3 big reasons why your kid should learn to dance….

While growing up, I’ve always wondered why people ask, “Why do you like to dance?” As a novice dancer then, I didn’t know what to say other than I enjoyed it and made me feel good. But now, if I am asked the same question, I can probably come up with 20 reasons.

There are some key benefits in learning some form of dance, especially for kids and young adults. It can be anything from classical Ballet to Salsa, Jazz or Bollywood… we are lucky to have so many choices these days. When young children learn to dance, they not only learn about artistic expression but some core life skills.

It heightens their mental ability and cognitive thinking. Dancing is all about absorbing, retaining and executing information. These three when done in a cyclic motion improves mental dexterity (great memory) helping children absorb, hold information better and think on their feet (pun intended).  Dancing also requires mental, physical, emotional and social awareness. All these functions working together improve their brains overall cognitive ability. 

It improves self -mastery (self-confidence, self-esteem and more importantly self -expression). To me dancing is equal parts artistry and athleticism, giving me the opportunity to express my emotions.  The same applies for children; dance gives them the freedom to express their emotions through art and channel their energy in a safe environment. It’s not just about learning cool moves and steps.  Its more about training one’s body to flow a certain way and that comes only through discipline, hard work and practice which are excellent values for children to learn.

It helps them to be happy and positive. Dancing increases one’s neural connectivity as it deeply integrates various brain functions like rational, musical, kinesthetic, and emotional. This increased neural connectivity is proven to be of great benefit to young minds particularly in the early years. It’s also a proven fact that dancing prompts an increased level of endorphins in comparison to other forms of exercise. In short, dancing kids and happy kids. Lastly, providing a healthy lifestyle for kids is all about nurturing and stimulating their mind, body and soul, and dance has all of these characteristics.”  So, if you are thinking of enrolling your kids in any form of dance, I will simply say “Just do it”, I am sure they will thank you for it one day.

Written by Deepa Mani, Chandralaya School of Dance in Bentleigh. Deepa is an established Indian Classical and Contemporary dancer. www.chandralaya.com.au/

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