Parents of young children have many choices to make, including how to channel their endless amounts of energy. In Canada, many parents find themselves lacing up their child’s skates and joining their local Tim Bits Hockey team. However, there are other options. Dance lessons can be a great alternative to traditional team sports and a great fit for children as young as two. Dance lessons benefit children of all ages in a number of different ways:
- Physical Health
We live in an age where screen time is becoming a bigger issue no matter how hard we try to fight it. Taking part in weekly dance lessons can increase your child’s range of motion, physical strength, stamina, and flexibility. Due to the repetitive movements, dance can also improve muscle tone, correct poor posture, increase balance and coordination and improve overall cardiovascular health.
Children in dance develop a better sense of their bodies and how to move them. This improves their confidence and self-esteem. Dance allows children to take risks and try new things in a safe and comfortable environment. Children learn to take the attitude “I can try” rather than “I can’t do that”. It’s okay to make mistakes and try things in different ways.
- Life Skills
As children continue with their dance journey they learn that dance requires practice, discipline, commitment, focus, and performance skills. According to Livestrong.com, "dance lessons can help to spark creativity in young children and to develop an appreciation for the arts. Students who regularly participate in dance lessons typically tend to perform better academically than their nonparticipating peers."
Even though dance is traditionally an independent art form, it has become highly social, not just for children but also for parents and families. Dance lessons help children learn how to work as part of a team, develop a greater sense of trust and cooperation, improve their communication and social skills, and make new friends. Enrolling less outgoing children in dance programs is one way to encourage them to be more involved with children their age and to help reduce their anxiety about new places and people. Dance also helps reduce fears of performing in front of an audience.