Dance has long been something that school age children, particularly girls, engage in – but have you ever given any thought into the benefits of it apart from a temporary hobby? Below we summarise 7 great benefits of dance for children:
Health Benefits – First and foremost dance is exercise and in a time where the temptations of technology are all too present, dance is a great, fun way to get your child away from the screen into an environment where they can exercise that isn’t actually a sport. Wider health benefits are the build up of strength and endurance, improved flexibility and range of motion.
Teamwork – More often than not, dance classes involve working in a group; as such, dance is a great way of encouraging teamwork amongst children.
Co-ordination – unsurprisingly, dance is great for improving the co-ordination of children. The ability to isolate, move and stretch parts of their body to music really helps to improve their co-ordination. According to a report by Lori A. Simith, president of the Illinois Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance – a child’s physical co-ordination will ultimately have a bearing on their skill level in sports, academic performance and event attitudes about school and education. Therefore co-ordination developed in the dance studio has key benefits outside well beyond the studio.
Emotional interpretation – According to Dr Albert Mehrabian, author of Silent Messages, who conducted several studies on nonverbal communication, only 7% of any message is conveyed through words. 38% is conveyed through vocal elements and a whopping 55% through nonverbal elements (facial expressions, gestures, posture etc). Taking dance classes as a child can therefore help you with nonverbal communication, which is a significant life skill.
Self Expression – Learning dance movements in class enables a child to express themselves through dance outside of the class. And it’s been suggested that “self expression” might be one, if not the most important way for people to connect and grow with each other.
Repetition and Practice – Not every dance movement is easy for every person – and just as learning an instrument is difficult for a musician, so is learning a range of dance movements for a dancer. For most, this comes from repetition and practice – involving resilience and tenacity – again, great life skills.
Confidence - Lastly and by no means least, dance builds confidence in children. It builds up their confidence in their body to perform certain movements that are not natural; equally, the performance element that is attached to most dance practice builds up a confidence to perform in front of other people.
At Simply Theatre we believe that Dance is one of the best physical activities that we can do in our formative years. It’s one of the reasons that we launched our dance department a few years back – but it’s also a great complementary activity to drama and/or singing – which is why it forms part of our Performing Arts courses.
This year we're excited to have World Tap Dance champions Olivia and Rebecca Grobety teaching at our Academy in Geneva; and we're thrilled to welcome back Emma-Jayne Parker. Those who've seen Emma-Jayne teach in the past will know the passion and expertise she brings to her classes! Check out the range of dance that we offer at Simply Theatre – from Ballet to Tap to Jazz – at www.simplytheatre.com