1. Improves Physical Health
Obviously, dance is a physical activity. And it’s one that focuses on the entire body, so it’s great for TOTAL body fitness. If taken regularly, expect to see your child improve in the following areas: flexibility, stamina, balance, coordination, and range of motion. Most importantly, it gives children the motivation to keep exercising. Before you know it, you’ll find them practicing their moves and routines all over the house!
2. Provides Opportunities For Socialization
Dance can help improve social and communication skills! In a normal dance class, children are asked to communicate and cooperate as a group, as individuals, and as pairs. If you have a shy child, starting them in dance classes can help them talk to others and make new friends. In addition, dancing can help reduce any fears a child may have about performing (or even speaking) in front of a crowd. Personally, it helped me to develop a greater sense of trust. Dance forced me to physically trust others and it’s made a difference in my personal life.
3. Room For Self-Expression
The emphasis on self-expression in dance separates dance from other forms of physical activity. Expressiveness is imperative to a great performance, so teachers really harp on it! I love it, and kids love it! Dance gives children the freedom to simply be themselves and be proud of that. It’s also a great way for them to physically release their emotions. Dance explores all emotions. Sometimes, kids don’t know how to say that they are upset or they just don’t want to tell you. Often, if I see children upset, they won’t tell me why. But they step into class and I see them put all of their energy into dancing. And almost always, they come out less upset than before.
4. Provides Education & Discipline
In dance classes, children are regularly asked to memorize movement sequences. Simply, this helps children practice their memorization skills (which is particularly important in early education) while encouraging a detail-oriented mindset. Students are also expected to learn choreography or movement sequences quickly. I have seen a huge improvement in speed at which children learn as they get used to it. This increase in learning speed has the potential to carry over into other aspects of their lives as well! Also, dance is the perfect mixture of fun and discipline. Certain styles require more structure than others. For instance, a ballet class requires more structure than a hip-hop class. However, there are always times to stay quiet and follow directions and times children can just let loose!
5. Can Improve Self-Esteem
As children learn more about dance and adjust to movement, they will start to gain a better sense of their bodies that will allow them to feel more comfortable in their own skin. The more comfortable a child feels in his or her own skin, the easier it will be for him or her to develop and maintain confidence! This is particularly helpful for children who have any sort of disability. Also, teachers are always encouraged to promote positive attitudes in the classroom. And positivity is key to keeping that self-esteem high and rising!
Remember, dance classes are NOT just for girls. All of the benefits above apply to boys and girls. The number of boys taking dance classes has grown and it is continuing to do so!