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Why is dance important in education?

By Elizabeth James

August 10, 2016
Why is dance important in education?

Dance is a beautiful form of self-expression – one which more than five million Brits enjoy on a regular basis. Children are particularly drawn to this activity, as it allows them to be creative, focus and expend plenty of energy!

While it may not be taken as seriously as mathematics, English and history, dance teaches children a wide range of skills needed to succeed later in life, whether they choose to get a job in the arts or not.

Let’s take a look at what those skills are and why dance is so important in education.

Dancing builds confidence

Confidence – or rather a lack thereof – can be seen in lots of children. Dance is fantastic for building confidence and overcoming shyness because, unlike in other subjects, there are no right or wrong answers. A child may struggle to perform a step smoothly, but instead of being told off they’re shown how to improve. Students can see the progress they’ve made almost immediately, which does wonders for their self-esteem.

Children are also encouraged to come up with their own ideas and routines in dance. Seeing these come to fruition is hugely rewarding.

It teaches focus

Many children, particularly those living with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), struggle to concentrate in the classroom. They want to move around, but are often restricted to a desk; they wish to express themselves verbally, but must learn to listen first. Not being allowed such freedoms can result in children acting up because they are bored, which means they don’t listen and can struggle to take much away from the lesson.

Not only does dance allow these children to express themselves by offering more freedom, it disciplines them and teaches them how to focus. When dancing, you must be aware of your movements, how your body is positioned and of what the other performers are doing on stage. It’s a lot to think about, so they cannot succeed without this ability to focus and listen.

Once they’ve learnt to concentrate during dance lessons, it’s more than likely this skill will be carried over to other subjects.

It encourages teamwork

Working as a team is one of the most important skills we all have to learn, as no matter what career your child chooses to pursue, it’s unlikely they’ll be working alone. While most assignments in academic subjects will have children working by themselves (writing essays, reading a book, etc.), dancing is a team activity. If everyone doesn’t pull their weight equally, the whole performance could suffer.

Working with other students will allow them to build upon their communication skills. If your child prefers to fly solo or can struggle to make new friends, dance could prove to be an excellent solution.

It’s an easy way to keep fit

Sports such as football, tennis and basketball are usually seen as the best ways for children to keep fit, but those types of sports aren’t always the most accessible. Not all children want to participate in sports, as they feel as if they don’t fit in or have the right natural skills. Plus, there’s all the equipment and clothing costs to think about.

The great thing about dance is that it doesn’t usually require any special equipment – the most your little one may need is a new pair of shoes! With inactivity a huge problem in modern day society, a hobby that gets children out and about, socialising with others and moving their body can only be a good thing.

It develops their problem-solving skills

In dance, decisions have to be made in a split-second. If something goes wrong or a performer forgets a step, the dancer needs to know what to do right away. Any delay could wreck a performance. Reacting instantly as if it were a natural instinct is a skill required in many jobs, such as those in healthcare, the police, army, etc.

Dance also teaches us that there are many solutions to one problem. There is no one right answer – being able to see a situation from many different angles is extremely helpful, and can even build upon a child’s empathy skills.

Just like English teaches children more than just how to read and write, dance is about so much more than just learning to move rhythmically. If you have a shy child who spends all their time indoors and want to see what dance lessons could do for them, why not sign up to our two-week trial today? We guarantee they’ll love it!

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