The ‘hidden’
benefits of dance

The world of dance provides a range of benefits for children. (iStock)

Carole Levy

Dancing comes naturally to kids, from when they first sit up. Just add music and they’ll wriggle and clap while they can’t stand, and launch into all kinds of moves once they can. This is especially true if older kids and parents sing and dance around the littlies.

This expression of joyousness is fantastic in its own right, but it also has the side benefit of helping physical and mental health – recognised by experts for a long time.

To boost those positive effects, it’s worth thinking about enrolling them in a dance class, where they learn dance and lots more. Many dance schools offer a large selection of dance styles, acrobatics, singing and music, among other diverse programs.

There’s more than dance that each child is taught. Well-run classes, tailored for all ages, deliver many other corollary benefits – such as these:

1. Social skills:

Many dance schools work towards a yearly performance or show. For a group routine to look its best, children must work together and co-operate.

For children who lack social skills, dance classes teach teamwork, develop trust and co-operation between performers, and help youngsters become confident and make new friends. Dance can also help overcome the fear of performing in front of an audience.

2. Educational benefits:

Dancing takes practice, discipline and focus – skills needed in all aspects of life.

Some dance schools have yearly exams, with children required to work through a syllabus and practise hard for months before demonstrating their skills to examiners.

Dance exams can also help students with the discipline needed for their school tests.

3. Physical health:

Dancing is a highly physical pursuit, and can increase stamina, strength and flexibility.

It can also improve co-ordination and balance, correct poor posture and increase cardiovascular health.

There’s a plethora of good dance schools around, so if your little boy or girl loves their music and raps, wriggles or rocks to it, getting them into a dance class can only be a good thing. And you never know – your child might be the next Big Talent…