Why I danced with my young kids and you should, too!
As a young stay at home mom almost 30 years ago, I spent most of my days at home with my sweet daughter, Maddi. Early on, I saw that she loved music and dancing. I had a wide range of music genres in my cassette and CD collection (yes, I'm vintage. LOL). I played music when I cleaned, when I ran errands, when we built with Legos, and created art with finger paint. Sometimes, I dug into my dance training and floated around like a ballerina while I played classical music. Other times, I played new age music and we did our own versions of interpretive dance. It was magical to watch Maddi immerse herself in the music and move about freely, totally lost in her love of movement. Once her sister, Katie, came along the creative dance party continued. As they grew older, I began to see that the daily dance parties had unexpected benefits and advantages. Both girls were eventually enrolled in ballet and jazz classes where I saw their skills grow even more!
I believe dance is so valuable for very young and preschool aged children. Here are some benefits that I discovered:
1. Physical development: Through dance, your child will enhance their gross motor skills, coordination, balance, flexibility, strength, and body control. They'll develop rhythm, timing, and spatial awareness while engaging in various movements.
2. Cognitive development: Dance activities stimulate your child's brain and enhance cognitive skills. They learn to follow instructions, remember movement sequences, and improve their memory and concentration. Dancing sparks creativity and imagination as they explore different ways of moving and expressing themselves.
3. Social and emotional development: Enrolling in preschool dance classes provide a platform for social interaction. Your child will learn to work in groups, cooperate, take turns, and respect personal space. Dancing boosts their self-confidence and self-esteem, fostering a sense of accomplishment when they master new movements or perform in front of others.
4. Expression and communication: Dance allows your child to express themselves physically and emotionally, serving as a form of nonverbal communication. It becomes a creative outlet for their feelings, ideas, and individuality. Preschool creative dance encourages self-expression, body awareness, and the ability to communicate through movement.
5. Physical fitness and health: Regular participation in preschool dance promotes a healthy lifestyle. It provides a fun and engaging way for your child to be physically active, improving their cardiovascular health, coordination, and overall fitness levels.
6. Discipline and routine: Dance classes follow a structured format, helping your child develop discipline and a sense of routine. They learn to follow instructions, listen attentively, and cultivate a strong work ethic by practicing and rehearsing for performances or recitals.
7. Preparing for future learning: Preschool dance lays the foundation for future learning experiences. It enhances skills that are transferable to other areas, such as sports, performing arts, and academic pursuits. Dance encourages discipline, perseverance, focus, and the ability to work towards goals.
Dance during early childhood is a super fun way to bond with your child but it also offers a wide range of benefits that contribute to your child's holistic development in physical, cognitive, social, emotional, and cultural aspects. It provides a creative and enjoyable outlet for self-expression while fostering important skills that can benefit your child throughout their lives. By enrolling your child in preschool dance, you are giving them a strong start and setting the stage for a lifelong appreciation of the dance artistry, imagination, and FUN!