After reading Lori Bergman’s column Friday morning, I wanted to reach out and say how many hundreds of times I have heard dance was the best money ever spent.
Dance class will teach those little girls so much more than dance! After 25 years of teaching dance, I am constantly reminded by alumni and parents of dancers how much dance meant to their lives.
At a young age, creative movement can awaken a world of possibilities, as well as strengthen motor movements, discipline, creative thinking and interacting with others just to name a few. (And let me add, our 3- to 4-year-olds know exactly what color is “theirs” in the classroom and like to claim that spot rather proudly.)
Yes, they of course get jittery and jump around, but with a nurturing, experienced teacher, they actually are very organized and learn more than you think. In fact, last year our 4-year-olds yelled out the definition of chasse (to chase) and grande battement (a big kick) on parent view night to an array of lifted eyebrows. Many adults are pleasantly surprised how much they retain (even in the Mommy and me classes for ages 18 months and up).
As they progress through the years, dance training becomes their home away from home. It’s a place they can try new skills, meet new friends and realize the payoff of hard work. In addition, they learn how to accept constructive criticism, team work, responsibility and commitment, not to mention the obvious benefits for physical fitness.
Furthermore, all those sequences and remembering formations make their brain work overtime. Memory and spatial awareness increase with every class. Confidence grows inside each student every week and someday, that training comes in handy.
Our slogan in an ad once said “Your money will never work harder” as we firmly believe we are helping shape these young children into successful adults, whether that be in the dance world or any occupation they choose. We work very hard to show it’s much more than just dance class. A quote in our office reads, “It’s not just about making better dancers, but better people.”
Gina Wiley owns The Dancer By Gina.