A worrying statistic is that one in five children will have some kind of mental health problems by the time they leave primary school. This means parents face a constant battle to help their children stay fit but also mentally healthy. One of the things that can help with this battle is the performing arts, in particular dance. But how does it benefit children’s wellness?
Physical activity for happiness
Dancing is a form of physical activity and one thing we know is that activity creates positive endorphins in the brain that make us feel happier. Therefore, the physical activity side of dancing leads straight to an increased feeling of happiness.
Children who are feeling low can benefit from this but even children without mental health issues will get a natural bounce from carrying out this kind of activity. So, it is ideal as both a preventative and help for those with existing issues.
Confidence from physical fitness
Confidence is a huge issue for children and one way they can lack it is if they don’t have good physical fitness. If they feel they are less fit or slower than their classmates, they can become self-conscious of their bodies and ashamed.
Dancing can help offset some of this by helping them be physically fitter. Dancing can be a strenuous activity that works muscles, burns calories, and builds stamina. This has a positive impact on the physical condition of a child and that in turn, boosts their confidence.
Any keen dancer will tell you that dancing relieves their stress levels and that can apply to children too. Dance becomes a coping mechanism for stress and anxiety, a focus of attention and a way to get those happy hormones we mentioned above flowing through the body.
Taking dance classes also gives them the chance to express themselves and their emotions in different ways. This can also help to ease stress by giving it an outlet in a positive way.
All performing arts help to build self-esteem as you work at them and improve. Children become more confident and driven to succeed while also learning to work as part of a team.
The supportive and trusting environment of a class helps with this too. They feel like they can learn things but not be ridiculed if they fail, because it happens to everyone. These positive lessons carry over well to other areas of their life.
Help with better sleep patterns
Kids can have a lot of energy to burn off but dancing and other activities like it help to burn off that energy. This means they have better sleep patterns which improve their mood and means they have more energy for the next day.
Dancing is fun and seems less like ‘exercise’ than something like a PE class does. But they are still getting that exercise that uses up energy and means they are tired and ready to sleep when bedtime comes around. Tired children are much more likely to sleep better!