Engineering students use dance to solve problems

In this April 29, 2013, photo, Andy Nwaelele, a biomedical engineering major, left, and dance partner Omowunmi Odutola practice wing dance steps during a Northwestern University class for engineering students called Whole Body Thinking in Evanston, Ill. (AP Photo/Teresa Crawford)

EVANSTON, Illinois (AP) — Engineering students at Northwestern University are getting a leg up on the competition. They’re learning to swing dance in a for-credit class called Whole Body Thinking.

Joe Holtgreive, an assistant dean at the McCormick School of Engineering, started the class to help future engineers break outside their comfort zone.

Holtgreive says the course, led by Northwestern University Professor of Dance Billy Siegenfeld, is teaching students known for left-brain thinking to use more of the right side of their brains.

The students include biomedical, mechanical and chemical engineering majors who say they’re learning more than dance. They say the class is teaching them to think on their feet and work collaboratively with dance partners — skills they say will help make them better engineers.

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