The Importance and Cultural Significance of Teaching Dance to Children

Dance can be a creative outlet for children to explore their identity, form relationships, combat stressful situations, and discover their uniqueness. Dance can be utilized to increase engagement and learning in students. Dance has therapeutic aspects and can help children gain self-esteem. Dance education also helps with communication skills and inter-personal relationships as it teaches people how to use and read the body. Furthermore, Dance offers a new perspective into the thoughts, processes, and life of children. It conveys information that children cannot yet verbalize and information that is unique from what they can verbalize. Dance can aid teachers and parents in understanding what a child needs in order for progression and growth by revealing unspoken aspects of a child’s cognitive state. Dance can also provide further ease in learning as it gives children a creative way to explore ideas that are difficult to learn in other ways. For example, research has shown that movement that relates to the subject can contribute to positive cognitive gains. For instance, if a math teacher supplemented her lesson with correlating dance moves, children were more likely to have success in that class. According to linguists, dance connects with the brain in a similar way as verbal language, allowing the brain the conceptualize, memorize, create, and analyze through dance just as the brain would through speaking and writing. Apart from learning, dance can teach important skills in interpreting rhythm, musicality, vulnerability, determination, self-discipline, self expression, and confidence. From a cultural anthropology standpoint, dance can help people learn about and understand different cultures. Dance shows how people have expressed themselves and told stories throughout history through their movements. It is a key tool in understanding humanity since values are demonstrated through dance.

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