5 Reasons children should learn to dance

5 Reasons children should learn to dance

I believe that we all have an inbuilt rhythmic response to music.  If you doubt this then put on your favourite music and see how it makes you feel and how you respond to it.  Do you find yourself tapping your foot, swaying in your seat to the rhythm, maybe singing along, or do you get up and move and dance in any style that makes you feel good?  Children particularly will exhibit their inner feelings through movement and usually without the inhibitions of an adult.

With this in mind I feel that we can develop a child’s natural rhythm and help them to develop in other ways too.

1.   Dance improves co-ordination

It may take a little practice but dance certainly helps to create and improve co-ordination in children.  First we practice the steps and they will begin to feel confident with the pattern their steps are making.  After that the arm movements are added and when they’ve got the hang of that then maybe some head movements and turns.

2.  Dance develops confidence and self esteem

When children enjoy the music they are much more willing to express themselves and this in turn sparks the interest to learn the steps that they have seen their peers dance.  They will ask ‘will I be able to dance like that?’ or ‘can you show me that routine?’  As they start to master the basics their confidence grows, they feel proud of themselves and urge the teacher to show them more.

3.  Dance is an excellent form of exercise and can help to combat obesity

We hear quite regularly in the press that children (and adults) should take more exercise, figures are often quoted regarding how many hours of exercise a week we should all be doing.  Some children are less interested in sports and therefore might struggle to find an engaging activity.  Dance is fun, it can be a way of exercising without really realising it.  They can start really young (approx 4 years of age) and can carry on into their adult life.  For some teenagers who don’t choose P.E. at GCSE level it helps to fill that gap.

4. Dance develops musical understanding and timing

Without realising it children start to develop their musical ability.  They learn to ‘count the timing’ of the music they are dancing to.  More importantly they learn to dance the steps ‘in time’ with the music.  This can be quite tricky for some people, young and old alike.  As they progress they hear how the music is phrased, they can tell you when a new phrase is about to start.  This is all by listening to the music and starting to dance the steps, it can be passed on quite effortlessly and the children will learn without any pressure.  In fact I have had parents say to me that their child’s piano/guitar/violin teacher has noticed an improvement in their musical instrument playing etc since they started dance lessons.  One activity will develop another.

5.  Learning to dance is also a social skill

In addition, learning to dance is an activity that can be enjoyed at any social event.  It could be an evening on holiday, at a Christmas party, a family celebration like a wedding etc.  These are the times that people say ‘Oh I wish I could dance!’  Then they promise themselves they will take lessons before the next upcoming event – but quite often never do!

Learning to dance when you are young is so important.  As we said it improves co-ordination, it develops confidence and self esteem, it is an excellent form of exercise while at the same time it helps children to develop their musical ability.

But best of all learning to dance is FUN, you make NEW FRIENDS and develop a SOCIAL SKILL that will last a lifetime!  If you are still unsure whether your child/children would benefit from learning to dance then why not let them try one of our FREE DANCE TASTER SESSIONS and see how they respond.

See you on the dance floor!

About Christine

Christine Blundell is Principal of Village Dancentre Fellow and Examiner of IDTA (International Dance Teachers’ Association). Classes for children and teenagers in Latin, Ballroom and Freestyle Dancing. Adults Sessions, Wedding Dance, Private Lessons Sessions are held in Altrincham.

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