As your children grow up, you likely want to get them involved in different activities so they can learn new skills, make new friends, and occupy their time with intellectually or physically stimulating hobbies. There are many fun and healthy activities available, including dance. This activity is great for children of all ages and genders because it provides many physical, intellectual, and social benefits. Here are seven reasons dance can be beneficial to kids of all ages.
Promotes a Healthy Body
There are many types of dance, from ballet to tap to jazz to hip-hop and everything in between. But what all of these forms of dance have in common is that they all help with flexibility, dexterity, balance, fine and gross motor skills, physical strength, and stamina. Dance classes typically involve stretching to improve flexibility as well as drills that train the core and other important muscles. In addition, children learn spatial awareness and how their bodies relate to others around them, a skill they practice when performing routines in place and swapping spots with other dancers in a routine.
However, each type of dance may help with these factors differently. For example, ballet can promote flexibility and strengthen core muscles that improve balance and posture. And while ballet does require a decent amount of stamina, tap dance tends to be more energetic, which can quickly improve stamina.
Encourages Creative Expression
Dance is a creative art form. By enrolling your children in dance classes of any kind, you’ll be helping them develop new ways to express themselves. Kids in dance will also get chances to appreciate dance, music, and other art forms, too.
What’s more, dance can introduce children to many different cultures, depending on the types of dance they take. For instance, your little ballet dancer may learn about Russian and French language, or your child may learn about African-American culture through their jazz dance classes. And when your children learn about new cultures, they can better develop empathy, understanding, and appreciation of other people, an important life skill.
Enables Healthy Emotional Development
When your children take dance classes, they get to challenge themselves physically, mentally, and emotionally. Your toddler will be learning fun new dance moves they’ll want to show off at home. Elementary school-aged dancers may get a boost of self-confidence when they nail a routine in one go after practicing for many weeks. Your preteen or teen dancer may feel pressure to perform well for their recital or competition and feel accomplished after it’s all over. These challenges make dance a great way for kids to develop self-confidence and constructively handle pressure.
Dance also provides kids an outlet through which they can release energy or emotions, which can aid in developing healthy emotional expression as well. In addition, dance helps kids embrace and experiment with body language, which can enhance their emotional communication.
Provides Socialization Opportunities
Dance classes are typically group classes with children who are in the same grade, age group, or skill level, which means your children will get to meet and have fun with their peers. There are also times when dancers practice and perform a routine with dancers of another age group, which can give your child opportunities to improve their communication skills. They may even meet kids who go to different schools or live in nearby towns, which expands their friend group outside of school, religious activities, or other community involvements.
In addition to interacting with other students, your children will also be socializing with their dance instructors. This provides your children opportunities to practice respect for their elders and gain mentoring in dance from skilled and experienced teachers.
Boosts Cognitive Development
In a dance class, no matter the type of dance, children learn new moves, combinations, and whole routines, which requires focus, promotes pattern recognition, and enhances memory. As your children get older and take more advanced dance classes, your children will continue to refine these skills, all of which they’ll use to succeed in school and in many areas of life.
Teaches Motivation, Dedication, and Teamwork
Learning a routine or becoming a better dancer requires a lot of dedication, including time spent practicing and the discipline to dedicate time. That means your kids will start to develop discipline they can use when working hard in school, at other hobbies, and in other aspects of life. Kids will also learn what motivates them to want to do better — such as winning an award, getting a solo performance, or seeing their improvement over time — and how to set and work toward goals.
Since dance involves group or pair routines, your children will also be learning more about collaborating, motivating others, and communicating ideas and constructive feedback. All of these skills will come in handy during group projects at school or in other community organizations they’re in. They’ll continue to build on these skills as they get older, too.
Can Inspire a Lifelong Passion or Career
Your kids don’t have to stop taking dance classes or being a dancer once they age out of local classes. In fact, starting your kids in dance early is a great way to encourage a lifelong passion for this art form that will have them taking classes as an adult. Doing so means your children will have a creative outlet they can keep coming back to, a fun way to get regular exercise, and an activity that continues to challenge them.
In addition to a lifelong interest, dance classes at an early age can introduce children to career possibilities in dance, live performance, or other artistic fields. Dance classes may lead to your child training to be a professional dancer, becoming a dance instructor or choreographer, working in theater or live performance, or taking up a different artistic career altogether.