The initial benefits of children using dance to increase their day-to-day activities is clear. One 45 minute dance class gives a child the opportunity to expend some of their everlasting energy, while their bodies get to partake in a healthy lifestyle. But what other benefits do our children receive from those weekly ballet, tap, and jazz dance classes?
I believe the most important lesson received from dance instruction is one that is not easily taught; self-confidence. Dance is one of the few 'sports' that allows a child to combine the team work of learning a dance as a group with the confidence of performing their solo role to the best of their abilities for an audience that could be watching just them. It gives them the opportunity to display their talents in a unique 'face-to-face' forum...on stage. Being 'on stage' is part of everyday life; through presentations at school or even just voicing their needs in a crowd, children need to learn confidence at an early age.
As an experienced dancer for 26 years, starting at age 5, I attribute my self-confidence to the lessons learned from dance class. Having the confidence to perform in any venue...in my bedroom mirror, my family's kitchen, in front of a small 10 person audience at a local fair, to a 500 person audience for a spring performance...I know that the lessons I took from ballet class were well beyond being healthy and strong; they were life lessons that help me be a successful adult today.