Have you ever seen someone dancing who looked to be miserable about it? Probably not! Dancing is loads of fun, but it’s also hugely beneficial to our bodies and minds. This especially true for young children, whose bodies and minds need rich experiences such as dance in order to grow. Here are just some of the ways early childhood dance classes can benefit your child:
Dance helps develop healthy bodies. It teaches confidence and proficiency in using the body as a tool for functional tasks, athletic competition, communication, and of course the expressive art of dance. Moving in a healthy way boost self-esteem as well as self respect for one’s body.
Dance awakens the senses. Our dance classes provide opportunities to balance many kinds of sensory awareness. For example, in our Dance Me a Story classes children listen to a story, see pictures, use props that create various tactile sensations. A multi-sensory learning opportunity allows for a variety of learning styles within one dance class.
Dance interconnects the arts. Art sparks the imagination and encourages students to explore and celebrate being human in an increasingly technological era. Concepts learned in creative dance build a solid foundation for understanding all the arts: music, drama, and the visual arts. All arts stem from movement, so the application to the other genres seems logical – Throwing a pot, placing fingers on a keyboard, and the air flowing over vocal cords all result from movement.
Dance exercises healthy thinking skills. Brain functions evolve and depend upon movement. It is interesting, that the same neural circuits that regulate physical tasks are used with thinking processes because they involve recalling, evaluating, and sequencing actions. Furthermore, movements that cross the mid-line of the body allows for neural connections between the two sides of the brain. Crawling movement, skipping, and other various movement explored in creative dance allow for such connections
Creative dance builds literacy. Dance contributes to literacy in many ways, from stimulating the brain to linking the elements of language and composition. Also, there are many similarities between composing a story, essay, or poem in written language and composing a dance with movements. In both cases one must create in order to communicate meaning. Our Dance Me a Story classes are a fine example of how picture books can be put to movement through the magic of creative dance.
Creative dance builds a sense of community. Dance classes teach individual and group skills that are needed for community building. Creative dance encourages each student to find and express his or her own uniqueness. When students feels safe and individual needs are met, they are then able to accommodate group needs. The ability to work with in a group readily transfers over to school, sport, and work situations.