Dance has always been a part of human culture, rituals and celebrations, and there's tons of research to highlight the mental and physical benefits it can provide.
Here are some reasons to get your lil'ones (or yourself ) dancing!
• LEARNING: Dance (and movement in general) helps to provide oxygen to the brain which it needs to create endorphins, the neuro-chemical that causes a feeling of energy and makes the brain more conducive to learning.
• BEHAVIORAL BENEFITS: Dance can help calm children that suffer with hyperactivity disorders as well as self destructive behaviors. It also offers a platform of social interaction on which an otherwise less sociable child can bond and communicate in the safety zone of the art. The act of dance seems to help calm and focus an active mind with its expressive outlet in combination to the physical liberation and focus.
• SOCIAL SKILLS: Dance improves sensitivity, understanding, appreciation, and consideration for others, both for their similarities and differences. It teaches the child to draw strengths from others, co-creating and team-building, as well as having space to develop his/hers individuality amongst others. Dance can non-verbally broaden your child’s horizons by introducing them to other people and help them to better relate to others later in life.
• MENTAL BENEFITS: Children who are involved in dance will excel in their academics and tend to be more creative. The art of dance helps teach a child to focus, creativity, and discipline, all in which are mandatory in any area of education.
• COORDINATION BENEFITS: Increased hand-eye coordination and improved fine motor skills. Students who can perform complex rhythms can also make faster and more precise corrections in many academic and physical situations.
• EMOTIONAL BENEFITS: Dance helps develop self-confidence and self-esteem in a stimulating environment. “The advantage of the arts (music and dance) is that they link cognitive growth to social and emotional development. Students care more deeply about what they study, they see the links between subjects and their lives, their thinking capacities grow, they work more diligently, and they learn from each other.” Source: Washington Post
• PHYSICAL BENEFITS: Dance will help develop muscles, tone the body, improve circulation, improve posture, balance, coordination and promote greater flexibility. Flexibility is often overlooked as a benefit but can really decrease the chances of injury especially in an active child. Dance helps keep the body conditioned and the mind focused which heightens ones ability to perform other physical activities.