Dance is more than the exploring of different ways to make a shape or learning a series of steps to music; it is a way of moving that uses the body as an instrument of expression and communication. Through dance, students learn teamwork, focus, and improvisational skills. Dance awakens new perceptions in children which help them learn and think in new ways.
Children need to express and communicate their ideas and to be given the opportunity to make creative decisions, even at a young age. This decision making promotes self-esteem and independent thinking for children. Learning the movement of others helps expand the child’s movement vocabulary while creating one’s own movement will put the child in a teaching role and give her the chance for her voice to be heard. Giving the students the freedom of making choices within a structure encourages them to reach beyond what comes easy to them and use their imagination, thus allowing them to test their own personal boundaries.
Dance also enables students to better understand themselves and the world in which they live. Through the arts, teachers can often teach children to recognize the contribution of all cultures to the fabric of our society and increase the understanding of diversity and values of all people. Dance lends itself well to this task through learning traditional dances and creating new ones based on children’s ideas. Dance also enhances skills of perception, observation, and concentration which will undoubtedly help students in all of their school subjects.