At UDO Academy, we firmly believe that street dance classes are great for the body and for the mind. Dance classes are not only a fun way to stay active, they also provide children with a place to de-stress and express themselves. But what are the more long-term benefits of street dance? Let’s take a look…
- Developing Dance Skills: At first, the use of street dance for a ballet, tap, or modern student may not seem particularly obvious. But street dance requires incredible creativity and focus, which can be carried across to other dance classes. The ability to pop and lock may not get you higher up in the ballet grades, but if a child can pick up choreography, learn moves quickly and develop spatial awareness, their dancing will progress across the board. Still, we think we’d still rather take part in a waacking class than a barre exercise…although we may be a little biased.
- Collaboration: It’s undeniable; regularly attending street dance classes in a caring, supportive environment increases confidence tenfold, and teaches children how to work together. Street dance students must learn to work collaboratively, and this team-work aspect helps them to make friends and support each other in an inclusive environment. For children who may lack self-esteem, the structure of a street dance class can aid them to come out of their shell; they have rules to follow, and a ready-made team to fit in with. Perfect for confident and quiet children!
- Drive & Discipline: Being in class to learn a sequence, combo or full routine encourages children and young people to stay focused, and work towards achieving their personal goals. Being able to see progression, particularly through examinations allowing students to move up through the street dance grades, can give dancers an immense sense of achievement. And a well-earned one at that!
- Committing to Memory: Studies have shown that regular participation in dance classes improves the brain’s capacity to retain information. In street dance classes, children are encouraged to practice their moves, going over and over until they have got them down to a T. This does make for a very cute, in sync performance, but it also helps to develop their memory overall; as children learn how to commit certain street dance sequences to memory, their ability to recall other sources of information increases. This can also influence progression in attention span, which will be incredibly handy all throughout school.
- Happiness: In 2014, this study found that moods of those who danced for fun drastically improved following a dance class! In street dance classes, freedom of expression is underpinned by knowledge of technique and creative interpretation. Not only does dancing give children an instant boost of happiness-inducing endorphins, but it also gives them a safe space in which to express themselves. As we all know, dance families are forever, and the friends children make in the studio can often last a lifetime. What could be a better long-term benefit than that?