Safe, positive and fun, dancing is one of the most popular activities for kids to enjoy—both for girls and increasingly for boys, too. But did you know that learning to dance has a bundle of other surprising benefits?
“Learning to dance is about much more than just learning to dance,” said Nat from Dance Edge Sunshine Coast. “Kids are learning how to be confident human beings, coordinated, how to work in a team and, of course, self awareness… all skills they use in other areas of their childhood, and well in to adulthood.”
Dance is a wonderful way for kids to become more body aware and confident. As they become more comfortable in their own skin, their confidence and self-esteem also improve.
“Students see how their bodies are different and capable of moving,” said Nat. “The confidence they gain by being able to dance builds their confidence to perform in all areas of their schooling and working life.”
Strength and fitness
Dance is the ideal way to gain strength and fitness because it incorporates movements on all planes of motion and from all directions, which turns on and conditions various muscles.
“Dance also has the additional benefit of improving balance and strength through rhythm and music, helping with coordination and balance,” said Nat.
Teamwork and focus
Dance requires practise, discipline and focus—skills that can be useful in so many other areas of a child’s life. It also teaches kids that diligence pays off—they will
be able to see the steady improvement of their skills.
“One of the biggest benefits of dance is that children learn a physical activity that is character building and teaches them how to work in a team,” Nat said.
“There’s something wonderful about dancing with others, helping you feel a sense of connection and sameness, and making new friends,” Nat explained. “And it helps children improve their social and communication skills too.”
Challenges your brain
The brain power you need to access for dance requires you to focus on both the constant movement and recalling moves and patterns, making it an excellent form of mental exercise, regardless of your age.
Movement and dance allow you to escape and let loose, boosting your mood, reducing stress, and decreasing the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Learning to dance can help to spark creativity in young children and help them to develop an appreciation for the arts.
“Dance is a positive and safe way for kids to express themselves,” said Nat.
Skills for life
“We have a lot of Year 11/12 students, and some at university, who all continue to keep up one or two dance classes a week,” said Nat. “They love the physical and mental escape that a dance class can offer. It’s a skill for life. We have lots of little DE dancers whose parents used to dance with us (Jodi and I) growing up. They want the same experience for their own children.”