While we don’t think it needs much convincing, there are proven reasons why your kids should try dance. Read on to find out more!
1. Develop Healthy Movement Habits
In the United States, poor health outcomes are significantly influenced by the lack of exercise wrapped into our daily lives. Anyone who has made a new year’s resolution to exercise more knows that without routine and consistency, keeping up with these habits is very challenging. Encouraging kids to be involved in a sport from an early age develops a healthy relationship between movement and the feel-good qualities that exercise (and dance, especially) brings.
2. Increase Self-Confidence
Aspects of dance such as learning new skills, creating awareness of one’s body, and having the freedom to move are integral in improving self-confidence in children. Whether kids are starting to dance from a young age or are finding their passion later in their teens, the physical awareness that comes with dance training increases self-esteem and self-efficacy.
3. Learn Teamwork in a Fun Setting
As a dance teacher, I regularly advocate for team-based activities for students within my dance classes. Remembering that team projects in middle and high school were frustrating, I seek to create opportunities for my students to understand the practical applications of teamwork. Chances to choreograph with others, create lesson plans, or assist in warm-ups show the benefits of collaborative work in an approachable and realistic way for young students.
4. Brain-Boosting Chemicals
“Happiness” chemicals such as serotonin are released in the brain during exercise, as well as creative activities such as art. As a coalescence of athleticism and art, dance is a wonderful outlet for endorphins to be released and help kids feel great!
5. Flexibility and Mobility for Life
Regular stretching and mobility exercises that student dancers participate in put them way ahead of the curve in developing lifelong mobility. Dance strengthens muscles we use in daily life, supporting our ability to walk, run, have good posture, and stay injury-free later in life.
6. Develop Community
Community and being seen by our peers is important aspects of mental and emotional health for all ages, especially adolescents! Dance allows kids to build bonds with other people who have similar passions, grow together in their craft, and lean on one another in various seasons of life.
7. A GOOD Challenge
Let’s face it - dance is hard. We’ve all looked at our Rumba walks on video and thought “wow, how many hours have I spent trying to perfect these?!”. We’ve all been there where we see someone dance a new figure and wonder how it's possible to create such speed or fluidity. We’ve even watched incredible feats such as cabaret, jack and jills, and solo star dance events, wondering how dancers prepare themselves for such mental and physical endeavors. Dance is hard, and that is why so many people come back and work to achieve their dance goals. For children, opportunities for growth, progress, and challenge allow for flourishing development as gritty, engaged humans and dancers. Dance is supposed to be challenging, and engaging young students in that understanding allows them to be limitless in their accomplishments.
8. Life Skills (Cliche…But Maybe Not?)
Dance teaches LIFE SKILLS! This is probably news to no one, but a great reminder. Dance teaches kids how to fail well and create paths to success, develop relationships with teachers/mentors, engage in a creative outlet, serve their mental health, participate in (fun) physical activity, and about a million other things.
So now that we’ve shared our favorite reasons why kids should be dancing, we want to hear from you! What inspired you to start dancing, and what kept you going?