5 Ways Kids Benefit From Dance Classes
Updated: Jul 1, 2019
When I was three years old I saw dancers on a Barney VHS tape, and asked "Mom, can I do dance?" My parents were divorced and my mom was a single, hard working mother who didn't have extra funds sitting around for activities at that time. Although the answer to dance classes was no for the time being, she praised my attempts at following along with the kids on TV. For my fifth birthday, she gave me a certificate for ONE semester of dance.
Here I am 23 years later with a dance degree, a blog about dance, multiple businesses centered around dance and I get to share my passion for dance with my students every week! My love for dance quickly grew once I was in the studio and I believe this art benefited me as a child greatly. Here's why...
1. Dance promotes CREATIVITY!
One of my favorite moments in class as a child was when we got time to freestyle with scarves or ribbons. I never had a problem creating my own movements, but the teacher would share amazing imagery ideas to help us get going. For example, she would encourage us to create our own movements like an animal, paint a pretty picture with our ribbon on the floor, create circles with our bodies and props, or just simply encourage us to dance however the music made us feel. As I grew older, I would work in groups with students to create combinations of dance steps. You better believe that if my dance friends and I were having a sleepover - we were making up dances day and night (and showing them to the lucky parents in the house). When I reached my teenage years I began teaching and creating my own dances for younger children!
2. Dance promotes CONFIDENCE!
Sometimes it's hard for young children to leave their parents and come into class. It's a big step for some little dancers to be able to do a class on their own. However, once they get the hang of it they shine! I didn't struggle with that, but I was a little bit of a quiet kid. However, when I hit the stage - I felt like I could share my love of dance with the audience and shine! Dance helped me talk to new people, make new friends, believe in myself and nix stage fright.
3. Dance promotes FRIENDSHIP!
If you didn't notice, I've already mentioned dance friends twice! Growing up, nobody at my school took dance lessons, everyone did sports. I was the odd girl (or bun head) out. Dance gave me a place where I could be around girls who had my same interests and work ethic as me (let's all drop and do 20 push ups). We'd eat dinner together in the hallway between classes, get together outside of the studio, travel to competitions together and see each other on a consistent schedule. Dance helped me network and meet students from other studios in my state and nationwide.
4. Dance makes fitness and life FUN!
I wish the fancy fitness tracking watches that are around today were available when I was a kid. I can't imagine how many steps I would have after a day of dance class. I usually was having so much fun in class, I didn't realize I was exercising! Just think about the bliss toddlers have when they learn how to run, now picture a group of young girls leaping through the air. It was a game to see who could hold a plank the longest and my classmates and I would do our ab combination to music, counting out loud and cheering each other on. I struggled with being a child of divorce and dance was a great place for me to go and focus on class - putting all my energy into the task at hand and helping me to feel happy!
5. Dance creates RESPONSIBILITY!
Most dance studios have a dress code for students to follow. It was my responsibly to show up to class appropriately dressed, shoes on, hair up, and ready to work. I had several combinations and full dances to remember and practice for the next week. Our studio trained us well, having us write down choreography as homework for a notebook check during the next class (this was pre cellphones, people...we couldn't record our dances on our personal iPhones). This created a great sense of responsibility at a young age, reinforcing the responsibilities I was learning at home and school. Once when I was a teen, my class forgot the new section of one of our competition dance that my teacher had added the week prior. She looked at us and said "It's my job to make up the choreography, it's your job to remember it" and then let us fumble through what we could pull out of our brains. I don't think we ever forgot choreography after that day!
I could go on and on about the benefits of dance! I truly believe it is one of the best activities for people to be involved in at any age.
Are you a studio owner or teacher looking some fresh material for your dance studio? Check out our lesson plans, stamp charts, evaluation forms and more - here!
My first dance picture!
Check out those arm poofs!