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In my program Math in Your Feet, we use 'movement variables' to choreograph our own dance steps. But, in actuality they are a collection of attributes used to design each individual beat. When we use the word variable in this design context, is that algebra? I've always assumed that using the phrase 'movement variables' was not mathematically accurate.

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MobySnoodles

**Answer** by MobySnoodles
·
May 15, 2013 at 09:35 AM

There are 64 major mathematical fields by the classification many folks use: [
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematics_Subject_Classification][1] All those fields - like ordinary differential equations, combinatorics, general topology, or statistics - use variables. That is, the idea of a "variable" is one of the most fundamental, widespread, and flexible of all math concepts. Variables are everywhere! Why not in choreography? The question of whether we are doing algebra (or another formal piece of math) is trickier. Different people draw that line in different places. I say it's math if we name our variables and describe some patterns in words, graphs, symbols or some other language you can share with other people. That girl on the right, explaining the rotation pattern to her classmate during the [Math in Your Feet][2] workshop, is doing math! ![alt text][3] It does not have to be a standard language. Any good math club, or any four-year-old playing with math make up their own terms and symbols! The important thing is to **describe patterns**. If you describe patterns using variables, you may land somewhere like algebra. But it may be that patterns you notice will be about statistics, or geometry, or some other area of math that uses variables. Maybe even several areas at once! [1]:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematics_Subject_Classification [2]:
http://www.mathinyourfeet.com/ [3]: /storage/temp/21-mathinyourfeetgirltalking.jpg

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