There are some obvious benefits of dance for children: weight control, a source of exercise while having fun, healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels and helps in maintaining a balanced lifestyle. It has been clinically proven that children who actively participate in performing arts like dance spend less time in front of the screen thereby reducing the risk of developing health problems. Children who spend more than 2 hours in front of the screen like watching TV or playing video games are at a higher risk of developing health problems like obesity.
Physical Health Benefits
Improved condition of heart and lungs
Increased muscular strength, endurance and aerobic fitness
Healthy blood pressure
Improved overall balance
Improved spatial awareness
Mental Health Benefits
Increased overall physical confidence
Improved general and psychological wellbeing
Improved mental dexterity
Better social skills
While dance is a fun source of exercise for kids, it also results in a creative outlet. Exercise is important but to have a chance to show creativity is equally important as exercising and maintaining a balanced diet for healthy development in children, because of the life skills they would get to learn. Dancing can make a person feel physically refreshed and improve their mood, help in tackling serious issues like depression and anxiety, and not just in adults. Dancing in a group helps to release daily stress, a distraction from everyday tensions and an outlet for feelings and imagination.
Through dance, kids develop a greater range of movement while developing the ability to work within various spaces. They learn to observe and understand the effect their moves have on the world around them. Dancing improves coordination, especially when a child is rapidly developing in an evolving and changing environment. Good coordination is crucial in developing skills learnt in other stages of life like riding a bicycle or multi-tasking. Dance and movement patterns also develop kinaesthetic memory. It also makes them strong and enduring from an early age. This creates a great platform for the kid’s physical development and fitness.
The average human body has around 650 muscles. Kids are naturally active, but dancing uses more of these muscles and in turn develops their body to be utilized completely. Through this process of learning about movement, kids become more aware of their bodies and their capabilities. They start to understand what each muscle and limb is capable of, also building up the courage to experiment with the movement of their bodies and to push themselves to see what they can achieve with them. This is an important life trait for kids to learn and a skill they can apply in all the aspects of life. It contributes to the development of a kid’s confidence and courage, and motivates them to look for new challenges to conquer.
Learning to interact with others from a young age is a vital part of a kid’s cognitive development. The ability to express feelings comfortably with others shows mental maturity and learning it through dance provides a safe gateway for kids to explore. Performing arts bring together kids from diverse backgrounds and personalities, creating an environment outside of the one a kid is familiar with. Children are compelled to adapt and communicate in new ways. By exploring this new environment through creativity, kids learn to build trust and effective relationships.
Being a part of a group activity, such as learning a dance routine, signifies the importance of teamwork and develops the ability to work effectively in a group environment. The process also enables a kid to learn patience, listening and leadership skills as they begin to help each other with learning and practising the steps. They also learn to accept vulnerability, that it is alright if they are not being able to do something the first time and that they should feel confident enough to ask for help, either from their teacher or from other students.
Dance is an important tool to build a child’s confidence. Though, parents send their children to learn dance, the development of interpersonal skills, predominantly confidence is also a part of the learning in dance classes. The other skills that the kids would learn are social interaction, public speaking, improved communications skills and making friends. It is a wonder what can be achieved through learning dance and the positive impact dance has on a child’s interpersonal development.
Nonverbal communication represents two thirds of all communication. It’s important for kids to understand that it is possible to convey a message both verbally and with the correct body language and to be able to interpret it from others as well. Learning dance can help a child develop an understanding of their own body language as well as others. While it is comparatively simpler to express straightforward emotions without words such as ‘happy’ and ‘sad’, dance can teach a child how to express complex emotions physically and how to read and react when someone else is expressing their emotions physically.
Perseverance and Self-Motivation
When kids learn dance, they learn perseverance and self-motivation. Dance encourages children to experiment and find different paths to solving problems. It is important in kids’ personal development that they learn the importance of trial-and-error and if at first, they don’t succeed, try again and again. The sense of success and accomplishment they will experience when they have mastered a complicated move will encourage them to transfer this ambition and determination into other aspects of life.
The cycle of repetition and rehearsal when dancing improves mental dexterity. Learning body movement and gestures help children understand ideas better and improve their ability to absorb and retain information. There is a perceived notion that lingers around dance classes that children should only attend if they want to perform on a stage. The matter of the fact is that this is true. Yes, dance classes are an ideal stepping stone for a child who is showing early signs of a natural capability to perform. However, there are a magnitude of benefits of learning dance for a kid who is shy, has low self-esteem or has shown no interest in performing.