1. Listening better. In order to learn, dancers have to hear and absorb verbal instructions from their teachers, often on the fly. In the practice room, instruction is offered in many ways, which helps children learn to pay attention before, during, and after learning something new.
2. Expanding social circles. Dancers can make new friends in dance classes and expand their social circles beyond the neighborhood and the classroom. Friendships tend to deepen over time and kids who spend a lot of time working on new skills together are likely to form tighter friendships.
3. Building strength. In my daughter’s 5th grade classroom, a petite veteran competitive dancer routinely beats the football players at arm wrestling. Dancers must be strong no matter what their size because they need core strength as well as individual muscle strength to leap, turn and twist without injury.
4.Teaching teamwork. Dancers often literally depend on each other to lift each other up, to hold each other up, and to connect to make a whole. By working hard together and learning to trust each other, dancers learn to trust themselves in a group.
5. Increasing confidence. Confidence comes from doing. It’s one thing to watch a dance recital. It’s quite another to perform in one. Dance is multi-sensory, so don’t be surprised if it boosts your child’s confidence in ways you may not anticipate.