It’s become an all too common news topic – children in America are more overweight and less active than ever before. It’s probably not a surprise that video games, computers, and television are strong culprits in this crisis. In fact, studies show that the average child spends three to four hours a day watching TV.
But there is good news!
There are several easy and fun ways to get children moving so they grow up to be healthy, active adults. One of these is through dance.
Since children should be introduced to exercise and physical activity as early as possible, dance can be a fun-filled solution starting as young as three years old. Toddlers already love to move to music. Dance can help develop balance, rhythm, and motor skills like skipping, hopping and galloping. School aged children become more confident and strong as they master more difficult movements in a non-competitive way. As teens, the coordination and friendships gained in dance classes are positive side effects of learning the latest hip hop moves to the hottest tunes.
While there is a cost associated with enrolling your child in dance classes, consider it a long-term investment in their overall health. There are the immediate fitness benefits including strength, stamina, grace, proper posture and flexibility. Plus, dancing promotes life skills such as poise, coordination, and discipline.
Most dance studios provide a chance for their students to perform in front of a live audience – like an annual recital. Performing can build positive self-esteem and confidence and be a great building block for speaking in front of a group.
I’ve seen first hand how students have fallen in love with dance. For some it becomes a life long passion. Almost all of our teachers trained with me as children themselves. For other students, just experiencing the joy of dance helps commit them to a healthier lifestyle and the life skills learned extend well beyond the dance studio.
Don’t wait, sign your children up for dance lessons as soon as possible. They’ll be happier and healthier for it. And you might think about a class for yourself, too!