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Mind & movement: Event explores relationship between brain and dance

The New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science was looking for a fun way to tie in its current exhibits about the brain.

The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science will host “This Is Your Brain on Dance” event in connection with its current exhibit “Brain: Inside Story.” (Courtesy of The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science)

“Brain: The Inside Story,” which runs through June 23, presents recent findings in neuroscience, highlighting the brain’s ability to rewire itself in response to experience, disability or trauma, according to the museum’s website. “Drugs: Costs and Consequences, Opening Eyes to the Damage Drugs Cause” explores the effects of drugs on society and the environment from a global perspective. It will run through Sept. 30.

“There is one portion of the brain exhibit that focuses on dance and everything that the brain has to sort of use in order to execute dance,” said Rachel Veracka, director of visitor experience at the museum. “We even hosted a lecture about aging in the brain, and one take-away was how important dance is to keep your cognitive faculties to keep them going and to keep your brain healthy. We thought we should host a dance. We will have some TED talks going on in the planetarium that will be focusing on brain health and dance and other types of physical activities. We will have amenities like a bar and a food truck and a DJ, and we’ve been working with community dance groups in town to make sure that the danceability of the music that we have will be of a high quality, and we will also have the dancers that are really passionate about dance. So overall, the point of these kinds of events are to add some value to our communities and the quality of life in Albuquerque.”

“This is your Brain on Dance” also will have different activities attendees can participate in such as creative art projects, brain games, chess. The event also will commemorate the departure of Stan, the signature T-rex in the museum’s atrium. The weekend of the dance is the last time Stan will be on display at the museum. Stan will be replaced by a new animatronic T-rex that would have been native to the area that is now New Mexico.

Dance guests will be able to visit both the “Brain: The Inside Story” and the traveling drug exhibit from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Museum and the DEA Education Foundation.

“Part of having these events is being able to welcome people into the museum,” Veracka said.

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