Ritalin is a stimulant that increases extracellular dopamine levels in the brain. This enables one to focus more intensely on the task at hand. At the same time the drug decreases the firing of background neurons not associated with task performance-- distractions. The end result? The brain is able to fire a clear signal which is not as easily distracted. Kinda like switching from antenna TV to cable.
Ritalin is a mind-altering drug that changes brain chemistry in children & adults. It is also habit-forming and comes with a whole slew of warnings and side effects. Not enough research is available to determine what the long term effects of Ritalin are on the central nervous system.
After 35 yrs. in the ballet, I have seen indisputable evidence of how ballet training has changed the lives of children as well as adults who were thought to have ADD or ADHD.
How does it work?
Ballet exercises at the barre are repetitive. Every class involves repeating the same series of exercises day after day with only slight variations depending on level and experience. This creates new muscle memories that become second nature over time. The body/mind connection becomes more in sync as new synapses are created in the brain. The result? More mental & physical discipline and focus.
2. Classical Music.
It has long been known there is a there is a direct connection between classical music and its effect on memory. Ever heard of the "Mozart Effect"?
Studies have shown that students who listened to classical music while learning a new language were able to learn more words per day and had a 92% retention rate. Freaky, huh?
The best results were found when using music that had a rate of 60 beats per minute.
Hmmm...kinda like the human heart. Weird, huh?
3. Ballet is the Ultimate in Multi-Tasking.
Ever watch a child (or adult) playing video games? Good luck trying to distract them when they are "In the Zone." I wouldn't advise bothering them or turning off the power during these times of hyper-vigilance. Yikes!
Ballet does the same thing, but in a much calmer way, mentally and physically.
They can operate "In the Zone" at the same intense level mentally and physically, but without the increased changes in blood pressure and heart rate.
The highest levels of mental and physical performance occur during an ultimate state of relaxation.
Is ballet the only way help people who have been diagnosed with ADD & ADHD?
Of course not. It's one of many. But in my opinion, it sure trumps the alternative.
Mind-Altering, psychotropic drugs.