Fall is approaching fast, and with it comes the time when parents are looking for activities to enroll their children in. Dance is known as one of the most popular after-school activities as it is not only fun, but also helps your child keep healthy and fit!
Dance offers children many benefits, the most known ones include strengthening the heart, lungs, muscles and bones, improving balance and flexibility, and decreasing stress levels. However these are all physical benefits. Dance goes further than that in keeping our children healthy, it enhances a child’s psychological development, social awareness and emotional maturity.
Did you know that before we are able to speak or even walk, our children are able to dance? Dance is one of the ways that children express themselves before they can talk; they shrug, wiggle or bounce as a method of communication. When dance is used as a communication method, it helps children understand how the world functions. Movement allows for them to learn that there is a link between a problem and the outcome or solution, and it teaches them to think in the reality of movement. For example, in dance, children of smaller age groups are taught to leap over a river (a scarf of a mat) to avoid getting wet. Memory is also another aspect that dance enhances. Children in dance lessons and classes are taught a variety of steps, combinations and timings which they must learn to perform in public. By being exposed to different rhythms and movements, their capacity to learn in increased. In addition, dance programs encourage children to work hard and focus on the task at hand, therefore allowing them to gain more energy for their academic work.
Dance is not only about learning a routine, exercising and having fun. Dance is also about creating friendships and bonds that last. If you have the opportunity to attend a recital and watch the kids interact afterwards, you will most likely notice how no matter the age differences all the children will congratulate one another, hug, share excitement and support each other.
Dance works to develop feelings of bonding, empathy, cooperation and social identity. In dance, children most often work in groups, which strengthens their social skills. They are encouraged to express their ideas and emotions through immediate and effective movement with others and kids quickly learn to work in groups, take turns, cooperate with each other and most importantly, they learn to support and respect one another.
When looking for an after-school activity for your child. Keep in mind the various benefits of dance. For more benefits check out.