Have you ever been watching a dance performance and involuntarily physically reacted to a moment or movement? Us too! Especially with the last few episodes of NBC’s World of Dance. It’s called kinesthetic empathy, and is something most people have experienced at some point or another.
“A key interdisciplinary concept in our understanding of social interaction across creative and cultural practices, kinesthetic empathy describes the ability to experience empathy merely by observing the movements of another human being.” (source) This empathy often is manifested physically—even if subtly—in the observer.
The dynamic performances from some of the best dancers in the world can have a profound effect on the audience. This tends to be especially true when dancers watch other dancers. Watch some of the celebrity judges’ reactions to some of the performances we’ve seen so far.
Keone & Mari, watch Ne-Yo at about 0:45.
Nick Daniels, check out Derek Hough at 1:15.