The benefits of taking dance class extend far beyond just getting them out of the house to blow off some energy. This activity is in part athletic training and part creative, artistic endeavor. Movement and dance have a positive influence on a child’s mental, physical and emotional health that extend far beyond the classroom. It can help children do better in school, make friends, gain physical strength, balance and flexibility and of course, it also allows for that wonderful release of youthful joy and energy. With so many benefits it’s hard to narrow it down to just a few!
1. Dance increases your child’s motor skills and physical fitness. Whether your child is taking creative movement, ballet, tap, hip-hop or jazz, you can expect to see an increase in overall fitness, balance, stamina, coordination, cardio health and flexibility. All this in a fun and supportive atmosphere. Participating in regular exercise programs also sets up a child to continue the habit of working out for life. A more fit child is also more likely to join in physical activities in school during gym and recess. Additionally, a child who has had a chance to release pent up energy will be calmer at home, benefitting parents and siblings as well.
2. Dance classes can help a child’s emotional and mental well-being. Dance and movement help the body to release endorphins (those feel good hormones) which flood the body with positive feelings, effecting the mood and behavior of that child. Children who dance also gain confidence and self esteem by feeling more comfortable in their own skin. Dance requires awareness and control of the body allowing a dancer to be able to be better at self-expression and creativity. Dance also helps a child learn concentration and focus. As a part of their training dancers must memorize and practice choreography which translates easily into better academic performance. (Studies show that students who dance do better on SAT’s and perform higher in Math and Science competitions.)
3. Dance can improve your child’s social skills. Dancers learn through performance how to be a part of a team, something larger than themselves. They develop trust and cooperation amongst their classmates to work together in performing a dance. This helps them to make friends, alleviate fears about performing and being in front of people. It gives a child a tribe, and a place to belong where they can interact with other kids their own age. Many children develop life-long friendships and learn to leave their shyness behind as their communication skills blossom.
4. Dance increases a child’s natural creativity. Learning to dance opens a child’s experience to new cultures, ways of expression, and music. As part of the training, dancers are asked to create their own dances, phrases, and ways of moving as well as their own personal expression and interpretation of the music. Often-times this habitual creativity spills over into other areas like theater, music, and other art forms. It enables them to be comfortable and competent at exploring their own creativity.
5. Dance teaches goal setting and tenaciousness. Children are constantly encouraged in dance class to strive for their best work. The creative outlet and freedom they discover in their bodies is balanced by the disciplined and structured atmosphere. Dance classes inspire to allow a child to try, fail, and try again in the attempt to reach higher and higher goals. It teaches kids to become disciplined and self-motivated leaners. Children also learn to accept constructive criticism and to use it for their own betterment.
With so many benefits, it’s an obvious conclusion that Dance is designed to give your child a leg up on life. So what are you waiting for? Sign your kiddo up for a dance class now and watch them blossom! They’ll thank you for it.
Summer Camps, Intensives and Classes Now Available!
Please see the details here - All levels, ages 4 & up welcome - Summer Camps, Intensives & Weekly Classes!
By Kristen Vierthaler
ADT Development Director
Alaska Dance Theatre is a nonprofit school of dance serving Alaskans since 1980. Voted #1 Dance School in Anchorage by Anchorage Press readers 2019.