wells Co., 1891), pp. 6, 1, 9-10.

41. Ibid., p. V. As a child, Margaret C. Brown attended private classes in Lewis gymnastics in Canada.

42. Hartwell, op. cit., pp. 751-752; E. Hitchcock, "A Comparative Study of Average Measurements," Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Physical Education, 1891, p. 40.

43. Margaret C. Brown had some instruction in Delsarte gymnastics at the Chautauqua School of Physical Education in 1912. Relaxed movements were created to express poetic thought, a welcome release from the emotional containment of response-command gymnastics.

44. Baroness Rose Posse (ed.), The Posse Gymnasium Journal, IV (January, 1896), pp. 3-7. (Out of print).

45. Hazel M. Wacker, The History of the Private Single- purpose Institutions which Prepared Teachers of Physical Education in the United States of America from 1861- 1958 (unpublished Doctor's thesis, New York University, 1959), p. 15; citing Deobold B. Van Dalen et al., A W01'ld History of Physical Education (New York: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1953), pp. 394-396.

46. Isabel C. Barrows (ed.), Report of the Physical Training Conference, 1889 (Boston: Press of George H. Ellis, 1890), p. 76.

47. Ibid., p. 55.

48. Ibid., pp. 87-94. Dr. Sargent questioned the authority of Emerson's physiological principles.

49. Charles Wesley Emerson, Physical Culture (Boston: Emerson College of Oratory Publishing Department, 1891), figures 1-37, pp. 41-95.

50. Biological Sciences Curriculum Study, Biological Science: Molecules to Man (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1963), Chapter 27. "The Integrated Organism and Behavior," pp. 573-595; Horatio Hackett Newman, Outlines of General Zoology (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1926), pp. 77-85.

51. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Eighty Years and More, 1815-1897 (New York: European Publishing Company, 1898). pp. 167-176.
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Re: Movement Education: Its Evolution and a Modern Approach

Postby admin » Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:25 am

Part 1 of 2

3. The Evolution of Natural Movement Education

The complexity of modern society in the twentieth century is apparent in every phase of modern living. Phenomenal progress in science and technology, accelerated by the demands of two major world wars, affected all areas of human culture. Mechanization, automation, electronics, and nuclear science revolutionized the activities of life and work. Inventions in speedy transportation decreased travel time, increased internationalism, and led to incredible ventures in outer space. Scientists delved freely into the secrets of the unknown and revealed new truths about the nature of the human organism and its environment. The heritage of the past was brought to light, and inventions in printing, radio, and television made these new discoveries available to the masses. A need for higher levels of learning, for longer periods of schooling, and for changes in educational methods became evident.

Concurrent with modern progress, the growth of cities and urban living deprived man of opportunities and motivations for natural movement. Since movement is vital to the human organism, the need for a more effective movement training became urgent, a need which could not be met by the mechanical exercises of the nationalistic gymnastic systems. At the turn of the century, new methods which stressed movement as an expression of the whole personality evolved. The concept of the whole personality as a unity of mind, body, and spirit, a unity which had been recognized by philosophers, educators, and physical educators of the past, reappeared and was substantiated by modern discoveries in biology and psychology. The new findings revealed that man is mentally and emotionally involved in every activity of life and that there is an interrelationship and balance of mind, body, and emotion in all human behavior.

Movement was studied in relation to the physical causes of motion, biological and psychological motivations, and in its affinity to rhythm and the arts. Early in the twentieth century, revolutionary ideas about free and expressive movement caused a revolt against artificial movement not only in gymnastics, but also in drama, music, and the dance.



Romanticism, which began in the era of naturalism, strongly influenced the performing arts in the first part of the nineteenth century. Romanticism emphasized the expression of thought and emotion, and it was during this era that Francois Delsarte (1811-1871) began in France to develop his art of expression, an art which he called "Applied Aesthetics."

Initially, Delsarte had studied to become a singer at the Paris Conservatory, a government institution which offered "instruction in acting, music, and the ballet," but, disappointed in this ambition, he later began to study the arts of elocution and drama. [1] Stage movement in the early nineteenth century was stylized, artificial, and arbitrary. Opposed to this kind of acting, Delsarte created a system of movement and gestures which enabled both the orator and actor to express thought and emotion naturally and gracefully. He studied the emotional reactions of people under different circumstances, and observed that emotions have an effect on the movements of the body, and on appearance, attitude and behavior. Tabulating and classifying his data, he developed an "art and system of expression."

A man of varied talents, Delsarte was a musician, composer, actor, orator, master of pantomime, and inventor; in addition, he was a student of anatomy in medical school. He was a religious man, deeply influenced by the beauty of Greek works of art and by his lofty faith in the potential perfection of the human being. His ultimate ideal was his somewhat metaphysical "Law of Trinity," which seems to have been drawn from the doctrine of the unity of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Delsarte explained this law as "the unity of three things, each of which is essential to the other two, each coexisting in time, co-penetrating in space, and cooperative in motion."

The Law of Trinity is evident in Delsarte's concept of man as a unity of mind, body, and spirit; and in his thought of movement he saw this law as a union of time, space, and motion. He further analyzed movement as a trinity of tension-relaxation, balance, and form; force, form, design; excentric, concentric, and normal motions. [2[ As explained by the Delsarte teacher and writer Genevieve Stebbins, in her book Delsarte System of Expression, an expansive motion "from yourself as a center" is excentric, a contractive motion to a center is concentric, and "motion between these two extremes, being well balanced," is normal. [3] By interchanging and combining two of these motion qualities, Delsarte arranged nine combinations of excentric, concentric and normal actions in what he termed a "ninefold accord," in which the first motion quality was strong and the second was weak.

Delsarte's "Law of Correspondence" is related to the Law of Trinity, and implies that expressive movement should correspond with the thought or emotion which inspired it, or, as Delsarte expressed it, "To each spiritual function responds a function of the body; to each grand function of the body corresponds a spiritual act." Analyzing movement in space and by dividing and subdividing it into components of three's, he derived a large number of gestures which he classified for the three zones of the body. The head, he named the concentric, mental and intellectual zone; the upper torso and arms, the normal, emotional, moral, and spiritual zone; and the lower torso and legs, the excentric, vital, and physical zone. He identified the realms of space surrounding the body, and he related gestures and attitudes in the three zones to the characteristic, expressive functions of each zone. Again, he analyzed each of the three zones into three's, and classified and described gestures for the expression of sensation, sentiment, and thought for each subdivision.  [4]

In addition, Delsarte formulated "Three Great Orders of Movement" and "Nine Laws of Motion." His Three Great Orders of Movement dealt with oppositions, parallelisms, and successions in body motion. Oppositions referred to "any two parts of the body moving in opposite directions simultaneously" as well as to the force used to overcome gravity. Parallelism meant the simultaneous motion of two parts of the body in the same direction, and succession indicated the fluid wavelike motion that passes either through the whole body or through parts of it. [5]

Delsarte's Nine Laws of Motion referred to altitude, force, motion, sequence, direction, form, velocity, reaction, and extension; each law had particular significance in expressive movement. For example, writing about the significance of the law of altitude in pantomime, Stebbins explains that the body rises in positive assertion and falls with negative assertion while different degrees of altitude signify various modifications of assertion. The law of force signifies that, both spiritually and physically, conscious strength assumes weak attitudes and conscious weakness assumes strong attitudes. The law of motion implies that excitement or passion tends to expand gesture, thought or reflection tends to contract gesture, while love or affection moderates gesture. Delsarte's law of velocity states that "velocity is in proportion to the mass moved and the force moving." Thus, the speed of motion in the expression of deep emotion is slow and deliberate, and it vanes from slow to quick, depending upon the superficiality or explosiveness of the emotion. The significance of the law of reaction is that "every extreme of emotion tends to react to the opposite." [6]

Today, Delsarte's complex system of expressive gestures might be challenged, yet the influence of his basic movement theories is evident in current movement education. He established the concept of movement as a medium for the communication of thought and emotion, and in so doing he made acting, mime, and oratory more natural, and therefore more eloquent. His concept of man as a triune of mind, body, and spirit, and of movement as a union of space, time, and motion, his identification of realms of space and of the three great orders of movement, his laws of velocity and reaction, as well as his meticulous movement analysis led to new approaches in the study of dance and gymnastics. To quote R. Tait McKenzie, "Delsarte may be said to have been the greatest influence in directing attention to the value of muscular action to express thought, and his principles continually crop out in other schemes of gymnastics." [7]

Delsarte, himself, did not publish his work. 'What is known about his method comes from notebooks of his students and records of his lectures, from the publications of his disciples, and from the teachings of his son and daughter. In the United States, the Delsarte system has become known chiefly through Delsarte's American pupil Steele MacKaye, through MacK aye's pupil Genevieve Stebbins, through the teacher of expression Emily Bishop, and, currently, through the dancer Ted Shawn.

Steele MacKaye was an American actor, director, playwright, and producer. About 1871 he introduced Delsarte's system of expression into the United States in order to improve the quality of acting on the American stage. MacKaye's methods were adopted and modified by many leading American schools of oratory and expression. To train the body as an effective instrument of expression, Mac- Kaye arranged a system of "harmonic exercises." These exercises became the basis for different systems of Americanized Delsarte gymnastics which Delsarte himself had not even conceived of. [8] Delsarte did not create his method for the teaching of gymnastics, but for the development of natural, expressive gestures in oratory and acting. MacKaye's pupils and followers, some with only a superficial knowledge of the Delsarte method, developed personal systems of expressions, claiming that their methods fostered culture, health, grace, and beauty of motion. MacKaye, like Delsarte, did not publish any books about his work. His method became known mainly through the work of his pupils, records of his lectures, reports, and studies, and by the books written by his son, Percy MacKaye, and by Genevieve Stebbins of New York.

Genevieve Stebbins, a dedicated exponent of Delsarte's system, was an intelligent and cultured woman who had travelled widely in both East and West, and had studied intensively the arts, oratory, and expressive movement. While learning French drama in Paris, she interviewed Abbe Delaumosne, who had compiled the Delsarte system of dramatic art. She also studied in New York for two years with Steele MacKaye, and she wrote that in six months she acquired all MacKaye had learned from Delsarte and that the remainder of her studies consisted of repetitions and variations. [9] Deeply influenced by the beauty and grace of famous Greek sculpture in the great European museums and art galleries, she searched for evidence of Delsarte's laws of movement in the arrested actions of these models. [10]

Mrs. Stebbins organized a system of physical and aesthetic culture which, she maintained, represented an elaboration of Delsarte's art of expression, modified for American needs. Similar to Delsarte, who had used a few exercises, and MacKaye, who had created his "harmonic exercises," Mrs. Stebbins developed her own "aesthetic gymnastics" to train the body as an effective instrument for graceful, artistic expression. She distinguished "between a few gymnastic exercises given for freedom and grace of motion in gesture" and a gymnastic system for physical development. [11]

Stebbins' system of physical culture was eclectic. She combined the aesthetic movements and gestures of Delsarte's system with Swedish or Ling exercises and added the ceremonial forms of Oriental prayer, affirming that these "properly combined and graded into systematic progressive exercises constitute a perfect system of gymnastics." She wrote, "Wherever possible I have converted every exercise in the Swedish System into a Delsarte drill and have met with the most flattering results .... Delsarte has given the esthetics and Ling the athletics of a perfect method. We have only to include the breathing and the mental imagery which have been the common property of every mystic and occult fraternity under the sun, and our system of development is complete." [12]

The basic elements of Mrs. Stebbins' gymnastics were relaxation, energizing, and breathing, and she called her relaxation exercises "decomposing exercises." "True relaxation," she wrote, "means resigning the body to the law of gravity, the mind to nature and the entire energy to deep rhythmic breathing." Her energizing exercises were movements of dynamic contrasts. The breathing exercises were given for muscular and vital development which, she said, would aid ninety percent of women who were "either round-shouldered, flatchested or almost ruined around the waist." [13]

Mrs. Stebbins taught that Delsarte's laws of sequence, opposition, and correspondence were essential factors in the evolution of beauty of form, "harmonic balance," graceful motion and artistic presentation. Her students explored and felt the shifting of weight, performed oppositional movements, and simulated poses and movements of old Greek statues and friezes. Her concepts of movement, such as the change of center of gravity, successive and simultaneous motion, countermotion, willed movement, and body awareness have lived on in contemporary movement education.

Another prominent leader in Americanized Delsarte culture of the early twentieth century was Emily Bishop of Chautauqua and New York City. A well-known teacher of expression, an author and lecturer on subjects of health and beauty, Mrs. Bishop taught for many years in the School of Expression as well as in the School of Physical Education of the Chautauqua Institute, New York. [14]

Excerpts from an address to the American Association for the Advancement of Physical Education in 1892 give, in part, her theory of movement in body training. "The final aim of Americanized Delsarte Culture," she said, "was to lead man back to nature's ways, to make him healthy, free, strong, simple, natural." She likened the harmonious training of the "bodily instrument" to the tuning of a piano, which is a harmonizing of all its parts.

Mrs. Bishop distinguished between Gymnastics of Exercise for "physical growth" and Gymnastics of Expression for "the growth of mental and emotive natures as well as the physical." Gymnastics of Expression, she stated, include "movements and altitudes that always mean something" and "are expressive of certain inner conditions .... " "Where the one uses motion for motion's sake, the other uses motion as related to emotion or to a mental state." Maintaining that grace is "ease in force," she declared that "precision, harmony and ease-the three elements of grace-must characterize our movements" and that "only free, unconscious movements are ever graceful."

She emphasized relaxation for relief of undue tensions and for recharging the nerve centers "with vital energy" and maintained that "to relax, to energize, and to harmoniously guide the nerve-force in action constitute gymnastics of Americanized Delsarte Culture." [15]

Ted Shawn, dancer, choreographer, teacher, writer, and founder and director of the Jacob's Pillow dance center and school, Massachusetts, is considered the current authority on Delsarte in the United States. He studied the Delsarte system of expression for several years with Mrs. Richard Hovey, who had learned it in France from Gustave Delsarte, the son of Francois Delsarte. Shawn has collected a great number of books and memorabilia on Delsarte's work, many of which were published before 1890. Shawn's book, Every Little Movement, recapitulates Delsarte's art of expression. His Delsarte studies with Mrs. Hovey, he said, gave him the "basis for all his performing, teaching and lecturing career." [16]

The values claimed for American Delsarte gymnastics were challenged by professional leaders in physical education [17] and the Delsarte furor died out in the early years of the twentieth century. Yet, in Europe, some of Delsarte's basic principles of movement had a strong influence on the development of modern movement education for girls and women. It was chiefly through the German teacher of gymnastics Mrs. Hedwig Kallmeyer-Simon, who had studied with Genevieve Stebbins in New York, that Delsarte's methods made their way into Germany. [18]  
While these developments took place in America, other concepts which were of historical importance for movement education were taking form in Europe. They came from the musician, Jaques- Dalcroze, who developed a method of music and rhythmic education; Dr. Bess M. Mensendieck, who founded a new approach to movement on the basis of conscious movement control and kinesiology; Isadora Duncan, who created a new style of free and natural movement in dance; and the dancer Rudolf Laban, who analyzed movement into the basic elements of motion.


Emile Jaques-Dalcroze (1865-1950) was an outstanding musician and an inspired teacher of music and movement. His new rhythmic training had a far-reaching influence on many progressive developments in music and movement education, the performing arts, and in general education. After he became professor of harmony at the Geneva Conservatory of Music in 1892, he devised a new and stimulating approach to ear training and keyboard improvisation for the purpose of sensitizing the students' hearing and listening faculties and for developing musical creativity, In the course of his teaching, he experimented with musical rhythm by having the students walk or sway their bodies to his improvisations on the piano. [19] He came to the conclusion that "musical sensations of a rhythmic nature call for the muscular and nervous response of the whole organism." [20] These experiments led Dalcroze to develop exercises [or the improvement of musical rhythm through body movement. His method eventually became known as "eurhythmics," a term which means good rhythm.

Dalcroze created many varied exercises for the improvement of metrical precision, musical memorization, quick reaction, and other requirements of good rhythm. [21] While he improvised on the piano, the students would interpret the musical time patterns by steps. and at the same time perform with the arms conducting movements which marked the measure of the music. Dalcroze's rhythmic exercises also stressed an awareness and interpretation of melodic progression, dynamic shading, accelerando and retardando and other rhythmic factors which are inherent in the rhythm of music as well as in body movement. In addition, he created many exercises for relaxation and breathing, for simultaneous unrelated actions of different parts of the body, and for leading with music and following with movement and vice versa.

Dalcroze gave demonstrations in many European cities, and his performances were acclaimed by world-renowned musicians, actors, writers, and educators. In 1911, the Dalcroze Institute was built in Hellerau near Dresden, Germany, by the German industrialists, the Dohrn brothers. [22] This Institute was an immediate success. Students from all over the world came there to study music and the dance, and artists such as Nijinski, Diaghileff, Max Reinhardt, Stanislavski, and G. Bernard Shaw visited classes and performances to get acquainted with Dalcroze's unique method of rhythmic and artistic training. Great festivals and large theatrical productions were staged, and the Dalcroze Institute became a world center for music, the dance, and opera. At that time, the movements of the "eurythmicians," on the stage as well as in the classes, were Greek in style, and the Dalcroze dancers, like the Duncan dancers, wore Greek tunics. [23]

Magdalene victory hole: Lory Maier-Smiths, The first eurythmist and the beginning of eurythmy

-- The Contemporary Context of Gurdjieff’s Movements, by Carole M. Cusack

This great work was interrupted by the outbreak of the First World War. In 1914, the Dalcroze Institute in Hellerau was closed and the master returned to Geneva, Switzerland, where he opened a new training school for eurhythmic teachers. Still in operation in Geneva, this institute is a training center for Dalcroze eurthymics, keyboard improvisation, ear training, and other corresponding musical subjects as well as "eutonie" and body technique. The Dalcroze Institute of Hellerau was reopened for a short time in 1915 by several of Dalcroze's outstanding graduates, who renamed it the Hellerau School.

Through his method, Dalcroze proved that an education in music will be greatly fostered when body movements are used to understand and feel musical rhythm, and that movement training can be greatly improved when musical rhythm is taught in conjunction with movement. Dalcroze made a great contribution to more sensitivity in music and artistic education, and also to a better understanding of the relationship of music, movement, and the dance.

Dalcroze was also known for his work with children and for his unique ability to awaken their appreciation and enjoyment of music and movement through eurythmics. [24] Terms of contemporary movement activities such as "rhythmic movement," "child rhythms," and "rhythmic education," all originate basically in Dalcroze's teaching, although many represent in practice a digression from his methods.

Most remarkable, perhaps, was Dalcroze's conclusion that rhythm is an important elemental, ethical order in life, a significant factor in human behavior, and a powerful force in the moral education of youth. [25] Today, eurythmics is taught not only as an activity in music and movement education, but also as a therapeutic method for the physically handicapped, the emotionally disturbed, and for the socially and economically deprived. The magnitude of Dalcroze's work was recognized not only during his lifetime, but it is also evident today in the endeavors of his followers who base their teaching on his philosophy, and develop his ideas creatively in their own spheres of work.


Early in the twentieth century, Bess M. Mensendieck, M.D. (1864-1958), who specialized in medical gymnastics in Germany, created the Mensendieck system of functional exercises, which was a new, original method of body training. Born in New York and educated in Europe, Dr. Mensendieck began her medical studies in New York and continued in Paris, where she was one among the first women students at the medical college. She received her medical degree from the University of Zurich, Switzerland.

In Paris, Dr. Mensendieck studied under a disciple of Dr. Guillaume B. Duchenne de Boulogne (1806-1875), who taught and demonstrated his method of testing muscle function by the inducement of electric current. Dr. Duchenne's "Physiology of Motion" became the basis of Dr. Mensendieck's own work. Instead of using electric current, however, Dr. Mensendieck taught her students to use their own will power as the stimulus for consciously innervating specific muscles to perform their tasks.

Over a period of three years, Dr. Mensendieck. tested and applied her theory on a number of patients, both men and women, and she gradually established her own original teaching technique. She demonstrated the results at six-month intervals to her medical colleagues, who enthusiastically approved of her contribution to the science of muscle function through conscious innervation. There \vas continued evidence that her patients improved, not only physically, but also mentally, while simultaneously attaining a more harmonious and attractive body. [26]

In addition to muscle function, Dr. Mensendieck studied body mechanics intensively, in particular the work of the physicists Christian W. Braune (1831-1892) and Otto Fischer (1861-1917) of Jena, Germany. Their studies and calculations became the basis for her principles of posture, the superposition of the various body masses. She was particularly interested in helping the women of her time to overcome individual shortcomings and to improve their health and well-being. To study muscle function in action, her pupils stood disrobed between two mirrors, one in front and the other behind, to enable them to observe the action of the back muscles.

The Mensendieck method acquaints the student with her muscular system, develops an awareness of muscular function, and teaches her to actively participate in her own improvement. Movements, thus understood and performed consciously, Mensendieck claimed, eventually became correct motion patterns and, in time, automatic and unconsciously performed motion sequences. The result is a certain flow and beauty of movement and slimmer body form. Mensendieck emphasized the correct use of body mechanics and muscle function [or efficiency and beauty of motion in the activities of everyday life. [27]

Mensendieck founded a scientific approach to body training in functional movement, and introduced the concept of consciously willed natural movement instead of mechanical exercising. She invented exercises for strengthening specific muscle groups which, lacking muscle tone, cause faulty structure and posture. Franz Hilker says that Mensendieck's exercises will always keep their validity since they are based on anatomical and physiological principles and on the physical laws of body motion. She was opposed to musical accompaniment and other external stimuli for movement, as well as to emotional involvement and the use of objects. Her primary purpose was to use scientific methods for the improvement of body structure and posture, as well as the health, shape, and beauty of the human body. [28]

Dr. Mensendieck established centers for training teachers in the Mensendieck method in a number of Northern European countries and she continued her researches and published books in both Europe and the United States. Although she left Germany during the First World War, her graduates carried on her work. While some graduates adhered to her method, others developed freer movements of the whole body in space, because Mensendieck's static exercises did not satisfy the natural drive for movement. Yet her scientific approach continued, and Bruno Saurbier maintains that all gymnastics for women originate somehow in the logical, objective, educational work of Dr. Bess M. Mensendieck. [29]


A new style of dance appeared at the turn of the century in the United States when Isadora Duncan (1878-1927) presented her unique natural dance. In contrast to the traditional ballet, her dance expressed both thought and emotion through free and natural movements. Her original style reflected impelling artistry, imaginative ideas, and serious study of the nature of human movement.

Even as a child, Isadora was gifted in dance, and she improvised movements to interpret the phenomena of nature. In her biography, My Life, she tells how she danced the waves of the ocean, the rustling trees, the flight of birds, and "the spontaneous joy of growing things." Her mother, a pianist and piano teacher, played masterworks for her dances and, throughout her career, Isadora's dancing was inspired by great music. With little formal schooling, she was an avid reader of what pleased her and of what contributed to her art. A child of nature, she was inspired by the ideas of Rousseau, Whitman, and Nietzsche. [30] Born in a poor yet artistic atmosphere in San Francisco, she became a person of international stature in the world of poets, painters, sculptors, musicians, and actors. The freedom from discipline which she enjoyed in her youth continued in adult life and is evident in the free expression of her dance ideas.

Although Isadora Duncan had some formal ballet training, she opposed the rigorous ballet discipline which completely separated body from the mind and spirit. She called the ballet "a false and preposterous art." "My art," she wrote, "is just an effort to express the truth of my Being in gesture and movement." [31] Basing her dances upon natural movements "familiar to all races, such as walking, running, skipping, jumping, kneeling, reclining and rising," [32] she improvised sensitive and artistic movements in her own style. She composed dances to romantic music, to symphonies, poetry, and revolutionary hymns.

Greek culture had a strong influence on the arts of expression in Isadora's youth. She studied Greek art and lived for some time in Greece, she steeped herself in Greek mythology and culture, wore Greek tunics, and thought of herself as "a pure Greek." Her movements 'were influenced by the forms and positions of dancers portrayed on ancient Greek vases and bas-reliefs, through which she discovered the "sequences of natural movement."  [33] She maintained that her dance sprang from "the great nature of America" and that she was "the spiritual daughter of Walt Whitman," [34] and she composed many dances to Greek themes. Describing Isadora's dancing, Curt Sachs wrote that "she breathes life into the statues of the Greeks. She frees the old Hellenic dance from the rigidity of sculpture, from its sleep in museums. With insight and feeling she thaws out the movement and rhythm which the ancient sculptors had charmed into frozen calm." [35]

Isadora studied her own body to discover its movement potentialities and its reaction to the force of gravity. With introspection, she sought the source of the inner feelings which motivated her desire for expression. She tried to find the center from which movement first springs and then progresses by involuntary action. This center, she believed, was the solar plexus, "the temporal home of the soul." [36]

Agnes DeMille, the dancer, choreographer, and dance historian, writes that Isadora had some precedent for her dance style, since "Francois Delsarte (1811-1871) had analyzed the gestures and postures of the body for expression" and since "Jaques- Dalcroze had related movement to rhythm scientifically .... " [37] In Isadora's famous German dance school, the influence of both Delsarte and Dalcroze was evident. Cultivating freedom of expression, and a feeling for beauty, she taught her pupils to observe and interpret the movements of nature, and to walk, run, and move naturally to music. [38]

Duncan, like MacKaye and Stebbins, stressed the importance of gymnastics for the harmonious development of the body, and she used exercises for suppleness and strength [39] so that the body might become "an instrument as perfect as possible" for the expression of "the sentiments and thoughts of the soul." [40] Like her contemporaries, she adhered to the Greek ideal of gesture and body attitude, and both teacher and students wore tunics, a custom which continued for some time in the Duncan schools.

Isadora Duncan's dance was received with reservations in the United States, where Victorian mores and Puritanism still dominated. A dance performed in a scanty Greek tunic and bare feet, at a time of long skirts and full-dress bathing suits, was, to say the least, shocking. Her simplicity, naturalness, and artistry were acclaimed, however, in Europe; and, even today, older people who saw her dance in her prime speak with awe of the beauty of her movements and the spirituality of her dancing.

In Central Europe, Isadora Duncan's new dance style resulted in a revolt against the traditional ballet forms and the birth of the dance as an independent, expressive art form. Also, in the United States, new styles of free dance emerged, styles variously known as the interpretive dance, "rhythmic dancing, Greek dancing, natural dancing."  [41] Duncan's natural expressive movements eventually influenced classical ballet, which in time became more fluent and sensitive. Her ideas of free movement improvisation to communicate thought and emotion are continued in the contemporary dance, and her free, natural movements also furthered the revolt against artificial gymnastics.
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Re: Movement Education: Its Evolution and a Modern Approach

Postby admin » Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:25 am

Part 2 of 2


While Isadora Duncan's natural dance was being acclaimed in Europe, the dancer Rudolf Jean- Marie Laban (1879-1958), a Hungarian by birth, was beginning to make comprehensive studies of body movement in Germany. In order to understand the natural motions of the body, he studied the rhythms and dances of primitive people of various national and racial groups, as well as the basic principles of movement from the physical and biological sciences. As he became acquainted with Delsarte's work, he turned against the stereotyped formality of ballet. However, he incorporated some of the ballet principles from Feuillet's Art d' Ecrire la Danse in his first notation, "Kinetographie," which is known as "Labanotation," in the United States.

For over fifty years, Laban's research in movement continued in his most active career as choreographer, dance educator, director of modern dance groups, and as ballet master of the Berlin State Opera in 1930. In the 1920's and 1930's numerous schools and dance groups were formed all over central Europe by his pupils. Laban also created large laymen's dance productions called "dance choirs," which became popular among the German industrial workers. His interest in the workers' culture led to the "movement choir," in which the cultural- recreational-spiritual needs of the worker found creative expression. His study of older work dances and recreational dances of the craftsmen, the farmer, and of other workers of the pre-industrial age culminated in a pageant of the Vienna craftsmen in 1927. These experiences provided the background for his research in industrial work in the 1940's and led to Laban's final formulation of what he, and his English collaborators, Lawrence and Lamb, called "Effort." [42]

When the Hitler regime made it impossible for Laban to remain in Germany, he and some of his students found refuge in England. It was in England that Laban formulated his "effort" theory and gained wide influence, both through his industrial movement research and through the educational work which he and his talented associate, Lisa Ullmann, developed in the English schools. When the Laban Art of Movement Studio was established as an educational trust in Addlestone, Surrey, he worked there and formulated and perfected his ideas.

Laban recognized that the body is an instrument of expression and that movement is a natural expression of the entire man and the result of responses which arise from the inner life. The inner impulses from which movement originates he called "effort." [43] In her summary of Laban's theories of movement, Diane Gaumer explains effort as "a visible symbol of the inner attitudes and drives of a human being." [44]

Laban analyzed the occupational movement problems of the working man, probing deeply into the mind-body relationships and the emotional and social implications of movement in the life and work of people. He reached the conclusion that man's unconscious movement patterns and natural rhythms are characteristic, visible reflections of his personality and that they affect his efficiency in work. Workers consulted him about their occupational problems, dancers came for movement training, and emotionally disturbed and physically handicapped people sought remedial help.

Always in his probings into the art of movement and the meaning of movement expression, Laban was aware that there are quantitative and qualitative aspects to the four physical factors of movement: weight, space, time, and flow. He writes, "It is a mechanical fact that the weight of the body, or any of its parts, can be lifted and carried into a certain degree of space, and that this process takes a certain amount of time, depending on the ratio of speed. The same mechanical conditions can also be observed in any counter-pull which regulates the flow of movement." [45] Bodily actions require force, they produce changes of the position of the body and its parts, they take time and they occur in space. These are the quantitative aspects that are laid down in Kinetographie or Labanotation.

The motion factors take on a purely qualitative character in effort where the concern is how the exertions of force-space-time are spent. How weight affects a movement requires an understanding of the degree of muscular force or energy needed to bring about a change in position or to produce equilibrium. An effort element in weight may be firm or gentle. The firm element has a strong resistance to weight and a feeling of heaviness. Conversely, the gentle element consists of a lesser degree of resistance and a feeling of lightness. The force elements, firm and gentle, also appear as stresses and accents in movement phrases, alone, or modified by the presence of time or space factors.

Laban's studies of space combine aspects from both the Kinetographie and Effort concepts. The effort elements produced by the exertion of energy in space are direct, taking as little space as possible, and indirect or flexible, using space more generously. To define the reaching possibilities of the stationary body, Laban developed the concept of the "kinesphere," which remains constant in relation to the body even as it travels through space. As the body moves, it makes shapes in the space around it which may be angular, curved, or twisted. It can curl in a round shape, stretch upward in a thin, narrow shape and move sidewards into a broad, wide shape. When the body turns around its own axis, with resistance, a twisted shape results.  [46]

Time as a basic factor in movement is considered from the point of view of both quantity and quality. Quantitatively, the performance of any action requires a certain amount of time and also a feeling for the durations of the different movement phrases which form the action. Time appears as a quality when movement contains the effort elements of suddenness, quickness, or slowncss.

Flow is that factor in movement which accounts for its underlying continuity. Flow is present in movement from the slightest tremor to the most expansive free-flowing movement sequence. The flow of movement is of either a "free" or "bound" character. When the body or its parts arc in motion, the degree of fluency in the flow of movement needs to be controlled. Effort flow may be even, i.e., sustaining the same degree of bound or free, or fluctuating in various patterns of free, bound, or spent. A movement which originates in the trunk and goes outward from the center of the body is more free-flowing than one which starts in the extremities and comes toward the center of the body. Movements which go outward have a "scattering" quality, and those progressing inward have a "gathering" quality. "Scattering-gathering" constitute respectively the basic changes in body shapes and flow of motion, away from the body and in toward the body.

Laban established eight basic effort actions which emphasize simultaneously and in even proportion the factors of force, space, and time in movement. In these basic actions he contrasted the gradations between "fighting" or "contending," and "indulging" or "yielding" attitudes in movement. The extreme fighting effort action is punching or thrusting, a movement which is strong or firm in force, sudden in time, and direct in space. The extreme indulging action is that of floating, which is light in force, sustained in time, and flexible, or indirect, in space. From the extremes of thrusting and floating, Laban derived six additional basic effort actions by interchanging the various force, time, and space qualities. These complete effort actions actually occur only intermittently in movement, since movement is largely composed of changes in effort flow and effort qualities. [47]

Laban made a distinction between an expressivc movemcnt, which is a medium for the communication of ideas in dance, acting, mime, and other arts of expression, and functional movement, which fulfills a purpose in work, sports, or activities of life. Although present in both, effort qualities are more apparent in expressive movement than in functional movement. His terminology enables the individual to think in terms of movement rather than in terms of body mechanics. Laban's work had a profound influence on the development of modern dances and movement education, first in Germany, and then in many other countries. His teaching is also apparent in the dance of Kurt Jooss and Mary Wigman. Mary Wigman, the founder of the European contemporary dance, was a pupil of both Dalcroze and Laba n, and her dancing reflects the influence of these masters.

Mary Wigman developed her own revolutionary dance technique during the years of the First World War. According to her own testimony, "seven long and hard years" of study and work with Laban laid the foundation for her career as a dancer and dance educator. [48] In 1919, she opened her own dance school in Dresden, and it became an international mecca for the contemporary dance and for the new approach to free movement. [i] Numerous performances of Mary Wig-man's dance groups, including three dance tours in the United States in the early 1930's, spread widely her creative approach to the dance.

Mary Wigman's discerning philosophy and belief in movement as an expression of body, mind, and soul had notable consequences in the field of movement training. Talking about movement as the dancer's language, she explains that the dance is comprehensible only when it keeps and respects movement as a natural and true expression of man. She states that body training is a developmental process in which movement, emotion, and mental alertness are held in balance. Comparing body training- to the work of a sculptor, she says, "Under the wakeful eye of the teacher," body training "transforms the moving body into a masterfully controlled instrument which vibrates with every delicate nerve." [49]

Mary Wigman concentrated on the creation of pure movement and choreographic form, she composed many dances without music, and she had original music and percussive sound compositions created for her dances. Her acute awareness of space and dynamics, and her perception of the relationship of a moving figure to space were concepts which revolutionized the modern dance and enriched movement education.



In the first quarter of the twentieth century, a new free dance style was introduced in America by Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn. Like Isadora Duncan, these original dancers used natural and expressive movement in contrast to the traditional ballet techniques. Shawn, [50] Terry, [51] and Maynard [52] all state that both Isadora Duncan and Ruth St. Denis were acquainted with the Delsarte principles of expressive movement. Speaking for himself, Shawn wrote, "From my first introduction to these principles and laws in 1914, I have consciously used and applied them in all my work as a dancer, choreographer and teacher." [53] Eventually, the new concepts of natural movement emerged in the modern dance which has had a strong influence on movement education in the United States.

Ruth St. Denis (1880-1968) challenged the conventional forms of the dance of her era and pursued the idea of free and expressive movement for the communication of thought and feeling. From the spiritual depths of her own personality, she created movements to portray the mysticism of religion, philosophy, and poetry, and to express her individual feeling and yearning for the sublime. She sought to elevate the dance to a pure, spiritual art of expression. A student of the philosophies, religions, customs, and religious dances of Asia, she composed many dances on Oriental themes, and her dancing met with acclaim throughout America, Europe, and Asia. Her use of free, spontaneous movement and gesture for the expression of the inner life of the spirit became embedded in American dance culture and continued in the modern dance. [54]

Ted Shawn, Ruth St. Denis' husband, an authority on Delsarte, was a student of theology before he became a dancer. He started his career with ballet training but later developed his own style based on Delsarte's principles of expressive movement. He choreographed many religious dances and he also created dances on themes pertaining to American culture. His persevering work in free movement for the expression of meaning and feeling, his application of Delsarte's laws of movement and gesture, and his development of a masculine quality of movement for men were pioneer contributions to the new American dance. [55]

In 1914, Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn founded the Denishawn School and Denishawn Dance Company, and both existed for about seventeen years. These dancers did not create a specific Denishawn technique but they rather provided a variety of dance experiences by teaching primitive, ethnic, free expressive dance and adapted ballet techniques. They endeavored to give their students a wide range of movement resources which would enable them to communicate thoughts through their own techniques. [56] The dance ideas of Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn disseminated through their teaching, and the performances of the Denishawn Dancers both at home and abroad, led to the birth of the American modern dance. [57]


The American dancers Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman received their early dance training in the Denishawn School, and they were leading dancers in the Denishawn Dance Company before they began their independent careers. These dancers analyzed movement, they developed their own methods of dance training, and their ideas enriched the theories and practices of movement education.

Martha Graham, the famous dancer of international reputation, bases her movement theory on the natural act of breathing and on muscular contraction and release. She created the term "percussive movement" which is a "movement initiated by a sharp attack" similar to the sound of a drum. [58] To Martha Graham, the core sphere of the actions of the body is centered in the pelvic region and all movements are integrated within this sphere. A contraction is a movement toward the center of the body and a release is a movement away from it. She emphasizes the physical opposition and the suspension of force at the moment of change as the body goes from a contraction to a release.

Martha Graham's method of body training for the dance is commonly known as the Graham technique. She teaches stern discipline of body and mind, an acute vigilance of posture in every move, clear unembellished movements and perfection in performance. The development of strength, freedom of movement, and spontaneity in moving are the main goals. The Graham technique consists of floor exercises, exercises standing in one place, locomotor exercises, and exercises for falls. The exercises are performed in movement themes with variations.  [59] Her long time collaborator Louis Horst, musician and teacher of dance composition, contributed greatly to her artistic and educational work. Her film "A Dancer's WorId" gives a vivid demonstration of Martha Graham's philosophy and of her dance company at work.

The highly esteemed dance team Humphrey- Weidman was on the way to a most promising future when it was ended by Doris Humphrey's untimely illness and death. Doris Humphrey (1895-1958) developed her principles of movement on the basis of the alternation of imbalance and balance or "fall and recovery" as she named it. She experimented with the effect of gravity on the flow of movement in swaying motions, and she explored the progression of movement from activity to inactivity, up to a complete fall. As the body approaches the bottom of a fall, a natural increase in speed develops. This acceleration adds a dynamic element since it involves a corresponding natural increase of muscular tension to resist a fall. Doris Humphrey utilized the creative potentialities of fall and recovery throughout her career. [60]

Doris Humphrey's technical studies were organized into "body mechanics" and "dance studies." Body mechanics consisted of stretches for suppleness, strength, and coordination, isolated exercises for different parts of the body, and walking, running, jumping, and leaping. Her dance studies were organized into simple and difficult falls, studies of design and dynamics, and combinations of these studies with special emphasis on rhythm. [61]

Doris Humphrey's orchestration of movement was very complex and effective. A dancer with exceptional musical understanding, she created dances where movement and music sometimes blended and sometimes contrasted in fascinating polyrhythmical dance compositions. She was especially known as a choreographer, and her book The Art of Making Dances is a scholarly contribution to the dance as a performing art.

Charles Weidman, a distinguished dancer and choreographer, was Humphrey's dance partner for many years and they established the Humphrey- Weidman Studio, a school for modern dance. Weidman makes a distinction between a feminine and masculine dance style and he developed a manly quality of movement which strengthened the dance as an art expression of men. He also contributed his concepts and techniques of kinetic pantomime, a concept of movement which is abstract rather than dramatic in quality, and usually either comic or satirical. Kinetic pantomime involves expanding upon an abstract movement, a movement idea or design idea, and "rather than telling a story, it constitutes a revolt against representational pantomime."  [62]

Hanya Holm, another celebrated American modern dancer and choreographer, was born in Germany. A Dalcroze graduate, and a student of Mary Wigman, she was later teacher at the Mary Wigman School. She came first to the United States with the Wigman dance group, and returned in 1931 to New York City as head of the newly established branch of the Wigman School. [ii] There she continued Wigman's essential theories and European techniques, but she eventually adapted her approach to the characteristics of American culture. Hanya Holm's work is based on the "centrality" and the rhythm of the moving body. She distinguishes between movements which are created by muscular contraction and those which arise from muscular release, and she defines the location where a movement begins, and where it proceeds. She differentiates between central movements which progress toward the periphery of the body and peripheral movements which progress toward the center. [63]

Hanya Holm recognizes that the human body moves according to natural laws of motion, and that dancers must learn to consciously control their movements. They must analyze movement, but beyond analysis of the natural functioning of movement, a "consciousness of muscle tone, color, quality and quantity of movement" is necessary for real control. Starting her training with vigorous flexibility and strength exercises, Hanya Holm strives to develop alert and sensitive bodies, balance, ease of body behavior, and a kinesthetic awareness of the relationship of all body sections. [64]

A new relationship between movement and music is evident in the modern dance. Led primarily by the rhythm of the body, the contemporary dancer creates his dances out of the inner depths of thought and emotion. Music may be, but does not necessarily have to be, the stimulating force for the modern dancer's movements, nor does the dancer submit entirely to music when it is used as an accompaniment. Regarding music and dance as two independent art forms, the modern dancer does not claim to interpret the music to which he moves. He frequently selects contemporary music, has specific music composed for his movements, uses percussive sound, the spoken word, or electronic music, since these media seem to be the most stimulating for the free movement expressions of the body.


It was largely due to the pioneer work of Gertrude Kline Colby, Teachers College, Columbia University, the teaching of Margaret H'Doubler, the University of Wisconsin, and the work of the modern dance pioneers that the contemporary dance became an established activity in the physical education programs of American schools, colleges, and universities.

Gertrude Kline Colby was trained in folk dance, aesthetic dance, and ballet before she was influenced by the natural dance form of Isadora Duncan. Following Duncan's revolutionary methods, Col by developed a dance style which was based on free, natural movement. She wrote that "by making ourselves live instruments of expression, rhythmically unified, we are able to express in bodily movement the ideas and emotions which come from within." [65] Her natural approach to dance led to the development of a variety of programs of natural movement and rhythmic activities which were widely used in schools and colleges in the 1920's and 1930's.

Margaret H'Doubler's approach to the dance as a creative art is based on modern principles of biology, psychology, and aesthetics. Her book Dance, A Creative Art Experience gives a clear insight into her philosophy of movement in dance, and some of her ideas can be gathered from excerpts of an address given at the Boulder Dance Conference in .June, 1965. [66] She stated, in part, that the human being is a unified, integrated organism and that the creative process is inborn. Creativity, she said, is "nature's basic principle for survival and for the growth and development of the self" and it is, in some degree, inherent in everyone. It is evident in the expression of impulse, self-directed experience, thought, and judgement which occur in the processes of living. Thus "creativity is a biological principle before it is an art principle."

H'Doublcr stated that an education in dance should recognize individuality and take into consideration all the capacities and abilities of the students who, as sensitive and responsive personalities, are "capable of evaluating their own movement experiences intelligently and aesthetically." Education should "bring the conscious self into productive relationship with its instinctive tendencies" and this can be achieved by experimenting, exploring, and discovering one's self.

"Art is the only activity that man has found to express and communicate meanings and feeling qualities that he has found in his contact with reality .... " When these feelings extend beyond the qualities of everyday experience, they rise to such heights that their "vitality demands a release in some form of expression .... Since the dancer's medium of expression is movement and the dance is an art creation in movement," the dancer needs movement knowledge and a keen kinesthetic sense. With an understanding of movement principles and a keen kinesthetic sense, students can then explore, and create, direct, and discipline their own movements, although guidance is always necessary.

For Margaret H'Doubler, rhythm in movement is the organic muscular contraction and relaxation, and the duration of intervals between contraction and release depends on the force of energy expended in the effort. Rhythm is the flow and the cessation of the flow of energy and time required for motion. "Therefore, rhythm can be thought of as measured energy." Movement and rhythm are inherent in the human organism and the dancer can use these capacities to attain a high artistic level. "A dancer works to translate aesthetic experience into movement symbols and works with the materials of his physical and psychical nature."

Margaret H'Doubler's scholarly and scientific analysis of the dance as a creative art, as well as her approach to movement exploration, became a firmly established method of movement and dance education in America. Her numerous students introduced her methods into school and college programs and her dance philosophy, expressed in writings, teaching, and lecturing, has influenced both dance and movement education in America.

Another modern dance educator who promoted the new dance in American schools and colleges is Martha Hill, a student of Anna Duncan, Margaret H'Doubler, and Gertrude Colby, and a former member of the Martha Graham Dance Company. [67] As head of the dance departments, first at New York University's School of Education, then at the Bennington School of Dance, and currently at the Juilliard School of Music, she participated in conferences, workshops, symposiums, and summer courses to clarify theories and methods of modern dance in education. [iii]

Martha Hill, as well as Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey, Charles Weidman, Hanya Holm, and their students worked in close collaboration with the leaders of the dance section of the American Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation. The modern dance thus became a vital part of American physical education for girls and women. Many youth-serving organizations also provide opportunities for the study of modern dance both as an educational activity and as an artistic training. From explorations and discoveries in modern dance has come a wealth of valuable information for movement education.



i. Betty K. Sommer attended summer courses at the Laban,  Wigman, and Palucca Schools in 1927.
ii. Betty K. Sommer took courses at both Humphrey-  Weidman and Hanya Holm Schools.
iii. Betty K. Sommer attended workshops under the leadership  of Martha Hill in the 1940's.
1. R. Tait McKenzie, Exercise in Education and Medicine (Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders Company, 1923), p.136.

2. Ted Shawn, Every Little Movement (Lee, Massachusetts: Jacob's Pillow, 1963), pp. 15-16, 28-30.

3. Genevieve Stebbins, Delsarte System of Expression (New York: Edgar S. 'Werner Publishing and Supply Co., 1902), pp. 113,115.

4. Shawn, op. cit., pp. 31-34.

5. Ibid., pp. 33-35.

6. Stebbins, op. cit., pp. 257-264.

7. McKenzie, op cit., p. 139.

8. Ibid., p. 137; Shawn, op cit., p. 11.

9. Stebbins, op. cit., pp. 73-74, 396.

10. Ibid., pp. 422-423.

11. Ibid., p. 400.

12. Ibid., pp. 401, 406.

13. Ibid., pp. 401-402, 409.

14. Photographs, announcements, catalogues of Summer Courses in Collegiate Studies (Chautauqua, New York: Smith Library, 1886-1913). Mrs. Bishop, dressed in flowing Greek robes, was a prominent personality at the Chautauqua Institute summer sessions of 1910-1912 which Margaret C. Brown attended.

15. Emily Bishop, "Americanized Delsarte Culture," Proceedings of Seventh Annual Meeting, American Association for the Advancement of Physical Education, 1892, pp. 80-85.

16. Shawn, op. cit., p. 12.

17. Editorial, Mind and Body, Vol. IV (August, 1897), p. 136; McKenzie, op cit., pp. 137-139.

18. Franz Hilker, Reine Gymnastik (Berlin: Max Hesses Verlag, 1926), pp. 31, 38, 52.

19. H. Brunet-Lecomte, Jaques Dalcruze, Sa Vie-Son Oeuvre (Edition Jeheber; Geneva, Switzerland: The Dalcroze Institute, 1950), pp. 78-89.

20. Emile Jaques-Dalcroze, Rhythm, Music and Education, trans. Harold F. Rubenstein (England: The English Dalcroze Society, 1967), p. viii.

21. Ibid., pp. 64-71. Betty K. Sommer was a student of Dalcroze at the Geneva Institute, participated in the hundredth anniversary Dalcroze Festival in 1965, and, as guest teacher, gave a course at the international summer session of the Institute in 1968.

22. Brunet-Lecomte, op. cit., pp. 109-118.

23. Photographs of Dalcroze's initial classes and performances as well as testimony of his original group confirm this custom.

24. Henrietta Rosenstrauch, "Rhythm and the Art of Living," Le Rhythme, magazine of the Union Internationale des Professeurs de Rhythmique Jaques-Dalcroze (December 1965), pp. 8-13.

25. Emile Jaques-Dalcroze, op. cit., pp. 103-112.

26. Statement by Annemarie Meusser, director of the Mensendieck Central Institute, New York City, original pupil and long-time associate of Dr. Bess M. Mensendieck, personal interview, September 26, 1964. Permission to quote secured.

27. Bess M. Mensendieck, Look Better, Feel Better (New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1951), pp. 3-28.

28. Franz Hilker, Reine Gymnastik, pp. 40-43.

29. Bruno Saurbier, Geschichte der Leibesubungen, p. 144.

30. Isadora Duncan, My Life (Garden City, New York: Garden City Publishing Company, 1927), pp. 3, 21, 80.

31. Ibid., pp. 164-165, 3.

32. Irma Duncan, The Techniques of Isadora Duncan (New York: Kamin Publishers, 1937), p. viii.

33. Olga Maynard, American Modern Dancers (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1965), p. 50.

34. Isadora Duncan, op. cit., pp. 252, 31.

35. Curt Sachs, World History of the Dance (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1963). p. 447.

36. Isadora Duncan, op cit., pp. 75, 77, 341.

37. Agnes DeMille, The Dance (New York: Golden Press, 1963), p. 135.

38. Isadora Duncan, op. cit., pp. 175-176.

39. Ibid., p. 175; Irma Duncan, op. cit., pp. 31-32.

40. Loc. cit. MacKaye, Stebbins and Duncan phrase this thought in similar words.

41. Gertrude K. Colby, Natural Rhythms and Dances (New York: A.S. Barnes and Company. 1922), p. 6.

42. Rudolf Laban and F. C. Lawrence, Effort (London: Macdonald and Evans. 1947), pp. 1-34.

43. Rudolf Laban, The Mastery of Movement (second edition, revised by Lisa Ullmann; London: Macdonald and Evans. 1960), p. 10.

44. Diane Gaumer, "Laban," Focus on Dance II, ed. by Bettie Jane Wooten (Washington: National Section on Dance, 1962), p. 11.

45. Laban, op. cit., p. 23.

46. Ibid., pp. 36-37; Joan Russell, Modern Dance in Education (London: Macdonald and Evans, Ltd., 1958). pp. 32-33; W. McD. Cameron and Peggy Pleasance, Education in Movement (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1963), pp. 9-10.

47. Statement by Irmgard Bartenieff, Director of Effort- Shape Program, Dance Notation Bureau, New York, May 14, 1966. Quoted by permission.

48. Mary Wigman, "My Teacher, Laban," The Laban Art of Movement Guild Magazine (special birthday number; December 1954), p. 11.

49. Mary Wig-man, Die Sprache des Tames (Stuttgart: Ernst Battenberg Verlag, 1963), pp. 108-109.

50. Ted Shawn, Every Little Movement, pp. 79-80.

51. Walter Terry, The Dance in America (New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1956), pp. 40, 51-52, 121-122.

52. Olga Maynard, American Modern Dancers (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1965), pp. 17-19.

53. Shawn, op cit., p. 77.

54. John Martin, The Dance (New York: Tudor Publishing Company, 1963). On p. 140 he identifies St. Denis in the "line of descent" to modern dance.

55. Terry, op. cit., pp. 69-75; Maynard, op. cit., pp. 89-95.

56. Ted Shawn, personal letter, January 31, 1966; Terry, op. cit., p. 69.

57. Terry, op cit., p. 59; Maynard, op. cit., p. 94.

58. Martin, op cit., p. 154.

59. Martha Graham, "A Modern Dancer's Primer for Action," Dance, A Basic Educational Technique, ed. by Frederick Rand Rogers (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1956), pp. 178-187.

60. Martin, op cit., pp. 148-149; Maynard, op. cit., pp. 129-132.

61. Doris Humphrey, "My Approach to the Modern Dance," Dance, A Basic Educational Technique, ed. by Frederick Rand Rogers, pp. 188-192.

62. Statement by Charles Weidman, personal interview, April 28, 1966. Permission to quote secured.

63. Terry, op. cit., pp. 116-118.

64. Hanya Holm, "The Attainment of Conscious Controlled Movement," Dance: A Basic Educational Technique, ed. by Frederick Rand Rogers, pp. 298-299.

65. Gertrude K. Colby, op. cit., p. 7; Thomas Denison Wood and Rosalind Cassidy, The New Physical Education (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1927), pp. 269-270.

66. Quoted by permission.

67. Maynard, op. cit., p. 103; Norma Schwendener, History of Physical Education in the United States (New York: A. S. Barnes and Company, 1942), p. 194.
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