There is a saying that people who can’t dance play football. Now, I know that it takes a lot of skill to play football well, and there some incredible athletes that play sports. I do understand that I am 100% bias because, obviously, I love dance. But I truly believe that if every child took dance it would make this world a better place and create better people. Here is what you or your child can gain from taking dance:
Confidence and Self Esteem: When you practice so diligently and perform for your instructor and classmates, the confidence that one gains from mastering a step or a combination is unmeasurable. I can not explain how wonderful it feels to land that turn you have been working on over and over just to keep landing it again and again and are ready to move on to more challenging steps. The encouragement that a dancer receives from not only their teacher, but from their class mates is priceless.
Makes you Smarter: There are many studies that prove that dancing makes you smarter or more intelligent as it involves a ton of brain work, “The essence of intelligence is making decisions. The best advice, when it comes to improving your mental acuity, is to involve yourself in activities which require split-second rapid-fire decision making, as opposed to rote memory (retracing the same well-worn paths), or just working on your physical style”- Richard Powers.
Teamwork and Communication: In dance, you learn how to communicate with class mates and work as a team. When doing choreography, mastering a combination at the barre or across the floor you need to ‘feel’ your classmates to move together around the studio, as well as stay on the same counts. In class, most instructors look at the class as a group. One person does not fall by the way side or is overlooked. Everyone must work hard to move together and this takes tremendous team work.
Strength and Flexibility: Dancers are amazing athletes! Working with many athletes and competitors in Pilates, I feel their bodies are some of the strongest most beautifully developed bodies on the planet. They develop amazing skills that no other athlete can do! Dancers are not only strong but flexible but their bodies are able to adapt to various athletic situations and make every other sport and activity easier.
Discipline and Focus: The never give up attitude is part of the foundation of dance. They also develop discipline in working on perfecting every little thing. Not only do they have to do the correct steps, there is such technique that goes into every movement to the correct timing. The dedication that goes into doing one step again and again until it is perfect requires a great amount of focus and discipline.
“Regardless if you study ballet or break dancing, tap or salsa – you work through the pain until you finish the dance. You are criticized as long as your feet are gliding across a dance floor, not just based on technique but on your facial expressions and the movements you perform to correspond with the selected style.”- Kimberley Hurdle
Respect for others, teachers and your body: Not only are they being disciplined in movement, but also in respect. Showing up on time to class, wearing the appropriate attire, not talking in class, honoring your body, being kind to classmates are all examples of how dance teaches respect. There is a huge respect factor for showing up on time and working hard. There is a etiquette code for dance. You show up on time, work your hardest, don’t talk during class and thank your teachers at the end of class. Everything in dance comes back to the foundation of respect.
Drive and Motivation: Do you think that one just wakes up and on the first try and masters a triple pirouette or do the splits? It takes a lot of drive and motivation to master even one step in dance! One has to be driven to master steps, put them all together for a dance or routine let alone do it well.
Career: The skills developed in dance can also be valuable transferable skills that can be applied to any career path. The confidence gained through achievements in dance helps to build social skills, increase self esteem and the ability to communicate, problem solve and function well in a group. These skills once built up through partaking in dance can lead to success in a variety of career routes.
Helps fight against dementia: In the 21-year study led by Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City found that out of several activities such as reading, cross-word puzzles, swimming and bicycling, the only physical activity that offered protection against dementia was frequent dancing! http://socialdance.stanford.edu/syllabi/smarter.htm
The list goes on and on! I understand and support leading children to try other things so they can explore and develop strengths and talents in may areas. I feel the value of dance in so irreplaceable and no other activity instills or teaches so many different levels of the things you need to become an awesome person in life. Is it time for you to have your child try a class? Sign up for our spring session here!