For the Community:

How can Dance improve the Community as a whole?

Overcoming Biases

Dance is a universal language! Everyone is welcome to dance. We want our children to be brought up in a community with social diversity and acceptance. The best way to build acceptance to diversity is by bringing everyone together sharing a common ground. Dance can do that for this community by offering a means for everyone to explore different cultures, ways of life, ideas, expressions, and thoughts.

Close Community

Families will come together to watch their children dance and interact together. Laughter, smiles, applause and joy will be shared by everyone as our children come together in a healthy, creative and educational way.

Developing Teamwork

Not only will our children learn the value of teamwork and working together, the entire community will. We will all come together to ensure that our children are receiving the best education, growing up in a healthy environment and reaching towards a common goal of having a wonderful community for everyone who lives here.

Happier Children and Less Crime

Thirteen to seventeen year old juvenile offenders and other disenfranchised youth, took jazz and hip hip classes twice a week for ten weeks. They developed significant gains in confidence, tolerance and persistence after taking the classes. According to “Critical Evidence, How the Arts Benefit Student Achievement.”

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For Schools:

How Dance can Improve our Educational System

Research shows that students who participate in dance related activities have higher grades, better test scores, longer attention spans, and a greater success rate in school than students who do not partake in dance related activities. Dance students must use both sides of their brains to remember technique and combinations while applying artistry and creativity. Dancers also project confidence and self-esteem as well as discipline and motivation. All of these qualities are also needed to be successful in school.In a study by the National Assembly of State Art Agencies titled: “Critical Evidence: How the ARTS Benefit Student Achievement” it is reported how there is a positive connection between the arts and children’s improved learning abilities. Another study, “Champion of Change: The Impact of Arts on Learning,” writes about seven different studies conducted to determine whether participation in the arts could actually improve students’ ability to learn. They determined that the arts and dance influence students’ success in school.

Test Scores

In a comparison of students who took art related activities in schools 66.8% of
8th Grade students scored in the top 2 quartiles on standardized tests compared
to only 42.7% of students who didn’t take art related activities. While in the
10th Grade 72.5% of art students scored in the top 2 quartiles of standardized
composite tests compared to 45.0% of those with low or no art classes. (Page 3
of “Champions of Change”)

According to the Texas Coalition for Quality Arts Education, students who study fine arts in schools have proven to score higher SAT scores than students who don’t have the opportunity of studying fine arts in school.

Grades

79.2% of 8th grade students who took art classes earned As and Bs in English. (Page 3 of “Champions of Change”)

Reading Readiness

“Dance has been employed to develop reading readiness in very young children.” (Page 11 of “Critical Evidence”)

Reading scores were 25.8% higher among 10th grade students who took art related classes as opposed to those who took few or no art classes. (Page 3 of “Champions of Change”)

A Reading Through Dance Program Study at DePaul University, determined that students who participated in the dance program improved their reading skills more than control students who did not participate in the program.

Cognitive Development

According to Neuroscientists from seven universities, learning to dance relates closely to physical practice and that training improves other cognitive skills.

Critical Thinking

Dancers in a group learn important skills such as the ability to plan, successfully expressing their thoughts and ideas, providing concise arguments and reasons for or against different concepts, and applying different strategies to complete tasks. (Page 25 of “Champions of Change”)

Creative Thinking

High school students who were dancers scored higher than non-dancers on creative thinking measures in an experimental research study. (Page 15 of “Critical Evidence”)

According to a study at the University of Northern Colorado, the Torrence Test of Creative Thinking was used to compare the creative thinking process of dancers compared to non dancers. Dancers showed a significant difference in originality and abstractness of thought compared to the non dancers.

Communication

Students who learn the arts in school have fewer problems expressing
themselves, using their imaginations, taking academic risks, and demonstrating
what they have learned than students who do not participate in arts programs.
(Page 38-39 “Champions of Change”)

According to the Center for Educator Development in Fine Arts, higher academic test scores, higher self-esteem, stronger social skills, and greater content knowledge can be attributed to students participating in groups in dance classes. Drop Out RatesStudents who take art classes have a 1.4% chance of dropping out of school before the 10th grade. (Page 3 “Champions of Change”)

Improving Teachers

The arts in school also help teachers. A University of Minnesota study noted three key changes in teachers when the arts were incorporated into the classroom: The teachers’ perception of students changed, they saw greater potential in their students and their learning abilities in areas such as intelligence, leadership and motivation. The teachers became more focused on becoming “facilitators of knowledge” rather than dispensers of knowledge. Teachers encouraged more revision and improvement from each student’s assignments. They felt more comfortable giving critiques and encouraged students to be comfortable in risk taking.

Unless otherwise noted all statements in this article are the property of Dance Exploration, LLC.
Copyright © Dance Exploration, LLC 2008-2009. All Rights Reserved. No Unauthorised Reproduction.

For Parents:

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.

All information Copyright © Dance Exploration, LLC 2008-2009. All Rights Reserved. No Unauthorised Reproduction.