There is no doubt that dance is a fun and engaging activity for individuals of all ages, especially for children transitioning into Kindergarten. Dance not only conditions the body and refines gross motor skills, but it also helps develop cognitive function, confidence and social versatility. Being in a positive learning environment, filled with music and movement, helps children develop valuable strengths that are directly transferable to school. Here are our top reasons why classes at Mahogany Dance Arts are the BEST way to prepare you for your September schedule.
As parents, we recognize the hard work that goes into preparing your little loved one for the exciting world of Kindergarten. You help teach your children to tie their shoes, count to ten, share, communicate and become wildly independent. But have you ever considered the additional benefits kids can learn from being in a structured dance class? The discipline required for dance percolates to all other areas of life, including socializing, sports and academic studies which then directly benefits your child in the classroom also. Keep reading to discover why starting dance at an early age helps set children up for success at school and throughout life.
The social dynamics of school start to develop as early as K2. Listening, following directions and asking for help are elementary skills that contribute to feeling safe in a classroom setting. At dance, the interactions with teachers, assistants, other adults and students, makes the studio an ideal environment for absorbing and improving these skills. Dance Educators use specialized learning techniques to teach children how to take turns, cooperate with others, and socialize in a structured but fun environment. Dancers learn the importance of social cues, sharing their personal space, respecting their peers, and working together towards a common goal. Dance also allows kids to connect with individuals with different ages, backgrounds, cultures and personalities, teaching them the value of diversity. These interactions contribute to communicating effectively in social settings, especially at school. And, above all, dance friends make the best friends. Setting and achieving goals, overcoming challenges and performing together fosters an unbreakable bond built on support and resilience. Making new friends with similar interests is important for children of any age, especially those entering kindergarten.
But, dance isn’t just about social skills. Have you ever noticed dancers’ uncanny ability to remember sequences and choreography? At an early age, dancers exercise memory to cement their dance vocabulary with their movement. The words and terminology used at dance exposes children to a new vocabulary; many of the phrases expressed in class are universal terms that dancers use throughout their entire dance career. Combining this new world of words with physical movement makes dancers stand out academically and helps children connect the left and right sides of their brains. When the brain’s activities become balanced, endorphins are released and dancers feel better physically, mentally and emotionally. Having the cognitive ability to convert physical movement into muscle memory is a skill that helps children understand the mind-body connection, retain information, increase concentration and improve academic performance. So, don’t be surprised when your little dancer remembers much more than their ABC’s.
The most common phrase you hear in a dance studio is “head up, shoulders back” which reminds dancers to stand up straight and dance confidently in the direction of their dreams. However, there is so much more to confidence than having perfect posture. Dance focuses on having a healthy mind and body relationship. At a young age, dancers learn how to regulate and express their emotions through movement. The studio is a safe physical outlet for children to release build up energy, display self-expression and non-verbally work through their problems. Through learning new steps, remembering routines and performing in front of an audience, dancers strengthen their self esteem. Building confidence through dance empowers children to voice their opinion, face challenges, embrace opportunities and fit into social settings. Confidence ultimately helps dancers believe in themselves which leads to universal success.
Attending a scheduled class helps children develop a routine, which is important to establish before Kindergarten. At Mahogany Dance Arts, we are here to help. We offer options for children of all ages, especially those just starting school. Our six and eight-week sessional classes are the best way to experience dance before enrolling in full year programs. These classes allow time for your dancer to feel comfortable in the studio, get to know our amazing teachers, establish friendships and fall in love with dance, one week at a time. We also offer full term classes for those starting dance as early as three years old. These classes run from September to June, and include 10 months of dancing, learning and growing with the same students. In addition, these little dancers will participate in June’s Year-End Showcase. If this sounds like something you might be interested in, check out the full list of classes available on our website. It’s never too late to start mastering the skills that are important for developing a well rounded student in any classroom setting.