Many parents are surprised that dance is an option for children beginning at age 2. They wonder what their child can accomplish in a “dance” class so young.
Encouraging social interaction between 2 year olds is the way to draw out a child who is shy by nature. Those more active with other children, will learn how to coordinate as a team and build the excitement of learning new skills and performing in front of an audience as a group. The additional physical activity, especially for honed dance moves are building strength in young muscles. And accepting and implementing direction from an instructor builds cognitive skills that will serve the child throughout their educational years.
The health, social and cognitive skills it develops are surprising. and we encourage all parents to allow their children to experience dance in their early years. And even if they don’t seem to “excel” and what two year old does in dance?, allow them to fully participate with love and encouragement from the family. Sparking that interest in movement will bring tremendous health benefits to the child, providing active movement in the younger years and a full cardio workout when the child can more fully complete hand and leg movements that require developed muscles.
Seeing developed muscles means the child has built strength and exercises better control over these limbs. The physical skills that have been developed in this process are outstanding and build a solid foundation for strength building and further refinement of coordination and muscle skills. And the cognitive development that occurred built strong connections in the neurons to process movement instructions from the teacher and carry them out in physical performance.
Dance provides outstanding social skill development and by starting your child in dance at a young age, begins the socialization process of interacting with new people and being in new surroundings, which at first may seen scary. This repetition of social interactions, learning instructions from the teacher and participating in activities that are new and unfamiliar. These stretch the mind and body, enabling the child to reach new levels of development.
Even for those children who even within a year or so of dance are no longer interested in participation, the skills developed both mentally and physically are outstanding. Worthy of all parents consideration, dance starting during the younger years provides a lifetime of benefits by building a strong foundation in learning and physical development.
Check out what local dance programs are available in your area either through YWCAs, YMCAs, recreation program and local government entities.
We’ve loved watching our children grow in the world of dance. Some have moved forward in the dance arena in high school and college, others took dance as their physical education requirement in high school.
We interview many past students for feedback and all have identified at least one important lesson they took from dance classes that they feel have served them well in life.
We hope you will find opportunities to introduce your children to dance and find opportunities in the community to bring groups of children together for formal classes or informal classes taught by a parent who held their lifelong interest in dance.