You don’t need some grand vision of being a professional performer to start in dance. Maybe you want to experience something new or maybe you just want your child to exercise or maybe you just need a way to positively channel your feeling or your child's seemingly endless energy. No matter what reason, you or your child will grow mentally and physically through dance! Dancers are known for being flexible and in good shape, and it is true that dancing offers a great workout and many health benefits for adults as well as children. Not only does it work all major muscle groups, it also requires coordination, flexibility and strength. The key ingredient of Tap dancing is balance, Modern dancing or Hip Hop focus on coordination, while other forms of dancing, like ballet, are more focused on lines and form. In addition, dance is a form of personal expression and enjoyment, which means it is good for your body and your mind.
Obviously, dance is a physical activity. And it’s one that focuses on the entire body, so it’s great for TOTAL body fitness. If taken regularly, expect to see improvement in the following areas: flexibility, stamina, balance, coordination, and range of motion. Most importantly, it gives the motivation to keep exercising. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself or your child practicing dance moves and routines all over the house!
Dance can help improve social and communication skills. In a normal dance class students are asked to communicate and cooperate as a group, as individuals, and as pairs. If you have a shy child, starting them in dance classes can help them talk to others and make new friends. In addition, dancing can help reduce many fears a child may have about performing (or even speaking) in front of a crowd. For adults it can help develop a greater sense of trust.
The emphasis on self-expression in dance separates dance from other forms of physical activity. Expressiveness is imperative to a great performance, so teachers really harp on it! Dance gives the freedom to simply be yourself and be proud of that. It’s also a great way to physically release emotions. Dance explores many emotions.
Education & Discipline
In dance classes, students are regularly asked to memorize movement sequences. Simply, this helps students practice their memorization skills (which is particularly important in early education) while encouraging a detail-oriented mindset. Students are also expected to learn choreography or movement sequences quickly. This increase in learning speed has the potential to carry over into other aspects as well! Also, dance is the perfect mixture of fun and discipline. Certain styles require more structure than others. For instance, a ballet class requires more structure than a hip-hop class. However, there are always times to stay quiet and follow directions and times to just let loose!
As students learn more about dance and adjust to movement, they will start to gain a better sense of their bodies that will allow them to feel more comfortable in their own skin. The more comfortable a person feels in his or her own skin, the easier it will be for him or her to develop and maintain confidence! Also, teachers are always encouraged to promote positive attitudes in the classroom. And positivity is key to keeping that self-esteem high and rising! Remember, dance classes are not just for girls. All of the benefits above apply to boys and girls. The number of boys taking dance classes has grown and it is continuing to do so!
Balance and Coordination
All forms of dancing improve balance and coordination, although some are better at it than others. The Argentinian tango, for example, requires lots of twists, leg kicks and torso rotations. It requires keeping your center of balance stable to make sure you don’t lose your step as you twist and turn. Group dancing, meanwhile, relies heavily on coordination, as all dancers need to be in tune with each other for the performance to work.
Dancing works the muscles and fibers that control posture. Muscles, located around the spine, contract to help you maintain posture. When you don’t have good muscle tone, the muscles have to work harder to contract, so they get tired more quickly. As a result, you might end up slouching because you can’t maintain your posture. Dancing works the core muscles –stomach and back—as well as the muscles surrounding the spine. As you train, you’ll gain better posture and better muscle tone.
Dancing is especially good for the muscles in your legs and glutes. It also works the hips, your lower back and your abdomen. Some forms of dancing also work the arms and the upper body. As muscle tone improves and flexibility increases, you’ll may experience relief from back pain and an increase in stamina.