Benefits of Dance in Early Childhood
09 June, 2022
It may not be mentioned alongside numeracy and writing, but physical movement – especially dance – is one of the most important skills your child can learn at school. It’s why we include dance in our childcare program at Edge, and why so many parents are noticing results. Read on to discover the benefits of dance for children in early childhood settings.
Your child doesn’t need to be enrolled in formal classes to enjoy the benefits of dance and movement in early childhood. In fact, regardless of age or ability, almost everyone can reap the positive rewards of a good dance session.
As part of our promise to foster active futures for your children through physical literacy, dance is an important part of our curriculum here at Edge Early Learning. We know that physical literacy helps children develop crucial cognitive, social and emotional skills that will stick with them for life, making them healthier, fitter and smarter.
So, what can your child gain from dance? Read on to find out all about the benefits of dance in early childhood.
As with any kind of exercise, dance is important for your child’s physical health. Many children have boundless energy, and regular exercise sessions – dance included – give them a productive place to let it all out. This, in turn, releases endorphins and lowers your child’s stress levels. It also helps them strengthen their muscles and bones, improve their flexibility and coordination, build endurance, develop their kinaesthetic memory and maintain their cardiovascular health.
As if all that weren’t enough, dancing offers some much-needed variety to your child’s exercise regime. Running, climbing and swimming are all great forms of physical activity, but when you consider the fact that toddlers should spend at least three hours being active per day, it’s a good idea to throw fun activities like dancing into the mix, too.
Mental and Emotional Health
Did you know that dancing the blues away is a real thing? The mood-boosting benefits of physical movement – particularly dance – have been proven to help people express emotions, explore their feelings and quite literally shake off bad moods through endorphins.
As well as being a mood enhancer, dance is also a terrific way for your child to improve their confidence and self-esteem. It promotes resilience through practice and can help to create a sense of accomplishment when a move is mastered or a new song is learned. Best of all, dance is a lifelong practice that your child can pursue seriously or enjoy more casually. Through dance, your child will learn that it’s all about the journey, not the destination.
Other than taking to the dancefloor at a school disco or a wedding, many styles of dancing are actually team sports – think of cheerleading, jazz or tap ensembles and hip hop groups. These more organised types of dance require your child to learn from a teacher and work together with their peers, not only through verbal communication but by moving together and keeping time.
As a result, your child will improve skills like communication, intuition, rhythm and even compassion and empathy. Even if they don’t pursue organised dance lessons and instead prefer to freestyle on the dancefloor, your child will need to be socially and physically aware in order to share the space with others. Never underestimate the educational power of the Nutbush.
Have the skills we’ve mentioned convinced you to add more dance into your child’s life? Wait – there’s more. In addition to the physical health benefits of music and dance in early childhood, the mental and emotional intelligence and the social awareness your child will glean from dance, there are plenty of other surprise bonuses to taking up dance. They include:
- Better memory
- Improved limb coordination
- Enhanced fine motor skills
- Better balance
- More appreciation for music