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5-6-7-8! The Benefits of DANCE & MUSIC


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5-6-7-8! The Benefits of DANCE & MUSIC

5-6-7-8!  The Benefits of DANCE & MUSIC
Let's take a look at 8 different ways that dance & music classes benefit development... health benefits, developing social skills, confidence benefits, mental development, cognitive development, emotional development, problem-solving capabilities, and academic development.

Movement and Music have a powerful positive effect on the brain, it simply makes you feel good!  However, it is proven that it is also healthy and can have a strong benefit in development. Most kids like to play and move around. Dance is an organized way of moving around. Dance classes for kids allow them to get access to teachers, music, and other children in a safe, positive, and encouraging environment. Even though dance is a form of exercise, it does not seem or feel like exercise for kids. Dance is fun, it is an easy way to convince kids that exercise does not have to be boring.  If you instill a positive attitude while they are still young, your kids are likely to continue dancing and moving when they grow up. The following are some of the ways that dance classes  & music may help in early development.

Health Benefits
Singing, and dancing help to maintain a healthy body.  Singing is actually a good cardiovascular exercise. The repetition of syllable "Om" is known to keep many respiratory illnesses at bay.  While dancing is beneficial for muscular activities.  A sharp mind with an agile body is everything a child needs to satay away from obesity and other diseases. A few more health benefits of dancing include improved condition of your heart and lungs,  increased muscular strength, endurance, and motor fitness, stronger bones and reduced risk of osteoporosis, and better coordination, agility, and flexibility. 

Developing Social Skills
Kids that are in a dance or music class are likely to develop good social skills at a young age. They interact with other kids and their instructors. They have no choice but to develop good interpersonal and communication skills. In dance class kids learn the importance of teamwork in achieving a shared goal, leadership, and respect for authority figures. They learn how to listen to instructions from the instructors and suggestions from other kids. The social skills may help them in other aspects of their lives.

Confidence Development
Dance and music allows kids to develop high self-esteem. Listening to and moving to music causes the brain to release dopamine, a feel-good chemical that is involved in motivation. Motivation helps power confidence. Most kids are unsure of themselves when they first join a dance class. They may think that they are unable to perform certain moves. When they do, they realize that they are just as capable as the people they looked up to. Trying out and succeeding in various challenges makes a child feel good. They become confident in their knowledge when they learn about different dance moves and their origins. Dance and music reduces shyness and promotes assertiveness.

Mental Development
Music and Dance instruction appears to accelerate brain development in young children, particularly in the areas of the brain responsible for processing sound, language development, speech perception, and reading skills, according to initial results of a five-year study by USC neuroscientists.  A child’s brain is continually developing especially when the child learns new things. During a dance, kids learn about focus, body coordination, and making decisions fast. Dance encourages kids to explore their creativity. All the types of dance demand some creativity. Children can use their imagination in dance class, and teens can explore their emotions and creativity.  There is no better time for human beings to develop their creativity than when they are young.

Cognitive Development
Children that attend music and dance classes learn the importance of self-discipline from a young age. They learn the necessary skills and their ability to memorize, evaluate, and analyze things. It improves their progress in other aspects of their lives including academic performance and problem-solving skills. Dance demands for children to pay attention. Children that are below five years old have short attention spans of about 15 minutes. Dance and music classes may help with that. Children that attend dance and music classes at a young age learn to balance school and extracurricular activities when they grow older.

Emotional Development
Dancing and music helps your child to learn how to identify and express different emotions. The ability to express feelings has both physical and mental benefits. Students of dance and music learn to use dance and music as an outlet to express their feelings even when they grow older. Expressing emotions helps to reduce psychological stress and anxiety. It improves their self-esteem and may help you learn things about your child that you did not know. Music & Dance is a valid therapy to potentially reduce depression and anxiety, as well as to improve mood and quality of life. 

Problem-solving capabilities
Singing and Dancing can help babies grasp the environment in a better way.  Take the classic A,B,C,D song for example... while listening or singing it a baby can learn and enjoy.  On another note, movement and dance can help the brain recognize new possibilities and open the mind to find ways to solve problems. For teenagers it can help create a safe space for them to listen to whats inside, find themselves, and allow for positive development. 

Academic Development
Children that attend dance and/or music classes have a strong academic foundation. Research suggests that taking music lessons predetermines high academic performance and IQ scores in young children. In one study a group of 6-year olds were surveyed.  They took keyboard, piano, or vocal lessons in small groups for 36 weeks.  The results showed they had significantly larger increases in IQ and standardized educational test results over that time than children who took extracurricular activities unrelated to music.  Dance and music also set a strong foundation for math. Dancing involves combinations of patterns and counting. Left-brain learning promotes logical thinking which increases chances of success in math. It helps to learn a language because dance involves a lot of vocabulary. It requires dancers to be creative. Creativity is important when learning a language. Kids may learn about the different parts of their bodies as they dance. It helps to improve their Science abilities. Dancers learn to focus and follow instructions. They learn how to be creative and inquisitive. These qualities may help set the foundation for academic success.

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I used to take ballet classes when I was a little girl. I took ballet classes after school when I was in elementary school. I always looked forward to having ballet classes after school. It made me excited to know that I would be looking forward to relaxing myself and expressing my bodily creative moves when I took ballet lessons, and danced my heart away! I would definitely encourage my little daughter to try taking dance classes, in order to express her creativity and relax herself after long days in school.
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