Benefits of Dance Class for Boys
By Adrienne Warber
Dance class benefits growing boys and may be one of the secrets to successful athletic performance in many sports. All children can get valuable exercise, flexibility, endurance and motor skill growth from dancing. Boys also need the lessons in fitness and discipline that are a part of dance. Discover how dancing can help young boys grow into strong young men.
Should a Boy Take Dance Class?
Dance class is not just for girls. More boys are taking dance class than ever before. You may feel pressured by relatives who want to steer your son in the direction of typical male dominant activities like football, basketball or karate. However, if your son is interested in dance or you feel he would enjoy it, consider enrolling him. Dance can even help your son improve in another athletic discipline. A number of professional football players take ballet to help with coordination, strength and balance. Dancing actually builds great strength and endurance. The exercise and principles of dance can help your son perform better in all areas of his life from athletics to academics.
Dance Class Benefits for Boys
Dance is art, exercise and sport all in one. Boys can get the following benefits from taking a dance class:
- Gross motor skill development: According to a 2004 Queens College study, preschool dance classes help develop gross motor skills.
- Self-expression: A boy learns to express himself through movement to music.
- Total body workout: Dance provides a complete workout and can help prevent childhood obesity.
- Improves balance: Dancing helps a boy improve his balance which can help with other sports.
- Gain greater flexibility: A boy will gain a healthy flexibility which may also help in other sports as well as helping general mobility.
- Learn to move in continuous fluid movement: Dancing teaches a boy to move in continuous fluid movement which can help in sports like football.
- Better coordination: A boy will gain greater coordination skills.
- Builds strength and endurance: Some of the strongest dancers are male ballet dancers who gain a great deal of total body muscular strength from ballet techniques. All dancing helps build strength and teaches students endurance as they learn more complex dance techniques that work the muscles harder.
- Becomes a team player: A boy learns how to work as a part of a team when he dances in a group.
- Better posture and deportment: A boy will learn how to stand up straight and move with masculine grace because dancing requires strict body alignment for correct form, which is also healthier for the body.
- Increases self-confidence: A boy can gain greater self-confidence as he gets stronger and grows as a dancer by accomplishing difficult dance moves.
- Requires discipline and focus: Dance class requires focus on the teacher’s instructions to learn dance moves and the discipline to practice until a student learns the lesson correctly. This discipline can help boys with attention deficit disorder improve the ability to focus and pay attention. The discipline learned in dance class can also help boys focus better on academics and build better study skills for school.
- Music appreciation: A boy can gain a greater appreciation for music by participating in a dance class.
- Provides a sense of accomplishment: When a boy masters a dance routine, he feels great sense of accomplishment.
- Appreciation for physical fitness: A boy involved in dance will be more aware of the importance of physical fitness and is more likely to exercise regularly.
Choosing the Right Dance Class for a Boy
Choosing the right dance class for a boy is important for success. Here are some tips for finding the best dance class for your son:
- Enroll the child in an all boy dance classes, if possible: Since many dance classes are still female dominated, your young son may feel more comfortable in all boy classes or classes with a more equal rate of male and female students. Placing a preschool boy in an all girls’ dance class can sometimes be a little scary to him or even off putting. Grand Rapids Ballet School offers free all boy dance classes.
- Make sure your son is not the only boy: You don’t want your son to be the dance studio’s first male student. Take a dance class where they are use to teaching both boys and girls.
- Ask the school about teaching technique for boys: Finding out how a dance school approaches dance and treats male students can help you figure out if it is the right place for your son.
- Observe a class: Take your son with you and observe a dance class before signing up for one. Observing a class can help you see how the teacher interacts with students and if your son would be comfortable. Some dance studios even offer free trial classes so your son could participate in the trial class before you enroll.
- Consider the type of dance: What type of dance would most interest your son? If he is starting at preschool or kindergarten age, he will often be placed in a mini movement class the combines tap and ballet techniques. Some dance studios offer jazz and hip hop classes to the very young but many offer this to elementary school age children and older, many of whom have already completed a mini movement combination class. With a little research, you can find a good dance class for your son. If your son would enjoy dance, consider enrolling him in a class because dance will teach him skills that can help him succeed in other sports as well as academics.
Originally published on Suite101.com on January 4, 2011