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Benefits of Dance For Children

The statistics in the news regarding the rise of childhood obesity, hypertension in adolescence and anxiety disorders among young children are simply alarming.  The good news is that an ever widening body of research shows that keeping kids physically active and mentally engaged has a more profound effect than any given medication. In fact, featured on “The Doctors” show on CBS (from Jan 7th, 2009) partner dancing was listed in the Top 10 health trends that people can participate in. With the current growing popularity of DanceSport, it fits the bill for what any doctor could prescribe.
The benefits to children in particular are huge.  Children learn to use their mind-body connection to improve:

  • Cardiovascular Health – increased aerobic activity strengthens the heart, decreases risk of high blood pressure, develops stamina and endurance
  • Bone Strength and Flexibility – creates body balance and exercises joints and muscle within their natural range of movement.
  • Posture – develops body alignment and body awareness thru dynamic activity and increases stability and poise
  • Brain Capacity – increased blood flow to the brain stimulates nerve cell growth, and stress and depression are reduced. Both mental capacity (challenges of learning new sets of skills) and kinesthetic memory (memorizing complex steps, sequences, body postures; moving in time and staying with the rhythm of the music) are boosted.

Most importantly, children learn teamwork, patience and respect for others. Having to work with another human being in front of them and learning how to care about what’s happening to that person are an invaluable lesson and a great skill to learn in this world. Additionally, working towards a goal with a partner can truly set the stage not only for learning conflict management skills, but for the joys of celebrating successes together and taking pride in you personal achievements.