A Guide to Dance Education and the Benefits for your Child
Dance education is invaluable for all children’s development and health. A child’s physical, mental and emotional development should begin immediately, and dance will benefit all of it.
Supporting Physical Development
Dance and movement help children with their physical development by teaching them basic kinesthetic principals such as how limbs move in correlation with each other. They can easily learn locomotor movements such as walking, skipping, galloping, etc and non-locomotor movements such as twisting, shaking, wiggling, etc. Dance develops a child’s imagination when they are given the opportunity to create new movements and learn improvisation. Balancing, transferring weight, increased flexibility, coordination and spatial awareness are important developmental skills that dance will develop.
Supporting Creative Development
Dance teaches children a new form of communication. They will learn how to express their thoughts, ideas and feelings by moving. This is important for young minds when they may sometimes feel like their voices aren’t heard. Dance will help children expand their communication skills to new horizons. Along with communication, their imaginations will be molded. Children in dance may learn how to dance like characters (ie. Princesses, mice, frogs, soldiers), emotions (ie. Happy, sad, nervous, angry), ideas (big, little, medium) and so much more.
Develops Strong Social and Emotional Skills
When in a dance class, children will have the opportunity to tap into their own personal expression, feelings, and thoughts. By realizing what they are feeling and thinking, dance will help them express these emotions in a new way. Individual activities will teach them motivation, determination, self-discipline, and self-confidence. They will also dance as part of a group to learn how others express themselves, use the creative process and how social groups, races, sexes and cultures may vary. Group activities will help the child develop trust, co-operation, discipline and respect.
Communication, Language and Literacy Development
Not only will children learn how to take their feeling and thoughts and turn them into dance, they will also learn how to turn music, poems, rhymes, and stories into movement. This will develop their non-verbal communication skills. Verbal communication skills will be developed as the children interact with each other. They will learn how to successfully negotiate problems, congratulate others, and explain difficult concepts. They will also grow an appreciation for their accomplishments and the success of others as new ideas and concepts are learned. They will be able to observe others in their trials and tribulations and overcoming objectives to succeed. Your child’s vocabulary will grow as they learn new dance terms and their meanings such as ballet, jazz, and choreography. Some terms are in other languages providing them with early knowledge of other dialects.
Develops a Healthy Body, Mind and Soul
Dance is one of the best exercises. Dance is one of the easiest ways to reduce stress since it increases blood flow to the brain. Dancing with a group will also overcome loneliness and depression. The National Lung, Heart and Blood Association says that dance will lower the risk of coronary heart disease, decrease blood pressure, help maintain a healthy weight, and strengthen bones. Dance also encourages the development of muscle strength, coordination, balance and increased flexibility. The memorization of dance steps, techniques and combinations will improve the overall health of the brain by increasing your memory and ability to retain information.
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