The Benefits of Dance in Early Childhood

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Dance can be a powerful tool for enhancing and developing many positive attributes of a growing child. Dance helps children mature physically, emotionally, socially and cognitively. The physical benefits of dance are widely accepted, but the emotional, social and cognitive attributes have only recently begun to be appreciated.

Improved Physical Health
Dance improves physical and mental strength, corrects poor posture, increases flexibility and range of motion, creates better balance, coordination and heart health and impacts on the capable range of gross motor and fine motor movements.

Emotional Maturity
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 that all important awareness and appreciation of oneself and others.

Socialisation and Awareness
Dance fosters social encounters, interaction and cooperation. Children build trust and create friendships with their teachers and other dancers. They improve their communications skills, confidence and self-esteem through the real and immediate mode of body movement, whilst reducing their shyness and anxiety. As the ongoing and sometimes challenging process of cooperation evolves, children learn to understand themselves in relation to others.

Cognitive Development
Your 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 to the solution. This teaches an infant, child, and ultimately, an adult to function in and understand the world. The relationship of movement to intellectual development is a field of study that continues to be explored.

Educational Benefits
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. ​Dancing requires discipline and focus – skills that are useful in other areas of your child’s life. Dance lessons can spark creativity and support literacy development as children use their imagination to formulate ideas, characters and narratives.

 

Donna Hann
Creative Director of Dance Kix

 

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