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Riley Heruska
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We've all heard how important various sports can be when it comes to children and their development. Running track teaches you endurance, soccer makes you a team player, etcetera. However, we talk quite a bit less about how incredibly beneficial dance classes can be for young athletes. Many would presume that this is because it's an activity mostly reserved for young girls, but in fact, that's not true: most dance studios encourage both boys and girls to give dancing a try. Not only are there many different types of dance to choose from, but each kind also comes with its own specific challenges and benefits. 

So, if your little one is interested in taking a dance class at any point, here are some of the impressive skills they might walk away with. 

Strong Sense of Self-Confidence

Dance is very much about "the performance," regardless of whether you're moving in front of a large audience or simply your other peers. The presentation is a huge part of any dance type. Therefore, your kids will learn to plaster on a smile and act like they know what they're doing, even when they lose track of a routine's step or fall behind on a count. Chances are they will eventually perform in a recital of some sort, and facing that stage will give them strength when it comes to dealing with large audiences. Teachers will instruct them how to recover from falls and other embarrassing moments that might mess up an otherwise strong routine, and your kids will retain that ability to handle stressful situations later on. 

More Advanced Social Skills 

Whether you're learning to waltz with a partner or planning a hip-hop routine with a team, communication is key in pretty much any kind of dance class. Just like many other sports do, dancing teaches children to interact with others in a constructive manner while working towards a collective goal.

Is your child extremely shy? Consider signing them up for a partner dancing class that will encourage them to interact with others on a close basis. Plus, partner dancing is a skill that they can use for life! Trust me, they'll thank you when they get married someday or can show off at the school prom. 

Flexibility and Strength 

Ballet, jazz, hip-hop, and any other style of dance will definitely get your blood pumping just as much as most other sports, but they also lend athletes to be more limber. There's a reason football players are encouraged to take dance lessons on the side. Even if your children don't want to become dancers full time, a class or two can help improve flexibility which allows them to reduce the likelihood of injuries when playing other sports. Every style of dance encourages participants to perfect their senses of timing, balance, and rhythm, which can be beneficial in and out of the studio. Additionally, dancers can be some of the strongest athletes out there. Ballet, in particular, helps to develop intense muscular strength, even if it doesn't manifest in the bulk that other forms of strength do. 

Higher Grades and Brain Functioning 

Dancing requires a high level of concentration. Just try remembering every count and step to a six-minute song and you'll see what I mean. The bodily coordination, counting, and memorization skills can help your child in school as well as in the studio. In fact, students who dance regularly tend to perform better academically! FamilyTalk magazine even estimates that students who dance tend to receive higher SAT scores and do better in math/science competitions

Improved Posture

Like I said before, the presentation is everything, and posture plays a big part in one's appearance during a routine. Your children will become aware of how they hold each and every part of their body. If they work hard, they will be able to move each limb purposefully and improve their posture over time. This can make a huge difference when it comes to their health in the later years, so why not start working on it now? 

If your child has ever expressed an interest in learning to tap, hip-hop, two-step, or participate in any kind of dance, then consider encouraging that activity. Dance is great for their mental well-being, as well as their health, and they'll obtain skills that other sports don't always provide. 

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