Dance is a fantastic activity for children of all ages, as it takes their natural desire to move and express themselves and structures it into a conscious performance. According to the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) “Children learn movement patterns as readily as they learn language.” So it’s best to make the most of these formative years, encouraging your children to try new things, to learn and grow as they so readily absorb new information. Throughout history dance has been used as a means for teaching, learning and cultural expression, passed down from generation to generation. It is one of our oldest forms of storytelling and communication, and with physical, mental and social benefits you can understand why.
Physical: Dance involves an extensive range of motion, coordination, strength, and endurance, which is an excellent form of exercise for full body fitness, helping children develop strong and flexible physiques. According to Livestrong.com, “The repetitive movements involved in dance can improve muscle tone, correct poor posture, increase balance and coordination, and improve overall cardiovascular health”. So encourage your children to harness their seemingly boundless energy, to foster a positive relationship with exercise and improve their body and mind through dance.
Mental: According to an article published by Stanford University, “Dancing integrates several brain functions at once — kinaesthetic, rational, musical, and emotional — further increasing your neural connectivity.” What is kinaesthetic learning I hear you ask? It’s a tactile form of learning, in which people learn through physical activities as opposed to using books, lectures or demonstrations. Kinaesthetic learning encourages children to use their body to express thoughts, ideas and concepts.
Social: Dance creates a space in which to interact and cooperate with other individuals, quickly teaching children how to work within a group dynamic, which also serves to aid them in their understanding of themselves in relation to others. It’s also a great way to meet other children who want to move and have fun!
The NDEO says: “Education in the art of dance engages the artistic processes of creating, performing and critical analysis. These processes require students to read symbol systems, use critical thinking skills, excel in nonverbal reasoning and communication, exchange ideas, work cooperatively and collaboratively with others, and interact within a multicultural society. More comprehensively, education in the art of dance develops kinaesthetic and spatial learning as well as intra- and interpersonal knowledge of self and others.”
There’s also the benefit for parents – watching your children learn and grow and develop techniques that will affect their lives in a positive way both on and off the dance floor.
If you think your children are interested, or have thought about just giving it a try, sign them up for their free first class. It's on us, so you can give your children the benefits of dancing and give them a chance to see if they like it!