The Arts are Crucial to Childhood Development
The arts are not only enjoyable and enrich our lives, contribute to our communities and culture, but they are crucial to a child’s development and well-being. A strong arts education promotes the life skills that children need to succeed.
Studies present compelling evidence that participation in the arts has strong academic as well as social benefits. Research has shown that the skills a child learns through the arts, can help them master their academics such as reading and math.
An arts education promotes independent learning, and improves critical and creative thinking skills. Along with learning to be self-directed, students also learn to collaborate with others, compromise, and problem solve in a group, as well as take direction - thus improving their social skills around their peers and those in authority. Students of the arts have also shown to have better self-esteem and a healthier body image.
It seems clear, studying the arts contributes to a child's achievement and success both in school and life.
High Arts Participation Means Higher Test Scores
A study at UCLA found students who had a greater participation in the arts did better in school and achieved higher standardized test scores than their peers with little arts participation. Studies show that students who take arts classes score higher in their math and verbal SAT scores than students who take no arts classes - and the more arts classes a student takes, the higher their scores
High arts-involved students were also shown to be more active, spent less time watching TV, and more time involved in their community.
Builds Positive Self-Esteem - through interaction and expression children feel good about themselves.
Builds Social Skills - sharing, taking turns, and relating appropriately to others.
Develops Creative Expression - while young, children may not be able to express themselves fully with their words, they are able to communicate their feelings and ideas through movement and dance.
Develops Strength and Balance - the ability to assume and maintain body positions, which is crucial for walking, running, jumping, skating, riding a bike and sports activities.
Develops Bilateral Coordination - learning to use both sides of the body simultaneously, even if movement is not symmetrical. Examples are swimming, climbing, jumping, catching and/or kicking a ball.
Develops Concept Awareness - an understanding of specific concept, such as open/close, up/down, big/little.
Develops Gross Motor Skills - control of large muscles, such as those in arms and legs. Useful in daily activities and sports related activities
Develops Fine Motor Skills - control of the small muscles, especially those in hands. Used in cutting with scissors, writing, using buttons and tying shoelaces.
Develops Reflex - automatic response to stimuli and events. An example is putting the hands up to catch a ball.
Develops Focus and Memory - develops memory and focus (through learning dance routines) and are skills that can be applied to academic studies.
For Youth-Teens & Adults
Dancing can be a way to stay fit for people of all ages, shapes and sizes. It has a wide range of physical and mental benefits including: