There are so many amazing benefits to learning a skill like ballroom dancing!
There’s no doubt that we all admire the folks who get up on the dance floor first. So why is it that some of us shy away from ever taking the leap and getting into some dance lessons? Even more so why is dancing often the last sport we think of for our kids? We tote them back and forth to soccer and hockey, but never does it occur to us that unless they get a scholarship or go pro with their sport of choice they will most likely not be using most skills learned into their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s or certainly 60’s. Not to mention some of the most well rounded kids I’ve ever known have been big time into ballroom dancing. I’ve made a good start here, but the list goes on…
- Confidence – I have never seen anything as efficient in building confidence in children and adults as dancing. There is something about learning about your own body that makes dancing very different from other sports and activities. When you are taking private lessons with an instructor you are one on one with a person who’s purpose is to teach you how to make your body and limbs look graceful and elegant. And when the student starts to see that hard work coming to fruition, it’s magical thing! Coupled with getting used to being in the company of the opposite sex in a productive and constructive way, there is no equal. Dancing builds confidence, Period! And in the middle of all those hormonal changes, what kid doesn’t need a confidence boost?
- Social Skills – Have I mentioned productive and constructive contact with the opposite sex? If any of you have been to a middle school or high school dance in the last 10 years you know where I’m going with this. Kids don’t know how to engage with the opposite sex these days without grinding and imitating what they see plastered across their social media. This day and age etiquette and modesty are hard to come by. Boys need to have a chance to know what to do when they meet a pretty girl. What to say, how to act, how to feel confident to not make a fool of himself, how to be a gentleman. And parents of daughters; our girls need the same thing. They need to know that they have more value than needing to impress boys with skimpy clothing and getting attention with improper behavior. Most kids are not telling their parent everything in this department, so it’s best to give them the skills to handle life instead of going with the crowd.
- Other Sports – Balance, Control, Rhythm and Coordination are the foundation of any sport and are taught to their fullest potential in dance. If your child is struggling with a sport that they love, dancing could be the key to unlocking the skills they need. Pro Football players often take dance classes to gain more agility, better balance, greater speed etc. The muscles required to really dance will keep your child fit, active and ready for any other team sport they may want to participate in.
- Respect and Teamwork – Another transferable skill for other sports is being able to work as a partner or teammate. It takes 2 to Tango! In a dance partnership, one cannot do it without the other (I think some marriages could benefit from this as well, but that’s another blog.) Respect for their instructor, coach, partner, judges and fellow dancers is another great benefit for kids to learn to dance. Any coach that has spent the last 30 years of life perfecting a skill like ballroom dancing will not be accepting any ‘tudes from their prepubescent students! If your kid needs an attitude adjustment, ballroom dancing just might be the answer to your prayers!
- Perseverance – Anything your child needs to try and strive and dig deep for is going to be a good life lesson. When our kids get out of school and enter the real world no one is going to sugar coat things for them. They need to learn disappointment, they need to learn how to pick themselves up and try harder, they need to not receive a medal every time! Ballroom dancing is fun to learn and hard to master, when they see how hard they work in class and then have the AHA moment of getting it, they will gain the understanding that hard work pays off.
- Creativity – Often one of the most overlooked skills for young people, creativity builds the ability to problem solve, to add artistry, to really feel what they’re doing. Many people think that creativity is a born talent. But, actually creativity is more about skill than talent. Because it is a key to success in nearly everything we do, creativity is a key component of health and happiness and a core skill to practice with kids. Creativity is not limited to artistic and musical expression—it is also essential for science, math, and even social and emotional intelligence. Creative people are more flexible and better problem solvers, which makes them more able to adapt to technological advances and deal with change—as well as take advantage of new opportunities.