Dear MDU Family,
This evening Gov. Tony Evers addressed our state issuing Executive Order #94 that calls upon business leaders "to continue doing their part to keep workers, customers, and communities safe by expanding working from home options for workers, offering online or virtual services, and limiting the number of people in offices, facilities, and stores" - all things we are PROUD to say we have been doing since we re-opened in June.
We have been following our Safer Studio™ Standards every step of the way through this season and continue to do so. Our team members have work-from-home capabilities, we are fully tech-enabled with online and virtual options, and we have always limited the number of people in our offices, facility, and store.
We have had over 10,000 visits to our studio since re-opening and only 4 isolated reported cases of COVID-19 - that's less than 1/100th of 1% occurrence.
Our strong focus on safety has made it possible to maintain a very low-risk environment while allowing our young people to benefit from exercise and friendship in a safety-focused environment as well as the associated positive benefits on social-emotional and mental well-being.
We are proud to continue to be a positive anchor in the lives of our local youth and we look forward to seeing and supporting your children in classes this week. In the meantime, please join us in doing all you can to keep our community safe by wearing face coverings, keeping the recommended 6 ft distance from friends and classmates, washing your hands, and staying home if you are unwell. For the safety of our community, if you are unable to or prefer not to wear a face covering, we strongly encourage you to attend our virtual class options.
As always, your teachers and I thank you for your support.
When we watch our children dance, we see them coordinating limbs, facial expressions, spatial relationships and emotions. We see them bringing a series of movements together, one after another, remembering multiple steps along the way. What we don’t see, however, is the complex processing firing in the brain to make it all possible, and it’s a view that scientists want to examine more closely.
The link between dance and higher math and SAT scores is well established, and we’ve written about it here, but more research into the neuroscience behind it is showing dance is as much an exercise for the brain as it is for the body.
Scientists have found that dance, particularly, sparks neurogenesis, the growth and development of neurons responsible for carrying information throughout the body. Ongoing dance classes increase neuroplasticity, strengthening existing neurons, creating new information pathways and increasing the brain’s agility. In short, it means that dance classes increase learning ability and capacity along with memory.
Some researchers have likened dance to learning another language; it’s just a nonverbal one. The vocabulary exists in gesture and locomotion and the grammar in ways movements are strung together. And just like children who grow up multilingual, dancers gain greater brain plasticity and can multi-task more easily.
Bottom line: when we watch our children dance, we are watching them express themselves through another language, one that fuels capacity for learning other subjects and gives them a leg up in dance and in life.
As research continues, so too does the evidence for dance’s singular benefits for the whole child: mind, body and spirit.