Kids love to dance, and parents should encourage the activity because it’s one of the most enjoyable ways for people of all ages to get their heart pumping. That’s what makes your gym’s Zumba class so popular!
There are numerous benefits to dancing, and some of them aren’t quite so obvious. Here are seven of the top reasons.
1. Cardiovascular health
Any activity that raises the heart rate improves cardiovascular health, helps prevent disease, improves the general metabolism, and assists with weight management. A healthy heart is a must, especially if there are any pre-existing conditions like type-1 diabetes, which develops in small children. You know first-hand that a night out dancing beats hitting the treadmill.
2. Better strength
Dancing isn’t easy. Whether it’s plies, the long strides of a waltz, or the non-stop movement of the lindy hop, your kids will work on their cardiovascular health while improving their body strength. This helps prevent broken bones, and the younger you start improving your muscle strength, the better off you’ll be as an adult when muscles start to fade.
3. Improved social skills
If your kid is shy (or needs to rein it in a little) there’s no better activity than dancing, which forces close one-on-one interaction and the ability to work with a partner. Team sports are great, but there isn’t that extra, intimate time. Children learn how to work together, be professional, and compromise in partner dancing.
4. Prep them for the future
There will come a time when everyone wishes he or she knew how to dance. Maybe it’s at a wedding, a fraternity formal, or simply in a nightclub. Dancing used to be a requisite part of social training, but that’s unfortunately gone by the wayside. You can help set your kids up right.
5. Better balance and grace
You might think yoga is one of the only activities that helps with balance and grace, but don’t discount dancing as an alternative. It’s not easy to do all those moves and make it look good. Balance is good for overall health and can also help prevent falls in the golden years. These two abilities can also improve self-esteem.
6. A confidence shot
Knowing how to dance is linked to self-esteem and confidence. You’ll rest assured your kid will never feel like he can’t ask his dream girl to the prom for fear of two left feet. Everyone should know how to dance, and it’s easiest to learn as a child. Give your kid the tools he needs to learn the steps, and he’ll thank you when he’s older.
7. It’s just fun
Most importantly, dancing is fun, assuming your kid has picked a style that he’s passionate about. Music can play a big role, so consider what kind of music he likes — whether it’s rap (there are plenty of hip hop classes), classical (ballet might be a good fit) or Latin, from which there’s a plethora of styles to choose.
Of course, you don’t need formal lessons to get your groove on, and dancing as a family or jumping around to your favorite music at home is a great way to get everyone in on the action. Seek out family-friendly bands and music that everyone can enjoy, and always make sure you check for the appropriateness level depending on the age of your child and your own preferences.
There are plenty of choices out there, and the days are gone when “kids music” was torture for parents: it’s multi-generational now. You can introduce your kids to some of your favorites or discover new ones together by checking out a local show.