It’s the start of another school year and either you just signed your child up for dance! Dance is a great after school activity, even a great activity for adults! You know they will definitely get their exercise, but what will they actually be learning? Here at Atlanta Dance Central, we believe that a child’s dance education will help them at school, and in their everyday lives. Here’s how.
- Discipline & Etiquette: Dance is not only an art form, it is a tradition that has been passed on for tens, and even hundreds of years. In order to truly learn the art form, your dance student is going to have to respect their teacher, and follow directions. The dance classroom is similar to the school classroom in that we take turns, and even answer questions about the exercises.
- Musical & Spatial Awareness: Dancers have to constantly be aware of how their movement is relating to the music. They have to move to the beat of the music, which includes moving double time (twice as fast), or half time (slower than the beat). The mood of the music can also effect how the dancers perform the movement they have learned. In addition to musical awareness, your dancer is learning spatial awareness. Dancers have to be aware of where they are on the stage, as well as in relation to each other. They execute different formations, and also different traveling patterns across the stage. This isn’t something that just advanced dancers can learn. We begin teaching the dancers about where they are on stage as young as three years old!
- Body Awareness and Coordination: Dancers have a very good sense of what their bodies are doing, and they start learning this very early. Many times our lower body is moving while our upper body is still, or our upper body is moving slowly while our lower body is moving fast! Dancers have to be able to use both sides of their bodies equally, and strengthen both sides of the body to prevent injury. Young dancers begin learning coordination exercises such as skipping, and even moving backward as well as forward. As dancers get more advanced, they learn how to isolate different parts of their body, and move them in different ways at the same time- kind of like patting your head while rubbing your belly!
- Vocabulary: Each dance style has it’s own vocabulary to communicate the different moves that are used in each exercise or combination. In ballet, much of the vocabulary is french. Jazz, tap, and modern also have their own “languages” to communicate steps. Your dancer may not know it, but their vocabulary is expanding. Some terms may even cross into their school vocabulary! Students ages 2.5-18 are all working on learning dance vocabulary that can be carried into their everyday lives.
- Self confidence and respect: Most importantly your dancer will be learning self confidence and respect. They will be proud of the accomplishments they have made in the dance studio, and once they start seeing their own progress, they will be proud of the work they have put into each class.
All of the classes at Atlanta Dance Central are taught based off of a curriculum to ensure that students are learning as much as they can about the dance form they are studying. Dance education should prepare students to be responsible, confident individuals inside and outside the dance studio.