Dazzlers Dance Studio
Let's face it guys, dance is expensive. It's time consuming and it's hard work. Why bother? Besides pirouettes and grand jetes, what are your kids learning in dance class?
Dance education is valuable. It is more than simply learning how to do an excellent calypso or a perfect plie. There are larger life lessons learned through dance. Here are seven important things your kids will learn in dance class.
1) Team work.
Dancers must work together. If one person in a group routine is off by a half of a count, the entire thing falls apart. Dancers work independently, but they must work with the others in their routine at the same time. They have to work within the same physical and emotional plane, as well as counting the music and hearing the beats the same way. They learn to listen to others and to encourage them. They create their own dance language, and laugh at their mistakes together. The hours spent in practice create a bond between dancers that lasts a lifetime.
2) The importance of physical fitness.
There is no denying the athleticism required to dance. Dance is like no other exercise in that it requires the use of every muscle in every different direction. There's no repetitive single movement in dance, as there is in almost every other athletic pursuit. Dancers twist, turn, jump, run, squat, and perform every other difficult movement you can imagine. Dancers must be in excellent physical condition and have superb control of their own bodies. In a society plagued with childhood obesity, dancers learn how to develop physical fitness, and they become addicted to it. Dancers can leave the studio confident in their ability to maintain physical fitness for a lifetime of good health.
We all want to be the best, but dancers learn quickly that they just aren't. There's always someone better, and that's okay. In fact, it's GOOD! Competition fosters improvement. Dancers inspire one another to work harder and get better. Dancers must learn quickly to respect others- teachers and fellow students. They learn to accept criticism, without criticizing others. They understand that people learn at different rates and that everyone is good at some things and not good at others.
4) The value of hard work.
Whether it is physical labor, house work, school work, or dance practice, it takes hard work to accomplish anything of value. Dancers learn this in a distinct and physical way. Dancers must give themselves entirely to their craft. Not only is every muscle engaged, but also the whole mind and the entire spectrum of emotions. Dancers spend hours perfecting a particular turn, remembering tiny details of a toe point, and a facial expression, and sweating from physical exertion. Furthermore, they have to draw from personal experience in order to connect to the piece emotionally. They are rewarded with sore muscles, cracked toe nails, bruised knees, and physical and mental exhaustion.
But then, there is that magical moment when they get it. They land a perfect double pirouette, perfect a difficult leap, or finally get the footwork right. Everything comes together and the dancer learns that hard work really is worth it. It's worth the pain, the time, and the energy to finally accomplish a goal and to create something beautiful.
5) To fail.
Dancers fail. They are human, after all. They try and try to land that triple pirouette or hit the perfect middle split and even after months and months of work they can't quite do it. They practice for hours, perfecting a routine, until they get to the performance and BAM! The whole thing falls apart. They fall on their faces both literally and figuratively. They have to learn to deal with their own fallibility and move on. This performance was a flop. That contest score was abysmal. That footwork is still sloppy. Dancers deal with it, move on, and work harder next time.
Art is all about passion. This is especially true of dance. Dance is about feeling deeply and pouring yourself, physically, mentally, and spiritually, into that feeling. Dance teaches you to be passionate, and gives you the opportunity to cultivate that passion. Dancers carry this passion throughout every life experience, learning to care deeply about the things they do and the people they meet.
One of the scariest things you'll ever do is step on stage in front of a packed audience and perform. When this performance involves hard work, emotional vulnerability, and physical fitness, everything gets much scarier. Dance teaches courage to people in the face of real public failure and humiliation.
Courage doesn't start at the stage, however. Dance requires fearlessness from the first day of practice. Dancers attempt physically challenging, and sometimes downright scary, feats in every practice. They are faced with the risk of bruises, pulled muscles, and sprains and breaks if they fail. They try to learn dance styles they haven't attempted or enjoyed in the past. They can't hide their flaws, physical or emotional, from other dancers. Ever day of dance teaches courage.
The list could go on. Needless to say, dance education is not only valuable, but important. It teaches vital life skills, beyond proper arabesque technique. Whether you are a beginner or a professional, dance education will set you up for a lifetime of success.
Dazzler Dance Director