Well it is that time of year again! Time to start looking ahead to the school year – and that means choosing activities! As a mom, I am just like all of you when it comes to planning our schedules and looking for that perfect balance:) While it may be obvious that I love dance and I truly believe in the value of an dance education for all kids, you may not know why! So here is my top 10 list of why dance is the best activity for kids!
Top 10 Reasons why Dance is the best activity for kids!!
1. Cardiovascular Strength! Dance involves a lot of energy output because it involves movement in all directions. All that stopping, starting, changing directions, burns a ton of fuel! Dance makes kids fit and healthy!
2. Dance Helps Kids Relax! Research since the 1980’s supports that dance curbs anxiety, reduces stress, and helps overcome social anxiety.
3. Dance Improves Balance and Strength! The up and down, side to side movements activates and trains all your body’s muscles including the little support muscles and tendons. Dance also builds coordination, flexibility, and endurance while reducing the chance for injury.
4. GRIT!! Dance helps kids learn discipline, because they have to memorize and execute specific steps and body movements that require practice and perseverance. Dance training teaches kids that hard work pays off! When children continue to put in effort in class, they will literally see results in the mirror. It’s such a concrete way for children to see that observing their actions and listening to guidance from teachers, combined with hard work, leads to positive results. I know from personal experience that the arts can be challenging. As a young dancer, there were many times when I became so frustrated that I wanted to quit. But I didn’t. After practicing hard, I learned that hard work and perseverance pay off. This mindset will certainly matter as they grow—especially during their career where they will likely be asked to continually develop new skills and work through difficult projects.
5. Dancers Are Smart! Dance increases cognitive function at all ages. Children who study dance are more likely to excel in school. In addition to the cognitive benefits, dance also teaches organization and discipline – 2 skills that kids really need to succeed in an academic environment. “A report by Americans for the Arts states that young people who participate regularly in the arts (three hours a day on three days each week through one full year) are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, to participate in a math and science fair or to win an award for writing an essay or poem than children who do not participate.”
6. Dance Builds Self Esteem!! As children learn new steps the feel a sense of accomplishment. This tends to build their self-esteem as well, pushing them to learn more. When children perform in front of others, they develop a better sense of confidence as well.
7. Dancers Make Friends! Taking a dance class is a great way for your child to meet a new circle of friends! Dance teams allow for deeper connections and lifelong friendships.
8. Dancers Work Together! They must share responsibility and compromise to achieve their common goal. Kids learn that their contribution to the group is integral to its success.
9. Dancers Know How to Work Through Challenges! The arts strengthen problem solving and critical thinking skills. How do I express this feeling through my dance? How should I play this character? Learning how to make choices and decisions will certainly carry over into their education and other parts of life—as this is certainly a valuable skill in adulthood.
10. Dance Leads to Lifelong Success. Because of all the reasons above, dancers go on to accomplish great things both on and off the dance floor. Dancers have access to scholarship opportunities for nearly all universities as part of their arts program or their college dance teams. Dance is also a lifelong activity allowing participants to continue well after high school and college sports are done. There are volunteer opportunities for dancers to use their talents to give back to their community. And looking far into the future, dance is medically proven to prevent dementia.
Athlete + Artist = Dancer!!!