Dance can save the world

 

If you want a world where kids are better educated, more physically fit and more mentally healthy, you just may need to look no further than a good dance studio.

 

The benefits of dance have been the subject of much research in the past 20 years, and that research has unveiled a wealth of benefits, from intellectual and social to mental and physical. If you’re looking to boost your child’s confidence, fitness level and mental well-being (and possibly to save the world), consider what the research has shown.

 

Dance improves academic performance

 

According to the National Endowment for the Arts, students who regularly participate in dance lessons:

 

  • Earn higher GPAs overall (and especially in math) over their nonparticipating peers
  • Are more likely to complete calculus
  • Enjoy higher test scores on SATs and particularly in science and writing
  • Perform better in math and science competitions
  • Enroll in 4-year colleges, earn mostly As in college and complete bachelor degrees

 

Additional research from the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies show that “Arts participation and SAT scores co-vary—that is, they tend to increase linearly: the more arts classes, the higher the scores.”

 

Dance improves physical fitness

 

The National Dance Education Organization reports that regular dance classes:

 

  • Involve a greater range of motion, coordination, strength and endurance than most other physical activities.
  • Increase a child’s flexibility, range of motion, physical strength and stamina and improve posture, balance, coordination and overall cardiovascular health.

 

Dance improves social and mental well-being

 

Dance also offers a host of social and emotional benefits, especially helpful in adolescent years:

 

  • According to a study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience, dance significantly changes serotonin and dopamine levels (feel-good hormones), improving depression, anxiety and mood while reducing interpersonal sensitivity, relieving tension and improving self-esteem.
  • Dance also fosters social encounters, interaction, cooperation and communication.

 

All these benefits bundled together demonstrate that when we bring dance into children’s lives, good things happen. And when those well-rounded kids grow into adults, the whole community benefits. In the words of Jeffrey Page, Beyonce’s choreographer, “We have tried—and failed—to save the world through war; the time has now come to try dance…. Dance will save the world.”

 

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