With the dizzying number of choices in children’s activities these days, parents are wise to ask themselves which classes offer distraction and entertainment, and which activities might offer something more. For very young children, dance class falls at the top of the list of extracurricular activities with benefits. Here’s why.
Dance encourages imagination
In a world where more and more children’s toys and games come with everything laid out and planned, dance offers the unparalleled opportunity to use imagination. In a preschool dance class, students may be asked to imagine they are butterflies, elephants, flowers, a train car or any number of magical things. Dancers are encouraged to explore how these things would move, what color they might be, or how fast or slow they would go. This awakening of the imagination promotes independent thinking and creative problem solving in the youngest minds…skills that will transfer readily to other areas of life.
Dance is proven to be beneficial in academic development
Dance class always includes counting, opposites (right and left, front and back), patterns and repetition. These concepts are reinforced during class in ways that are fun and engaging, and young minds soak up these important concepts effortlessly. The repetition of rhythm patterns is proven to enhance intellectual ability, language skills and coordination. Particularly at the preschool level, these concepts are vitally important to cognitive development.
Dance is great for self-esteem
One of the best things about dance class for a preschooler is being able to stand in front of the big mirrors! Dance class reinforces that students are doing a great job and learning new things. The dancers can see it for themselves while they dance. In this way, dance garners confidence and self-esteem for its participants. Dancers can also see that they have lots of friends who are learning and having fun right along with them. Which brings me to the next benefit…
Dance class is great for building social skills
In a typical preschool dance class, students will learn to listen, follow directions, take their turn and also wait while others take a turn. They learn to appreciate and clap for their classmates and take a bow for a job well done. Dance class may be the first introduction to these skills for many young dancers. Group socialization skills are reinforced and practiced in a safe and fun environment.
Dance teaches behavioral skills
Delayed gratification is a frustrating subject for preschoolers. The study of dance teaches that practice can make perfect. When dancers learn a new skill or routine over many weeks, it becomes evident to students that what once was difficult is now possible. Satisfaction and pride abound when young students realize they have new skills. Dancers come away with an awareness that perseverance and patience are rewarding tools.
Dance gets young bodies moving!
Children love to move! Many toddlers are dancing long before they can talk. Dance class provides a safe and fun environment where it is okay to get the energy out. Dancers can stomp their feet like elephants and flap their wings like beautiful birds. Dance class also introduces and reinforces age-appropriate gross motor skills like hopping, jumping, galloping and skipping. These skills are important for coordination and balance. Plus they are lots of fun! Which brings me to my next point…
Dance is always a good time!
Dance is as old as humankind. Our bodies were designed to move and movement brings feelings of freedom and joy. No one knows this better than a preschooler. We know that dance class teaches behavioral, social, emotional and fitness skills… but to our youngest dancers, it is just plain fun! What could be better than that?
Danceworks in Denville offers classes for dancers as young as age two. Email today for information about fall classes for your preschooler! firstname.lastname@example.org.
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