Should your child be in a dance class?

This question for me has only one answer, without a doubt of any hesitation. Yes. No matter what style of dance, you are exercising, learning discipline, how to use and move your body, musicality, rhythm and most importantly, you are having fun!

Health and fitness
It’s commonly known that dance is good for your health, and it can help in vital ways such as standing properly and sitting well. You improve strength and flexibility, which helps keep muscles and joints healthy, and it is a great workout.

Self Confidence
Dance is a great way to build confidence and improve self-esteem, you are always learning new skills. Breaking through fear or anxiety is a great way to build confidence too. Those who believe they have “2 left feet” or have no rhythm, overcoming these obstacles and going to a dance class can be a great achievement, as you improve your confidence grows.
I’ve come across children who may struggle academically but then thrive in a dance class. Parents have spoken to me about their child’s lack of confidence and academic struggles at school, but you send them to dance class and they are in their element, they are creative, and their confidence blossoms.

The discipline of a dance class can often be over looked, in most cases children can go to their first dance lesson at the tender age at three. You may be thinking ‘what can you possibly do with a child that young?’ However the use of music, props and lots of imagination is just the start of it. They begin to learn to focus, share, work with other children and respond to what the teacher is asking of them.

Choosing to start a new hobby helps you meet new people and make friends with those who have similar interests. The bond you create with your fellow dance students is one like no other, they are friends made for life.

Such as learning to play an instrument, dance is a great way to improve your musicality. With styles such as Tap dancing, an energetic dance form where you create rhythms and different sounds with your feet, is a fantastic way to develop musicality. It’s also a lot of fun!

Exams and Shows
Many dance schools will have a school show every 1 or 2 years which gives the children a chance to perform on stage. This is often a highlight of the children’s time at the dance school, spoken about months before the event and continued enthusiasm and excitement for months after.¬†Examinations are also available for many dance styles where the child can perform their work in front of an examiner and be graded to be able to progress to the next level.

Mind and Body
I remember when I was young, if ever I had a bad day at school, the thought of going to dance class was what got me through the day. The second I was in the class dancing, all those troubles had left and my mind was at peace. For just that short hour or two I was completely free and I felt clear of all the trouble that may have been playing on my mind. I’ve had many students say the exact same to me. You become so involved in the music and movement you lose your inhibitions and you feel free.

The entertainment industry is vast and with dance the possibilities are endless. From performing to teaching, choreography to stage management, directing, producing, physiotherapy and many more. Furthermore with some dance boards the higher grades and vocational exams are recognised by UCAS and receive tariff points towards University.

This blog is contributed by our guest blogger:

Beth Hawkes, Teacher at The Ballet Centre Dance School

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