20 reasons your child should dance – that have very little to do with dancing!
By – Robyn Tedesco
Adapted from 20 reasons your Child should take Gymnastics – POSTED BY JAG GYM ON SEPTEMBER 22, 2014 -A great article that crosses over well to dance.
What if Suzy never learns a pirouette? Or how about if Janie never masters a straight leg jete? Would there still be any value in putting your preschooler in a dance class?
Yes, I say.
In addition to it being a lot of fun, here are twenty reasons your preschool aged child should do dance that have nothing to do with learning dance.
- Separation. Learning to leave your parent or caregiver in the lobby while you go into class is the beginning of learning how to separate before a child goes to school. The ability to adjust to new situations is an important part of a preschoolers’ education.
- Following directions. Dance teaches kids to follow multi-stepped directions. Learning an exercise, combination or routine and remember what to do at next is far more than simply dance training.
- Following safety rules. Listening to the rules of how we keep ourselves safe in the dance class (especially acro dance) helps children learn how to follow rules at home and school. It places an importance on the concept of personal safety that is relevant for life.
- No one likes waiting, especially 3, 4 and 5 year olds! Practicing standing in line for short periods of time and containing your excitement as you wait for your turn to show the teacher your movement. This is a way that dance teaches patience.
- Working cooperatively. From holding hands in a gallop to acro partner work dance teaches that we can work together for a common purpose.
- Responsibility in cleaning up. Learning to put your cartwheel mat back in acro class or the barres back in ballet is an important skill and one that many parents will be grateful to have their preschooler master next time there are Legos all over the house!
- Conflict resolution. It’s not easy when you don’t get to be first. Or you don’t get to be the leader. Or you are unable to stand next to your favorite friend in line. Dance teaches these lessons and helps children learn appropriate ways to resolve their conflicts.
- Interacting appropriately with adults and peers. Learning to have good manners and speak in a way that is respectful is an important skill for preschoolers to learn. Dance class helps a child learn to treat the teacher with respect and how to navigate social dynamics with their preschool peers.
- Dancers must try and try again to achieve even the simplest of skills. Dance teaches kids to stay with an activity until it’s completed.
- Combining listening, respect for rules and patience leads to discipline. When a child has the basics of discipline, self-discipline is the next step: the ability to self-regulate behavior.
Dance develops fine motor skills, gross motor skills, balance and core strength as well as coordination.
- Asking for help. Young dancers learn how to ask for help from their dance teacher and are encouraged at MWG to ask questions relevant to the understanding of the movement.
- Coping with jealousy. Inevitably another child will learn a skill more quickly, run a race faster or be chosen to lead the line for the day, and your preschooler will not like it. Dance class gives your child an opportunity to cope with those yucky feelings and express them appropriately.
- Move with Grace Dance studio stresses the importance of doing the right thing, even when the teacher isn’t looking. Preschool dance begin developing this important skill in class.
- Dancers must make mistakes in order to learn. They must “fall down” and get back up again over and over again.
- When you learn to keep trying in order to achieve a goal, it is called grit. Educators around the nation understand the relationship between achievement and grit. Watching that same resilient four year old persist at learning a movement is laying the groundwork for a child who possesses grit.
- The value of effort. Dance is not an easy sport. However, if children try hard they will see progress. They will understand the relationship between effort and success.
- Ambition. Setting lofty goals and believing that you have the capacity to reach them is the core of what it means to ambitious. Watching older kids move with grace and thinking that someday, if you work hard, that you can do that too, is the beginning of ambition.
- Courage. Putting yourself out in front of others is scary. A dance recital can be intimidating. It is when we face something that pushes us out of our comfort zone that we have the opportunity to develop courage. Courage is not only being brave when we fear something but it is also a trait we can call upon when we have to do something that we do not wish to do, like chores or homework, all things that preschooler will be learning to cope with in the not-too-distant future.
- Self-confidence. Is it any wonder that a child who develops all of these traits also develops self-confidence? Self-confidence is, simply put, your belief in yourself. If you are able to do class on your own, following the rules and directions, getting along with your peers, understanding that you are an able learner and that failing is ok because you are ambitious, have courage and grit is it any surprise that you are self-confident?
So, while I hope all of the Suzy’s and Janie’s enrolled in a preschool dance program learn great basic skills, have a lot of fun doing so, possibly falling in love with dance and going on to stick with it through their childhoods, in the last analysis, these twenty traits will serve them well no matter where their athletic career goes.
We would love to teach your child the love of dance and all of these skills @
Move with Grace Dance studio – In Fergus and Cambridge Ontario