9 Reasons Your Kid Should Take Ballroom Dance Classes
Children learn movement patterns easily when they are young, similar to when they learn language. Your child will greatly benefit in life from learning to ballroom dance whether it is introduced as a hobby, for fun or to compete. Ballroom dancing provides social, physical and emotional benefits. The children will learn and develop coordination, balance, respect, strength, flexiblity, and all of the many health benefits from dance. So many studies have proven the benefit of dance and a child’s development: mental, physical, and emotional. Children who have participated in dance/music/theater from a young age score better on SATs, have better attention spans, are creative problem-solvers, and are more well-balanced and adjusted. These are just a few reasons that dance classes help youth grow to be the best versions of themselves. Ballroom Dancing is a long-term investment in your child’s education and personal development, and it is our mission to instill a love for dance in all of our students, whether their goals are recreational or professional.
- PHYSICAL HEALTH
Many of us dance for fun, but here’s a secret about moving to a rhythm: it’s exercise! Yep, even couch potatoes can forget they’re breaking a sweat while dancing to an inspiring tune. Regular lessons and practice take dancing and the dancer to whole new levels: improving posture, grace, flexibility, strength, stamina and range of motion. The crisp, precise movements of ballroom dance encourage proper body alignment and balance, all while providing an excellent cardio workout. Professional dancers are some of the strongest, most athletic people in the world and even NFL quarterbacks and other pro athletes include dance in their training.
Ballroom dance is a social activity! Peers of similar age and skill are taught partner-based moves in a group setting, all of which promotes socialization in children. A child who is shy can emerge from their shell as they learn to express themselves through dance. Many dancers also describe a feeling of being in their own world when they dance, which can help fear of public performance or speaking. In addition to all of these advantages, young ballroom dancers also learn trust, teamwork and co-operation.
UFC fighter, astronaut, professional dancer… What do these three people have in common? Discipline. It takes practice, study and focus to achieve such great heights and it all starts with a single step. At “Starkidz” Dance Academy it’s a dance step. Mastering simple steps and fundamentals puts children on the track to success, both in dance and other parts of their lives. Regular ballroom dance lessons build discipline and respect in the student, two things that are essential in school, sport or any pursuit.
Growing up is full of challenges: kids can feel uncomfortable in their own skin or unable to express themselves. Such problems can hinge on or worsen a child’s lack of self-esteem, leaving a parent feel helpless. If that sounds familiar, why not consider enrolling your child in ballroom dance? Accomplishing a simple series of moves to music can provide immediate gratification and quickly build personal pride. Improved poise and athleticism, new friends, confidence– all boost the confidence of a ballroom dancer. Ballroom dance also provides the student with a form of expression that they might not otherwise have.
- MUSIC & MOVEMENT
We would like to start this off from the roots. Do you remember the first time you heard music? Of course you do! You have heard the beat, the melody, a singing voice perhaps. It might have sounded strange at first, but it was so irresistible. Then, there was no explanation to your further actions. You started moving your body, wiggled your hands and legs, and I bet you were smiling too. The best part of this, all of it was natural.
From birth, everyone has the natural feel for music. We can dance to, pretty much, anything. However, if our dance is lacking structure, it will look repetitive, a bit primitive and probably chaotic. The core of ballroom dancing is based entirely on structure, which almost instantly gets applied to music. With practice and some help from instructors, your child will not only develop a stronger inner feel for music, but will be able to apply their moves to it. Not to mention, that it will be done with a partner.
- BODY DEVELOPMENT
You can spot a ballroom dancer from far. A bit of loftiness, flow of movement, and the most commonly noticeable factor – The Posture. “But, Ballet also has The Posture” you might object. True. But, there is an obvious flow in directional movement to a ballroom dancer, which may not be noticed in a ballet dancer. To give you an example: it is fascinating to watch a ballroom dancer go through a crowded place. Since floor craft is trained from an early age, you probably will not see them collide with anyone. Besides, ballroom dancing has a much higher contrast in movement. From slow and continuous to sharp and static. Try running for a minute and a half, make a sudden stop to catch a quick breath, then run faster for another minute and a half. Oh, and while you’re at it, keep your hands to the sides and don’t drop them down, and do it all to the music with a partner. Got the picture?
- ART & CULTURE
Dancing is bodily expression to music. Regardless, if a dancer does choreography or improvises.(which, essentially, means the same thing, since improv is a choreography broken down and danced in a chaotic pattern). In case of ballroom dancing, expression to music happens with a partner. The culture behind every ballroom dance has been developed over the years, which means, your child will be exposed to some history. Of course, the cultural and historical details for each dance will vary depending on the amount of knowledge of the instructor, but generally, the idea of each dance will be clear. The beginning of the learning process will be strict and bold (“This is Cha Cha, it comes from Cuba, and this is how you do it…”), but further into the future, more emphasis will be put into the character of each dance, and the expression it could be danced with.
- MUTUAL LOVE & RESPECT
We live in a society where violence is not permissive. And, indeed, this is how it should be. But, unfortunately, it seems that mass media promotes more violence, while trying to prevent it. In the age of technology and easy-to-reach information, with the graphical content that accompanies it, we are aware of bad news much sooner, and our children are no exception. At early age common sense and rationality are at early stages of development, thus everything your child sees is taken “As Is”.
So, how can ballroom dancing help to promote peace? Easy! Lead by Example.
In 1994, Pierre Dulaine, a ballroom dancer founded Dancing Classrooms, a non-for-profit with a mission to use the vocabulary of ballroom dance to cultivate the positive feelings that are inherent in every child. Kids are required to partner up, learn different dances together and eventually showcase at a local dance competition. Later, Pierre took the project to his home-country – Jaffa, Israel, where children of long-term enemies – Jews and Arabs, had to learn how to dance together. The results were quite fascinating.
- DREAMS & GOALS
Thinking back, almost every kid I have met in the dance industry wanted to become a champion. Some have stuck to their grande dreams and reached their goals. Some had smaller goals and did their best to achieve them. It is fascinating to observe the physical and emotional involvement of all – the kids, parents and coaches. And with hard work, to see the dream come true in reality, right in front of you, as a work of art… Always inspirational!