This is a great question - and we have some answers!
Certainly, dance lessons do involve a commitment of time, effort and finances. Nonetheless, the benefits - ranging from simple enjoyment to physical fitness to skills that will stay with students for their entire lives – can be well worth the investment.
Children can begin taking preparatory dance classes as young as age 2 or 3. Though these classes don't include a lot of formal dance training, the carefully designed games and activities in the classes help students to develop some important foundational dance skills including confidence, rhythm, coordination, musicality, spatial concepts, basic ballet steps and positions, and dance class etiquette. At this point, even if a child only attends classes for a year or two, he or she can benefit from the gained coordination and cognitive skills for a lifetime!
If children continue to enjoy dancing, they can continue their study of various dance forms through high school, regardless of whether or not they have aspirations to pursue dance as a career. Some of the benefits of doing this include:
Confidence and Expression
Though dancing and performing can be intimidating at first, dancing in a positive, encouraging environment can help students to develop a healthy self-confidence found in the way God created them and their ability to express and communicate through movement and body language.
Dancing is one of the least boring ways to achieve and maintain physical fitness! Students in dance classes regularly participate in aerobic and anaerobic activity, gain flexibility, and achieve strength and muscle tone.
Posture, Poise and Coordination
Regular participation in dance lessons can help students achieve awareness and command of their posture, poise and coordination that will last a lifetime.
Self-Discipline and Work Ethic
In dance, students can experience firsthand the positive effects of their hard work – or the negative effects of the lack thereof – and develop a lifelong enjoyment and appreciation for the rewards of self-discipline and hard work.
Strong Community and Friendships
Dance lessons are a also great way to develop strong community and friendships! These tend to develop easily at dance among students and families based on regular interactions at dance paired with strong shared interests and goals.
Dancing as a child has many, many lifelong benefits - some of which we are just beginning to research and discover! Some of what we know is that:
- Dancing affects the development of your brain (in a positive way)
- Dancing promotes emotional and phycological health
- Dancing teaches diligence, hard work and self-motivation that can translate into any other setting