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The benefits of dance for kids
Wednesday, 26 October 2011 14:20

The Benefits of Dance for Kids

by Kathryn Wagner, eHow contributor www.ehow.com

Dance isn't solely about competition or winning awards. Many children dance simply for enjoyment and exercise. There are many benefits of dancing, including fitness, developing balance, losing weight, understanding the importance of being active, building confidence and developing expressive skills.

Becoming Active

Children who dance learn the importance of fitness.
Dance silhouette image by huaxiadragon from Fotolia.com The most obvious benefit of dance for children is that they are active. Dancers move across the floor, spin, stretch, jump and leap into the air. Children who want to become active but eschew hard-core sports like running and football might find their place on the dance floor. According to "Health Status", a leading website on fitness, a child weighing 90 pounds can burn over 200 calories on the dance floor.

Confidence, Focus and Discipline

Kids build confidence through dancing.
confidence image by Lisa Eastman from Fotolia.com Children who dance also build more confidence. They become less concerned with body image and more focused on simply performing for enjoyment. According to one parent at the website, "Give Meaning to New Parenting," children who dance are more likely to be focused after practice. Dance also promotes discipline: children who dance are more likely to stay on task for other projects. The "Little People's Creative Workshop" notes that performing not only builds discipline but also improves memory. Children are expected to learn basic routines for performances and practice.

Expression of Self

Kids who dance may have higher expressive skills.
dance in color image by Leonid Tarassishin from Fotolia.com Introducing your kids to dance also teaches them how to express themselves better through non-verbal cues. In many dance classes, kids move in tune to the music. If the song is fast-paced they may leap and jump into the air. If the song moves very slowly, the dance may call for more deliberate, carefully orchestrated turns. Kids who learn to move to the tone of the music may become more aware of acting similarly outside the dance floor. For example, when someone is crying, they may soften their body language and voice.

Additionally, The Little People's Creative Worskhop notes that dance increases the expressive and verbal vocabulary of children. Children learn new words with every new move and are expected to use them in daily practice.

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