Your budding ballerina, mini modern star or tiny tapper is registered and set for dance camp. Yay! You already know that the summer program will help your child to learn new skills and develop her craft. But, how else will it help her? Along with the obvious dance-related benefits, this type of performing arts camp can help young students in plenty of other ways. This includes building real-world skills that your child will use throughout her life.
Emotional development. Dance allows children to develop self-awareness and express their emotions, according to the National Dance Education Organization. This isn't just true for older kids and teens who are using dance as a way to put deep feelings on the stage. Younger children (as early as the preschool years) can also explore feelings and learn how to appropriately express emotions through creative movement.
Brain building. Whether your child is choreographing a dance, memorizing a new routine or learning new movements, she's building cognitive (or thinking) skills. Creating new dances encourages problem-solving and critical thinking skills, while following an instructor's lead helps to build memory abilities. These skills don't just stay at dance camp. Your child can take the mental abilities that she's developing and use them year-round. This includes at school, at work and in everyday life.
Self-control. During summer dance camp, your child is building body control. This physical skill can easily translate into other areas. As the tempo speeds up, your young dancer starts to move quickly. As it slows down, she has to maintain control over her body to match the beat. Yes, this is physical skill building. But, it's also an exercise in self-control.
Discipline. It's summertime. Plenty of kids are at home, in front of the TV or computer and not doing much of anything. While they're spending lazy days vegging out, your child is at dance camp five days a week. A summer performing arts program gives your child the chance to build self-discipline. Instead of sleeping in and not doing much of anything, she's getting up early and working hard at camp.
Career exploration. Some children know exactly what they want to be when they grow up by age 4. Others aren't so sure. A summer dance camp provides children with the chance to dive into the world of the performing arts and explore it as a career possibility. This includes getting to know professionals in the field (i.e. instructors) and possibly even finding a career mentor.
Summer dance camps come with benefits galore. From exploring emotions and building thinking skills to learning about the real world of the performing arts, these extra-curricular vacation-time programs may just help your child in ways that you didn't expect.