As many of you have noticed my website has been down and I have had to rebuild it. In doing so I have had to think about the theme of the sight and how I wanted to portray my studio on the web. This has led me to do quite a bit of thinking about my mission statement, “Building Self-Esteem Through Dance”.
When I first developed this idea it was somewhat personal in that I wanted to have a place for girls like my daughters, who were not so sure if dance was their passion, to come and have the opportunity to pursue this interest in a place that was not competitive and very forgiving of their imperfections. My thought was that in an atmosphere such as this students self-esteem would grow and they would become not only more confident dancers, but more confident young adults as well.
It has been five years (time sure flies) since I started developing my ideas for the studio and since then there has been a lot of research done on the subject of how dance is not only for the aspiring performer, but how it has many other benefits as well. These benefits all lend themselves to my mission to build self-esteem through dance. Who knew I was so ahead of my time?
Research has suggested the following:
Dance for very young children teaches peer interaction where they learn the dynamics of being in a group. They have to take turns, respect personal space, learn that at times they have to dance with a partner and sometime they have to keep their hands to themselves. Dance teaches counting, colors, left vs. right, fast vs. slow, and hard vs. soft. Students learn these basics through movement “games” that ultimately reinforce what they are learning at school. This increases the amount of information they retain and enables them to use this information in a more effective manner.
As children grow dance not only becomes a tool for fitness and exercise it increases flexibility, balance, coordination and improves muscular strength and range of motion. It also can correct poor body alignment. As we are all aware these skills can help with any other sport they choose throughout their lives. Dancing builds the foundation for a lifetime of healthy living at a very young age.
In additional to the physical advantages research has shown that dance has emotional and social benefits as well. Taking dance class instills a sense of pride and accomplishment for students which boosts self-esteem. As dancers master new skills they become more self assured which carries over into other areas of their lives. Dance class fosters teamwork, communication, trust and cooperation. It can help children overcome shyness and awkwardness in social situations, and help reduce the fear of being in groups and performing in front of an audience.
Lastly, dance offers many cognitive benefits as well. The National Dance Education Organization asserts that through dance class student’s can enhance their sensory awareness and cognition. This would include attention, memory, learning and overall consciousness.
So it turns out my mission of “Building Self-Esteem Through Dance” was well founded and scientifically supported. There is an abundance of information available on this topic and I have only scratched the surface here.
On a personal note, my daily goal at the studio is to make every student feel important and empower them with confidence so they feel they can achieve their goals in dance and in every aspect of their lives.
I look forward to sharing another great year with my students at Inner Grace!