All that glitter is not just for show in competitive dance
The decision to enter their child into a competitive dance program can be a perplexing proposition for parents. Competitive dance today is not a new option for children; however it has become a more popular option due to many television programs and today’s media. These popular television programs both romanticize and deglamorize competitive dance, often misrepresenting the rehearsal schedules, the instructors, the awards and the competitions themselves.
While competitive dance may be somewhat foreign to many parents, a child’s participation can bring the same familiar lessons and benefits as competing in any team sport. Before you assume competitive dance is all about tiny crystal laden costumes, heavy makeup and fake eyelashes adorning your bun-headed daughter, there are some amazing benefits you need to know about.
Improved Physical Health
Dancing is a highly physical activity, and children who take dance lessons regularly should expect to see a significant improvement in their overall physical health. According to many medical experts, regular dance practice can increase your child’s flexibility, range of motion, physical strength and stamina. The repetitive movements involved in dance can improve muscle tone, correct poor posture, increase balance, coordination, and improve overall cardiovascular health. For children who don’t get enough exercise or are overweight, dance can help them to lose weight and improve their eating habits.
Becoming a skilled dancer requires practice, discipline and focus; skills that can be useful in other areas of your child’s life. Competitive dance can help to spark creativity in young children and help them to develop an appreciation for the arts. Although choreography is a big part of dance, students also have the ability to offer input and add creative elements to their numbers. More importantly, dance is an art tied to “feeling” the music and expressing themselves through the music. This allows each dancer to have the unique ability to express themselves in highly individual and creative ways. The bottom line: students who regularly participate in dance lessons typically tend to perform better academically than their nonparticipating peers.
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