As Thanksgiving fast approaches, we should all be able to name a few things we’re thankful for- family, friends, food, a roof over our heads. What about dance? Here are 11 reasons why we, parents and children alike, should be thankful for dance.
1. The dance studio is where friendships are formed. Dance is a universal language that brings people together. Our studio is a family of dancers who care for each other,connect with each other and build each other up.
2. Dance encourages commitment. Attending dance class regularly, learning and memorizing choreography is no easy task. It takes our young dancers commitment and dedication to themselves as an individual and to their dance mates, especially when production time rolls around.
3. We know where our kids are. Dance gives us parent’s peace of mind knowing that our kids are in a safe place. They’re doing something productive with their time and not just roaming the streets or window shopping at the mall.
4. Dance promotes physical health. During dance practice our kids burn energy and build strength. We should be thankful that it gets them one step closer to bedtime! And of course keeps them active.
5. Dance also supports mental health. While learning new moves, dance helps our kids exercise their memory. Dance helps our kids hear music in a different way (beats, 8 counts, etc.) They also have to pay close attention to instruction, and dance just makes kids happy!
6. Dance builds confidence. With every new move learned, and with every successful recital, our kids gain a little more confidence in themselves. My daughter has learned so much from being a part of the Annual Summer Productions. She loves being on stage, and isn’t as reluctant to volunteer to stand in front of class and recite a poem.
7. Dance improves communication skills. Back to number one, making friends, the dance studio is an ideal place for our kids to practice their social skills. Class as a collaborative experience teaches our kids how to better communicate with other people and provides them an environment where they can work as a team.
8. Dancing builds community. When our kids get together to dance, they are building their own mini community among others who share the same passions as them. Not only do they meet new friends, but they bring us parents along for the ride. I love that Dance & Company refers to this community as the “dance family.” It really makes us all feel like we’re a part of something special.
9. Dance offers our kids a creative outlet. Kids discover their creativity in a variety of ways. Dance is one way for our kids to express their creativity through movement, sometimes singing. My favorite thing to watch is the toddlers playing with colorful scarves. They are so entertained and it’s just a beautiful sight to see. It brings a new level to appreciating art.
10. Dance teaches respect for self and for others. Dance reminds our kids to respect and appreciate their bodies as well as those of their peers. They learn about personal space and that being a dancer means taking care yourself every day. I love that the studio emphasizes that our kids should only eat healthy snacks between classes.
11. Dance promotes individuality. Even though dance is a group activity, each dancer gains their own experiences. Dancers realize that no one moves exactly the same. Though the choreography is in sync, a dancer’s attitude or swag may be the thing that makes them stand out. Dance also further helps kinesthetic learners to better understand math, or movement better since they are incorporating multiple senses.
Dance is just plain fun! I’m sure there are many more reasons to be thankful for dance. These are just the ones that have stood out to me the most. Why are you thankful for dance?
Author Bio: Angela Quisumbing is a dance mom of two! She is the founder and editor of The Pinky Project, a local community blog serving and celebrating moms in and around Mira Mesa. Her kids are in Boppin’ Tots and Hip Hop. She hopes to join them in taking classes soon!