Tiffany Wrightson – September 2014
Photos by Lim Li Hsien and Tiffany Wrightson.
Some days you wonder… The endless driving back and forth, the long hours spent waiting, the crazy scheduling. The fees that never seem to stop coming! And that’s just you!
What about the parties he misses? The sport that she doesn’t have time for? The consistent battle to complete homework between dance classes?
Is it all really worth it?
I can safely assure you that whether your child wants to become a ballerina, doctor, artist or teacher, dance will have a huge, and very positive impact on their lives.
10 Great Reasons to put your child into Dance:
1. Improves Social Skills
Occasionally dancers will be working on a solo performance, however for the most part, dance is performed as a group and thus rehearsed as a team. This allows children to gain confidence in interacting with others.
2. Instills Excellent Discipline & Work Ethic
Dancers must be punctual, correctly groomed and very well rehearsed. Classes and rehearsals are often very time consuming, forcing the dancer to understand the all important skill: time management. Dancers are often rehearsing multiple pieces at once. They understand what goes into perfecting something to the highest standard. These skills are so integral to the rest of their life.
3. Boosts Confidence
Dancers learn to perform and speak in front of others, usually at a very young age, and before they understand the concept of “shy”. Consistent examinations and stage performances as a child will likely result in a confident adult who is able to speak and present themselves confidently in front of others, whether it be a company dance audition, job interview, or public speaking event.
4. Provides Challenging Experiences & Creates the Ability to Act Under Pressure
Learning multiple choreographies is not easy. Remembering to stretch your legs, point your toes, maintain turn out, tighten abdominals, lengthen spine, roll shoulders back, lengthen neck, soften arms, express through the face, stay in time to the music, dance in the correct space all at once… well that is quite a challenge! Dancers do this every day. They are used to remembering a million things at once, and are able to deal with last minute changes.
5. Creates Better Body Awareness
Dance is becoming more and more a science. The knowledge in which a young dancer gains about their body is amazing. I am quite sure a 10 year old dancer could confidently tell you the technical names of a large amount of bones and muscles in their body, and which joints are used to create certain movements. Good posture is learned through dance and will be remembered for life.
6. Offers Insight into the importance of Team Work
Dancers understand that every member of a team is equally important, and if one person does not work to their best level, the entire team will suffer the consequences. With this understanding of team work, dancers are quick to motivate others and ensure they are always trying their very best.
7. Teaches the ability to Win & Lose Gracefully
Sometimes we win, sometimes we don’t. It’s all part and parcel of life. Young dancers learn that even when they have put in their best effort, they may not win first prize at the competition, gain the front and centre position in the routine, or land the main role in the production. When they enter the work force, they will understand if a company chooses to hire somebody else over them, or a business deal does not go in their favour. Similarly, they will know to be gracious when they do land that dream job, or are awarded a fantastic promotion.
8. Instills a Healthy Habit for Keeping Fit
As a physical activity, dance keeps us fit in a fun way. Practicing dance builds strength, cardio-vascular endurance, and flexibility. It is a habit that our children can practice for life.
9. Develops a Lifelong Avenue for Creative Expression
The movement of the body to music, i.e., dancing, allows us to express ourselves fully as human beings. Dancing complements creative expression through voice, speech, writing, drawing and making things. Our children will be able to access this additional channel for self expression that is not available to others who grow up too inhibited to dance.
10. Because it’s fun!
Don’t take my word for the above. See what some of our parents say about what they love about their children dancing:
Mother of Emma (12), Euan (10), and Evie (8)
“Why dance? My answer is why not?
All my three kids (2 girls and 1 boy – yes, BOY) have been dancing since we relocated back to Singapore in 2010 and were lucky enough to enrol in Jitterbugs and meet the wonderful team.
I see dance as a form of discipline and a language. My kids have built so many friendships through the language of Dance – no real speech required. It has also brought out joy and pride within my kids (that bring tears to my eyes when I watch them dance) when they are dancing. It has taught them not to give up but try and try again to conquer any difficult choreographies or even techniques. It has taught my kids to focus, to respect and to do something with passion. So I am glad that dancing is now playing such a huge part in their lives.”
Mother of Jennifer (12)
“I want Jen to continue to dance not just because she loves it, but because she is learning that to get good at something you love, you have to work hard, and persevere. She’s learnt that getting good at dance takes hours of hard work, and has applied that to her schoolwork also. And meanwhile, she has fun, makes friends, and feels good about herself. I can’t ask for more.”
Mother of Natalie (6) & Kimberly (4)
“As a mother of two, I want to give my young daughters a broad range of experiences to develop the skills and values that they will need for life. And I believe that dance is definitely the best way to achieve active listening and concentration skills – 2 skills which are so essential for my daughters who seem to have boundless amounts of energy. Not only does dance allow them to release energy in a positive and healthy way, dancing also promotes good listening and concentration skills as they listen to the music and focus on the instructions and movements that are given.”
Father of Patrick (13)
“Patrick has been taking dance classes since he was three, so for ten years now. The main benefit, of course, is that he is doing something he loves so it makes him happy. But I’ve also seen how dance has kept him fit, instilled a focus and discipline in his approach to life and given him a sense of achievement and improvement by always striving to complete his next exam level. Dance has also allowed him to participate in competitions – both local and international. The ability to compete and succeed as an individual and also as part of a duo, trio or larger team is something that is unique to dance and not found in sports and other activities. And, importantly, he has met some wonderful people and made some great friends.”
Mother of Ms Tiffany
“I have been through every stage from Tiny Tots A (now Theatrical A) through to graduating from Musical Theatre colleges in Australia and New York, and Commercial Dance Schools in Los Angeles. There is not a day that I would change. I loved talking to my children during the endless car rides. I liked seeing them win and lose and competitions, and I liked watching them perform in fully-fledged productions. All of this has made them to be the adults they have become. It makes me feel very blessed and proud. Now I am so thrilled to watch my new babies in Singapore grow, and go through these same stages with their own families. Wow!”
Parents, I can guarantee when you look back on the time your children spent dancing, you will not regret a second of it. You will not remember the long rehearsals, the endless driving, or the fees. You will look back and remember the skills they learned, the friendships they formed, and all the joy it brought.