Off the Couch and Into the Dance Studio with MCDA

By C.Laettner, Medina Centre for Dance Art September 15, 2021

Are you tired of trying to pry devices out of your kid’s hands? Do you want your child to be more active, get a head start on their academic development, and grow creatively? If you are unsure whether or not now is the time to put child in dance, here are the top 5 reasons dance is PERFECT for these age groups!

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1. Dance Increases Physical Fitness, Flexibility, and Dexterity: Dance has enormous benefits to kids as far as overall fitness. Kids who take various dance styles are exposed to exercises that focus on healthy hearts, flexibility, hand-eye coordination, and muscular strength. These are important to chid development and lead to long-term advantages. For example, dancers are taught good posture and strong balance, which helps prevent bad habits like slouching. Standing at a barre in ballet, balancing on one leg in jazz, and turning in slippery tap shoes challenge the brain and body.

2. Dance Classes Improve Social Skills: In the dance word we say, “Dance friends make the BEST friends!” Learning choreography often involves teamwork, patience, and partnership. Students learn to take turns, cheer for classmates, and help each other. It is a safe space for shy students to build trust and confidence which help them break out of their shell.

3. Dance Sparks Creativity: Kids are especially creative when they hear music. They allow their bodies the freedom to move sporadically, exploring the concepts of space, force, and expression. Different styles of dance expose children to different cultures and different ways of moving. Listening to new music will inspire them to think in new ways and ask questions, leading to leaps in creativity.

4. Dance Supports Emotional Well Being: When children dance, their brain releases serotonin and dopamine, chemicals that improve moods. When you dance you feel better, physcially and metally. Dance also allows for expression when there aren’t words, perfect for kids who are still learning to use language. Is your child having a bad day? Put on a pop song and dance it out or a rock and roll song and headbang away! Kids also learn to control their emotions in dance class, channeling strong feelings into movement. This emotional intelligence will have lasting benefits into adulthood.

5. Dance Teaches Motivation, Goal Setting, and Discipline: All dancers, young and old, benefit from the structure of dance class. Dance is a disciplined art, even when free dancing or during creative exercises. Dancers learn to follow instruction, listen, share, take turns, be kind and more. Dance also teaches goal setting and the motivation to reach those goals whether the goal is to perfect a difficult steps, stretch their bodies, or work hard, and dance teaches kids to be self-motivated and self-disciplined. All of these benefits of dance are fantastic, but most importantly, dance is FUN! We dance for the joy of movement and know that all these other benefits are additional. It isn’t always about creating professional dancers or about being the best dancer. Dancing because it makes a child feel good both inside and out is the best benefit of all!