So You Think Your Child Can Dance? Exploring Dance as an activity

By Shilpa Bapna

“Everytime I dance I turn into a better version of me.”

-Mikhail Baryshnikov (Russian-American Dancer)

“Dance is the hidden language of the soul.”

-Martha Graham (American Choreographer)


Dance is one of the most beautiful forms of the performing arts. Despite the aesthetic value, the origin of dance is a mystery. Archeological evidence states that dance originated 9000 years ago in India. There are Egyptian tomb paintings depicting dance forms as early as 3300 BC. Since then different and wonderful forms of dance have evolved. Many countries today have dances specific to their culture.

Dancing is for everyone

Dancing is a much loved hobby for kids and adults alike. Children can learn dance early on and continue doing so till they reach their adulthood. Even very small toddlers can enjoy dancing. Getting started is easy as you do not need to invest in very expensive gear. Most dance styles have their respective costumes and the teachers will guide you if specific clothes or shoes are required for dance class.

But with so many sports around, is dancing a good physical hobby to pursue? Dance has many benefits. Students learn key skills such as coordination, flexibility, balance, stamina and even discipline, much like a competitive sport.

Dance as a physical activity

Dance entails body movement, expression and collaboration. It requires continuous movement in a set sequence or in a free form. This is the reason why many people in the world are taking up dance lessons for physical fitness. The benefits of dance are numerous. In fact, dance classes are becoming a great alternative to team sports for young children. Let’s look at some of the physical benefits of dance.

  • Regular dancing helps your child develop flexibility and range of motion. It also helps him/her build stamina.
  • The sequenced movements in dance help your child develop muscle tone, proper body posture and strengthens memorization skills.
  • Dance burns calories to help lose weight and, hence, keeps obesity in check.
  • Considered a meaningful way to exercise, dance connects body, mind and spirit as in many ways it gives way to yoga – one example is Shakti dance.
  • Coordination of different steps, arm movements, posture, breath and timing helps your child focus better and makes his/her mind stable. This in turn leads to a fresh and alert mind giving way to better performances at school.
  • Dance forms like ballet and jazz have tremendous physical benefits. They promote physical strength and agility. The jumping and leaping movements improve flexibility and body rhythm.
  • Students feel confident and are more self assured as they practice the complex combinations of body movements.


For a fitness dance camp you can now enroll your child at the Super Heroes in Training camp in Houston. See more details at

The Houston Ballet has a ballet classes designed specifically for boys. For more details click here –

Dance as a form of communication

In dance the moving body conveys ideas or feelings that cannot be put into words. Trained dancers perform for an audience and the objective is to evoke a response. People dance to celebrate, to heal, to thank or to express anger. In addition, dancers demonstrate physical prowess and assert individuality all to provoke and to entertain. Every part of dance hence communicates at various levels.

Let’s look at the Indian dance forms. Kathak, Mohiniattam, Bharatnatyam, Manipuri, Kuchipudi and Oddissi are some of the Indian classical dance forms that are popular all over the world today. The characteristic rhythms of Indian classical dance teach expression beautifully. For example navrasa an important element of the bharatnatyam teaches you to express the nine emotions – love, laughter, compassion, anger, courage, fear, disgust, wonder and tranquility. All of these are shown using your facial expressions and eye movement. This kind of expression, if taught early on, can benefit the child tremendously. Communication becomes simpler and social interactions easier. The ability to express helps channel the child’s energy in the right direction.

Enrolling your child early for a dance class will help him/her cultivate interest in this art form and develop emotionally and physically.

Upasana kalakendra conducts classes in Bharatnatyam and Mohiniattam. It is a good way to let your kids explore the nuances of these Indian dance forms and understand Indian culture.

For more details click here –

Dance develops personality

Dance offers an outlet for creative expression in a safe environment. The valuable skills developed in dance can be applied to academics as well. Performing in front of others helps a child develop self-confidence. This confidence encourages participation, group interaction and hence teamwork. Thus dance fosters courage to engage in social encounters. Children learn to understand themselves in relation to others. The child becomes confident in social interactions which is beneficial because interacting with others in many ways help define our personality.

Thus learning the art of dance helps young children develop knowledge, physical strength and understanding of the world. It is a natural method of learning and a basic form of cultural expression. So let you child be in the Rhythm. Let them dance!


For more dance classes for kids or a summer dance camp, search iqurious From hip hop to tap, from ballroom to salsa, what is your favorite form of dance? Tell us about it in the comments below.

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