How do you channel the boundless energy of active kids? Outdoor sports are certainly an option to develop motor and coordination skills. And team sports clubs start at a fairly young age.
Many of us parents in Youth Ballet have found that starting children at a very young age, even two or three years old is an excellent time to develop the coordination motor skills and wealth of other benefits that come from learning dance early in childhood. And will build a number of skills that will aid them if they move onto team sports at any age
Outdoor play activities are another source for healthy exercise and socialization but often weather precludes outside activities for part of the year. Or some children may seek additional play options or adventurous by nature and want to try new activities. Kinesthetic learning often requires more active participation and dance is a great option. And some children are not interested in team sports and find self-expression in dance an excellent outlet for them.
Overall improvement in physical health is one of the primary benefits in participating actively in dance classes. The stretching activities and movements build muscle tone and strength. This increases coordination, balance and an overall Improvement in aerobic health.
This can help any children who may have weight issues. The regular high level activity will burn calories and build muscle making for overall improved physical health. It will also generate stronger appetites which is an opportunity to provide healthier foods to meet the increasing need for protein and nutrients to build muscle and provide energy for these activities.
Dance also develops social skills by requiring interaction and communication. It teaches children how to work as part of a team, develop trust and meet new friends. Children who are shy at a young age will be encouraged to reach out to other children in the group and perhaps eliminate concerns about meeting new people or being in unfamiliar surroundings. And the biggest fear that we all have, both children and adults alike, performing in front of an audience is a regular part of a dance class and will be an opportunity for your child to overcome any anxiety.
Dance requires discipline and practice. Develping these skills early in life will show them the path to success in a variety of areas in school and in life.
Exercise enables all of us to better understand our bodies and our health. As children perform dance movements they become more comfortable with their health and have a better sense of their body performance and functions. The sense of overall health and development of skill builds confidence and a fundamental understanding of how to approach other tasks in life. Many students see and improved self-esteem whether from the overall better sense of self and improved health or a sense of achievement or even in the development of their socialization skills. They sense their Improvement and gain the confidence from this knowledge.
As parents in Youth Ballet, we are strong advocates for starting your child in dance classes, both boys and girls, starting at the toddler age. Many Mommy & Me classes have a dance component and dance classes are a natural extension to this and a great next step. There are some Mommy & Me dance classes but most start toddlers starting at age 2 in group classes with parent assistance. Usually the children merge as a group and follow the instructor but parents are there to help out to keep things on track or assist. With children at this young of an age, parents are still needed to keep a dance class moving. As we all know what can happen with a group of 10 or more two year olds….laughs remembering past 2 year old birthday parties.
Often parents are participants until age 3 or 4 depending upon the class and development of the children.
You will find a number of options by searching your local YMCA, recreation department or searching Google for useful resources.