Benefits of Dance for Kids: A Comprehensive Guide

Benefits of Dance for Kids: A Comprehensive Guide

Choosing the right activity for your child is exciting. Dance stands out as an appealing option due to its wide array of styles, such as Hip Hop, Ballet, Jazz, and Tap, ensuring there is something for all kinds of students. Beyond being a fun interest, research has shown dance to be one of the most rewarding physical activities, offering extensive benefits for physical, mental, and emotional well-being. This guide will share some of these important benefits with you.

kids dancing in studio

Benefits of Dance for Kids

Emotional and Social Health Benefits

Dance offers children many social and emotional health benefits, serving as an expressive physical activity that enhances emotional well-being and the development of social skills. How can you expect your child to grow both emotionally and socially?

  • Communication Skills: Dance classes provide an excellent atmosphere for children to come together and collaborate, cultivating teamwork and teaching them the value of respectful interactions from a young age. Through these classes, children learn to collaborate effectively with their peers and develop communication skills with their instructors.
  • Make New Friends: Dance classes allow children to come together and make new friends! It is a wonderful way to bond with kids with similar interests. One study found that children between 9 and 13 felt higher levels of peer belonging and motivation while involved in extracurricular activities such as dance.
  • Encourages Creativity: Dancing allows children to be expressive and to use their imagination through movement. The University of Melbourne found that kids involved in dance are 15% more likely to demonstrate creative thinking than those who are not involved.  
  • Emotional Outlet: Dance serves as an emotional outlet for children. It allows them to physically and emotionally release any built-up frustrations they have been dealing with in a constructive way.
  • Cultural Awareness: Through various dance forms, children taking dance classes are exposed to the rich histories and traditions of different cultures. Exploring these cultural backgrounds allows children to enrich their understanding of the world.
  • Academic Improvement: Research has found that dance has a positive impact on academic performance. Dance enhances a child’s ability to learn in school by improving critical thinking, stimulating creative thinking, improving memory retention, and enhancing communication skills.

Mental Health Benefits

While the social and emotional benefits are great, the mental advantages are just as significant. Dance instills self-discipline in children while improving confidence, cognition, and communication. The following are some of the mental benefits promoted through dance participation.

  • Self-Esteem: Learning how to execute new dance skills and remember dance routines can nurture confidence in children. Engaging in dance recitals, which requires great bravery and courage, further enhances their self-esteem and confidence.
  • Ease Depression and Anxiety: Researchers from University of Sydney, University of NSW, Macquarie University and Queensland University of Technology have found that dancing reduces depression and anxiety more than any other physical activity. It does this by releasing certain chemicals into the brain, such as dopamine.
  • Cognitive Growth: Dance serves as a remarkable mental workout for children, aiding in memory retention, problem-solving, and concentration. The same study mentioned above found that physical activity was also the best for cognitive growth.
  • Self-Discipline: Dance classes provide kids with structure. They teach them how to show up for something weekly, rain or shine. Cultivating this attribute from a young age is invaluable, as it becomes a lifelong practice.
  • Boosts Memory: A Harvard Study found that dancing improves long-term memory. This is due to having to remember dance sequences, which constantly works the memory.

Physical Health Benefits

Dance provides exceptional physical health benefits for kids. According to Dr. Peter Lovatt, a Dance Psychologist and Principal Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, “Dance contributes to heart and lung health and is a great workout for toning and strengthening muscles. It also helps to maintain a healthy weight and strengthens the bones.” From improving cardiovascular health to strengthening bones, how else can you expect your child to benefit physically?

  • Bone Health: Studies have found that getting involved in dance at a young age builds great bone mineral density and could reduce the risk of fracture and osteoporosis.
  • Cardiovascular Health: Dance involves continuous movement, which improves heart and lung function. The American Journal of Preventive Medicine studied the impact of dance on heart disease and found that those who danced had a 46% lower risk of cardiovascular death over a decade compared to those who never danced at all!
  • Muscle Strength and Flexibility: Dancing involves activating and strengthening diverse muscle groups. It also promotes flexibility with its wide range of motion and stretching, which is essential in preventing injury and improving spinal health.
  • Coordination and Balance: Dancing requires synchronized movement of both the body and the brain, and continuous practice improves the sharpness of that coordination. The American Psychological Society found that ballet training notably enhances coordination and balance compared to untrained individuals.
  • Stamina: Dancing can enhance stamina, enabling individuals to sustain long-term physical activity. This improvement contributes to overall athletic performance and improves quality of life.
kids in ballet costumes

Dancing brings children great joy while allowing them to grow physically, mentally, and emotionally. By immersing children in dance from an early age, they can establish habits that support their development into adulthood, grow their appreciation for the incredible art of dance, and build a strong sense of community. Are you interested in enrolling your child in dance classes? You can learn more here!

Author: Madison

Madison is a singer/songwriter born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Gender & Women’s Studies with a concentration in Media and Communications. As an independent recording artist, her music has received critical acclaim from the likes of EARMILK and Wonderland Magazine. Apart from her involvement with Ensemble Performing Arts, Madison performs shows across California.


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