by Patti Smith
If you go to any ballroom dance studio across the United States, one of the first things you’ll probably notice is that most or all of the students are adults over the age of 25. It’s true that the ballroom dance craze sweeping the nation has perked the interest of adults more than kids, but why is this? One of the common misconceptions about ballroom dance is that it’s an adult activity, when in fact it’s fun for the whole family!
Learning ballroom dance at a young age can be extremely beneficial to one’s growth and development into adulthood.So why should your child be learning ballroom dance?
- Encourages good social skills
One of the great things about ballroom dance is that it’s a partnered activity. Kids will learn how to work together as a team towards a common goal (the dance). It encourages courtesy and respectful behavior.
- Increases confidence and self-esteem
When kids learn how to move their bodies effectively to create a beautiful motion, they start to see themselves as beautiful. An understanding of one’s body creates an appreciation for one’s body.
- Great form of exercise
Dance is a sport, just like soccer, football, swimming, or any other physical activity. Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years. (1, 2) And in 2010, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese. (1) Schools and other organizations have implemented dance programs as a way to combat this and promote healthy, active lifestyles.
- Promotes creativity
We just told you dance is a sport. Guess what? It’s also an art! Kids involved in ballroom dance have a great understanding of music and the picture that they can paint with their bodies.
- FUN to last a lifetime
Kids that learn ballroom dance take that skill and lessons they’ve learned into their adulthood and enjoy the benefits for a lifetime. Ballroom dance can be done to any music, whether it’s an old, classic standard or a fresh new pop hit. We find that most kids light up when they take their dance steps and pair them with their favorite music. We also find that dancing to the classics helps to build a new appreciation for the music that their parents and grandparents grew up wtih.
With this ballroom dance craze that’s upon us, I can only hope that it’s passed down to our future generations. Below are some links to programs through out the country and in the Albuquerque area.
1 Ogden CL, Carroll MD, Kit BK, Flegal KM. Prevalence of obesity and trends in body mass index among US children and adolescents, 1999-2010. Journal of the American Medical Association 2012;307(5):483-490.
2 National Center for Health Statistics. Health, United States, 2011: With Special Features on Socioeconomic Status and Health. Hyattsville, MD; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2012.