The Benefits of Dance for children
Children move naturally. They move to achieve mobility, they move to express a
thought or feeling, and they move because it is joyful and feels wonderful.
Dance involves a greater range of motion, coordination, strength and endurance
than most other physical activities. This is accomplished through
movement patterns that teach coordination and kinesthetic memory. Dancing
utilizes the entire body and is an excellent form of exercise for total body fitness.
Young children are naturally active, but dance offers an avenue to expand
movement possibilities and skills.
Dance promotes psychological health and maturity. Children enjoy the
opportunity to express their emotions and become aware of themselves and
others through creative movement. A pre-school child enters a dance class or
classroom with a history of emotional experiences. Movement within a class
offers a structured outlet for physical release while gaining awareness and
appreciation of oneself and others.
Dance fosters social encounter, interaction, and cooperation. Children learn to
communicate ideas to others through the real and immediate mode of body
movement. Children quickly learn to work within a group dynamic. As the
ongoing and sometimes challenging process of cooperation evolves, children
learn to understand themselves in relation to others.
Young children will create movement spontaneously when presented with
movement ideas or problems that can be solved with a movement response.
Movement provides the cognitive loop between the idea, problem, or intent and
the outcome or solution. This teaches an infant, child and, ultimately, adult to
function in and understand the world. The relationship of movement to intellectual
development and education is an embryonic field of study that has only recently
begun to be explored.