1. Developing Lasting Friendships
Dance classes are a great way for children to meet other kids their age. Since they are also taking the same style of dance, it means they have something in common! Dance classes provide a space for people to get together and have fun, all while learning a new style of dance or new techniques. Dance classes run every week, so it allows children to see their new friends on a weekly basis!
2. Interaction with Adults - Learning New Techniques and Skills
At Just Dance Northumberland, we have qualified dance teachers, many of which have danced professionally themselves. They teach our classes and are the ones spending the most time with your child. Being around adults is good for children because it lets them have someone not only to look up to, but also respect. This interaction during dance class allows your child to learn many skills, and not only skills that are dance related. Children will learn how to better themselves by taking advice from others and will develop various skills such as listening, respect, and communication.
3. Development of Fine and Gross Motor Skills
Dance is a great activity for your child to take part in. Different styles of dance focus on different movements, but they all incorporate both fine and gross motor skills. Gross motor skills are considered the bigger movements that use large limbs like your arms and legs, while fine motor skills are smaller movements that use small body parts, like your fingers. Dance incorporates both fine and gross motor movements, and therefore can improve motor development of the body, especially in children. Examples of gross motor skills in dance are pirouettes, often seen in ballet or jazz, or something like popping and locking which is likely seen in an urban class. Fine motor skills seen in dance include simple hand and finger movements, or even movements like walking on your tippy toes.
4. Improved Fitness
This may be a given, but dance classes are a great workout, and since dance is fun, people do not even realize that they are actually exercising and developing their cardiovascular fitness. Since dance utilizes both fine and gross motor skills, it is a whole-body workout! Dance can also help with skills such as balance, and flexibility, which are skills that are developed over time, so exercising these skills at least once a week (if not more) can be very beneficial!
5. Improved Well-Being
Dance does not only develop physical aspects of the human body, it also can help develop mental, emotional, psychological, and other aspects. A study conducted in Sweden studied female teenagers suffering with mental health issues. They had half of the girls take dance classes and half did not. The half of the girls that took the dance classes reported an overall boost in their mood, improving their mental health. Dance can also help reduce stress, by releasing a neurotransmitter called endorphin, which works in the body to reduce stress and improve the mind’s perception of events in daily life. Once the endorphins are released, they cause the body to feel calm and positive.
6. Improved Cognitive Functioning
Since dance challenges the brain, by using tricky dance moves or repetition, it can actually improve cognitive functioning. During dance classes, students practice physical exercises that “stimulate mental alertness, modeling, sequencing, attention to detail, and memorization skills, thereby, promoting the learning process” – Carmen Carter
7. Build Confidence
Whether your child is a competitive dancer or a recreational dancer, they all have an opportunity to perform, whether at competitions, or our year end gala. These performances provide students with an event to showcase all their hard work and dance skills they have learned over the year. These events may be nerve wracking to some students (and parents!) but it is good stress! Getting up on stage and performing in front of a lot of people builds self-confidence and self-esteem.
8. Benefits of Music on the Body
Music can have many benefits to the human body, including improving mood, reducing stress and anxiety, and many others! Since Dance is very music-oriented, dancers experience a lot of these benefits. Music often makes us want to move, encouraging us to be active. Combining music with movement can help improve your mood and can have long-lasting effects.
9. Creative Outlet
Dance provides people with a space to express themselves. Even when dance moves are provided, everyone interprets that move and expresses it differently. A jazz square done by one person may look completely different from a jazz square done by another person. Since dance is often open to interpretation, it allows dancers to get creative with the dance moves they are doing and show their passion for dance through their moves.
10. Memory Development
Since dance requires students to remember dance moves and sequences over weekly periods, it can actually develop memory. It can also teach students the importance of practicing and rehearsing in their own time in order to make sure they remember the steps for class the next week. These practicing skills can be translated into other real-world tasks such as studying to recall information for a test, etc. It teaches students that they cannot just go over things once in class and expect to remember them during a performance or on a test in school.
11. Very Inclusive!
My favourite part about dance is that everyone can do it, and because of this, dance is very inclusive! No matter the age, gender, body composition, or genetic makeup of humans, everyone loves to dance, even babies move along to music! Dance is something that can be learned at any stage in a person’s life, since movement comes natural to humans.