Benefits of Dance for Kids
Believe it or not you can still occasionally run into the stigma that dance classes are only for girls, even in this day and age. That’s simply not true. In fact, I originally created REDed with the specific intention of helping boys to get up and moving.
The very first REDed experience was created back in 1999 when an all-boys school took the initiative to contact me and asked if I would be interested in introducing dance lessons to their students. Was I interested? I loved the idea! And thus on that day REDed was born.
The benefits of dance for kids – Dance isn’t a girl thing, it’s not a boy thing, it’s a health thing, for both body and soul.
If you have children of your own, or know children, or even if you’ve only heard a rumour that such a thing as children exist, you know that they are movers. Children are a constant source of movement, sometimes because they are bottomless pits of energy, other times because they don’t yet have the verbal vocabulary to express what they’re feeling out loud so they use their bodies to try to make those feelings known.
Once you show boys and girls examples of specific movements and routines those fidgety movements and feelings become something wonderful that we call dancing.
Unfortunately we all too often confuse confining a boy’s need to move with giving them discipline when in fact what we’re doing is choking off a vital part of their essence in the name of future “manliness”. But what we’re actually doing is cutting off an avenue through which our boys can both express themselves and learn to have the courage to try new things, to find new ways to express themselves in a nurturing and physically healthy environment. The latter approach is the much healthier choice.
Plus, a boy who grows up knowing how to dance is going to be a lady-killer as he grows older. (not sure this is appropriate for an education based website – love it, but please change to…….Plus, a boy who grows up knowing how to dance is going to be quite a few dance steps ahead of his mates on the dance floor at parties and weddings!)
REDed for boys and girls
When I created that very first REDed class I determined that the boys needed structure and freedom in equal measure. So an integral part of the program was the creative element. Allowing the boys to create their own moves, be it skilled or unskilled, was an absolute winner. Giving them the space where expressing their physicality was not only allowed but actually encouraged was enormously rewarding.
The boys and the schools we work with sure seem to agree. That very first school I worked with back in 1999? They continue to use REDed to this very day!
REDed Top Tip – We’ve learned over time to step back and give them time to create as often they will be hesitant. So we wait, and we wait… and then suddenly it’s like the tap is turned on and off they go! Sometimes stepping back means two lessons of gentle encouragement and minimal input aside from a little kick-start of a movement suggestion from us. So make sure you set aside some time and patience for even the most hesitant of your boys… and then sit back and wait to be happily surprised!