The importance of dance education is like ABC
ABC is the foundation of literacy – reading and writing. Dance is the foundation of physical literacy. There’s even a correlation between dance and language from birth.
Let me explain.
From the time babies are born, they move and make sounds, it’s entwined in their development. Plenty of research has shown that young children see movement as part of their communication and so learning language and learning dance should not ever be a separate thread.
As children grow and develop, movement continues to play a crucial role in their lives as does the spoken word. So there is a physical literacy learnt through movement and physical activity just as there is literacy in terms of communication, reading and writing.
The primary role of physical literacy is to deliver physical, psychological, social and cognitive health and wellbeing benefits. This is hugely important for our children to develop, especially given how tough the future is looking right now don’t you think?
On a practical level, it’s about developing fundamental movement skills in children, the foundation to a healthy and active lifestyle. Sport has always been the primary driver, but studies over the years have proven the power of dance because not only do children learn the essential movements, they can advance the moves and partner them with storytelling and idea sharing. As they develop their physical literacy, research shows there is increased confidence, stronger self-awareness and so much more. It’s been deemed so valuable, it’s now part of Australia’s school curriculum as it is in many countries across the world.
Key contributions dance makes to physical literacy of our children
Let’s take a look at our top three:
As I’ve mentioned earlier, confidence grows when children can learn and master movement. Dance is the ideal candidate here don’t you think? Regardless of each child’s physical body type, skill or ability level, dance teaches children physical moves using repetitive tactics that’s supported by music. Our teaching style helps children understand the basics an grow confident as they learn and master new skills and moves. There is a real sense of achievement when children complete a lesson having learnt new moves.
A strong sense of community is developed through dance. It’s an activity learned and performed with others, whether it’s with dancers coming into the school to teach or via an online school dance program like ours (link). The children gather together as a community to learn about dance and connect while doing so. For children, it is crucial to feel a strong sense of belonging because it helps to grow confidence and contributes to their health and wellbeing.
3. Connection to self
Dance provides children the opportunity to explore stories, create ideas and move through music. Creative thinking and self-expression are crucial not only to the health and well-being of our children now, but also to their future professional career and life.