Updated: Sep 25, 2018
We‘re sure this won’t come as a surprise but the benefits of dance classes are endless. Not only does it help with physical fitness, flexibility and strength but it can do wonders for self-esteem and confidence too, which are invaluable life skills for your child.
1. Friends For Life
Group classes offer an opportunity for your little one to develop social skills and make new friends. Did you know Miss Amy and I danced together from the age of three years old?! Friends that dance together certainly do stay together!
2. Getting to Know Themselves
Not only is it fun but dancing gives a creative outlet for children to express their unique personality in a safe space: exploring, working through and expressing the feelings that sometimes can’t be expressed verbally. In time, our students discover their own personal style, and get to know themselves better which encourages a self-assuredness.
3. Unlock Their Confidence
Learning a new skill leads to a sense of achievement, whilst your child brushes up on their presentation and performance skills.
Dancers are often perceived as being confident, but actually it didn’t always start out this way and it’s certainly not a pre-requisite for learning dance. Being the type of child who would hide behind her Mum, there is no one who knows this better than me. Dancing as a child changed my life. Dance unlocked my smile, laughter and willingness to communicate with others…. for that, I am eternally grateful to my amazing dance teacher, Miss Lisa.
A lot of dancers who lack confidence or self-esteem gain it through dancing. Sometimes you have to ‘fake it til you make it’ and in doing so, eventually, the confidence that you practice in your classes or on stage often ends up filtering into your everyday life.
4. Instilling Values
Not only will your child get to know themselves through art forms such as dance, but it is also character building. They’ll build and deepen values such as respect: for themselves, their body and for others, discipline, focus, concentration, coordination, determination and memory. In adults, dance is known to reduce depression and anxiety and boost mood in general. Dance in itself has even become a therapy in its own right. We are helping keep our children happy and healthy.
5. An air of Grace
Right, back to the body: we’ve talked about overall physical fitness, but there’s also the increased body awareness, and the authority with which you hold yourself with. The elegance, grace and poise, and we know that we are often judged by how we ‘carry ourselves’. Dancing gives the opportunity to create beautiful lines and poses which will make you feel good about what your body is capable of.
As for posture, we often tell our children to ‘pull your shoulders back’ or ‘shoulders back, chest out’ in the hope it’ll stop them slouching but posture isn’t really about the shoulders, it’s about the upper back and the muscles underneath the shoulder blades hence strengthening this area leads to a better posture.
Starting young as a dancer is not essential but it helps hugely if you do. We have students as young as eighteen months in our parent participation classes. Training the muscles from a young age as the body is forming and taking shape builds strength and flexibility and something called ‘muscle memory’.
6. Knowing their trade
Ballet is the foundation for all dance forms even hip hop/street dance! All professional dancers need to learn Ballet as part of their training.
Speaking of career, dance training opens up a whole potential in terms of a future career: you could go on to have a career as a performer (dancer, actor, singer, or all three!), choreographer, teacher, producer, writer, publicist, practitioner, technician, or even a dance/movement therapist! The skills acquired when you train in dance are valuable and can actually be applied in ANY career path of your choosing.
Ultimately, all the skills gained are transform into LIFE skills based on the values that we at Little London Ballet school base our teachings on. Values of Trust, Discipline, Consistency, Friendship, Loyalty, Transparency, Hard work mixed with loads of fun and laughter ensure that the students learning with us make these a part of their Life as they learn to bring them into their everyday scenarios.
As if all of this wasn’t enough, dance of any kind gives an insight into different cultures. Every dance form has a story and a history. In our next blog we shall talk more about this.
Meanwhile Happy dancing to you all!!
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Author of this Blog is Emma Del Monaco - Principal @ Little London Ballet.
She is a dynamic, warm, fun teacher and lives her own life as a shining reflection of the values that she has based her school on. She is an amazing colleague, friend, wife, mother and approaches her dance with equal passion and joy as she does life.