Why Your Child Should Dance

 

3 Reasons Your Child Should Be Taking Dance Classes

 

 

Most young children are natural dancers. Turn on the music, and they'll respond to it without the selfconsciousness that can keep adults and older children off of the dance floor. But do young children need to learn dance?

It's easy to view dance classes as unnecessary for children who don't actually aspire to become dancers. But there are actually some very good reasons why dance classes are good for any child. Take a look at why dance classes might be a good choice for your child.

 

Dance is Great Exercise

 

If nothing else, dance is a great way for kids to get the physical activity that they need to be healthy. With childhood obesity remaining a serious problem in the US - it affects more than 12 million children - most parents, educators, and healthcare professionals understand the importance of exercise in childhood.

But why dance, as opposed to other ways for kids to get exercise? For one thing, dance is a very accessible form of exercise. While some forms of dance require specific clothes or equipment, other types require no more than music and some space to move around. Any child can learn to dance.

Dance also provides a wide variety of creative options. There are many different types of dance and an innumerable amount of possible dance moves. It would be hard for any child to get bored with dance - there's always something new to learn.

Finally, dance provides a complete workout. People need both anaerobic (high-intensity) and aerobic (lower intensity) exercise. Anaerobic exercise helps to build muscle and helps the body burn calories more efficiently, which results in better weight management. Aerobic exercise strengthens the heart and lungs and promotes overall physical wellness, as well as burning calories.

Dance offers both types of exercise, depending on the movements involved. A single dance may contain fast moves, slow moves, stretches, bends, balancing, lifts, jumps, and more. The result is a very complete workout.

 

Dance Teaches Social Skills

 

Just the ability to dance can be considered a social skill. Think about all of the times in your life you're expected to dance. From high school rituals, like prom, to adult rituals, like weddings, dancing is a shared cultural experience. It's also a common way to socialize even without a ritual - think of how many people go to dance clubs for fun and to meet new people.

But dance teaches other social skills as well. Young children learn spatial awareness and how to respect boundaries by learning how to dance together. Dancing also teaches children how to read physical cues from other dancers, which can translate into an improved ability to read body language and detect others' emotions.

Finally, dancing in pairs or groups can be a good way for children to learn and demonstrate cooperation. While dancing, children take turns, follow or lead, and interact in a healthy way.

 

Dance Improves Educational Outcomes

 

It may surprise you to learn that dance can help improve your child's academic performance as well. This has been shown in studies.

For example, one teacher who integrated dance and chemistry lessons found the combination improved students' chemistry test results. They learned to associate the dance move with the chemistry information and were able to recall the correct answers that way. This suggests that dance could help improve memory.

Dance, along with other fine arts, is also associated with lower drop-out rates and better student attendance rates.

At the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati, children of all age groups have the opportunity to choose from a variety of dance lessons, including ballet, hip-hop, Irish dance, and more. Consider enrolling your child so that they can experience all the benefits that dance has to offer.