Can rhythm be taught, or is it hereditary/cultural/learned behavior

United States
@sharone74 (4851)
December 5, 2009 2:03pm CST
A lot of people maintain that all black people know how to dance. They seem to think that rhythm is a genetic marker for negros and afro (american,indian,european, etc.) I have always thought that rhythm could be taught with a firm solid 8 count, a metronome if the count didn't work, and after that I will be down to using the method from "Mr. Holland's Opus" where he taught the black kid, who was a drummer in his program rhythm by putting a football helmet on his head and tapping the beat on the helmet with drumsticks. I have never met anyone who is rhythmically challenged or bump handicapped, or who couldn't at the least do a simple two step, that is UNTIL NOW. I have been trying to help a friend of mine learn to dance and while she has come a long way, and can immulate some of my tricks and moves, the failing in her moving to the next level with her dancing, is that the poor child (46 years old) has no rhythm. Counld not carry a tempo if I put it in a lock box and handed it to her. Get this all of her daughters whom I have met, save one, is hopelessly rhythmless also. So my question to you all is. Can one learn rhythm at all? Is it ingrained in certain ethnic groups from birth? Is it hereditary? If your parents were good dancers, or could at least snap their fingers to the beat of a song, does that guarantee that you'll be able to dance or something. Is dancing and rhythm a cultural creation? Kind of like a serious game of monkey see monkey knows best, or is it that some parents are just more hip and they play records and would have parties and invite all of your friends? If so that would make rhythm and dancing ability a learned behavior. I know that all of these factors contribute to the overall presence and skills of an individual but I am just wondering whether after 8 months of trying to teach her rhythm I can just give up and accept that she is hard of hearing rhythm or rhythmically challenged. Waht do y'all think?