Dance Means More Than Ever
I’ve always said I believed in the transformative power of dance.
It’s the concept my studio was built on over these past two-decades-plus. Dance has, for as long as I can remember, held this central place in my heart, my mind, and my work.
Like many studio owners I know, my life was influenced by dance from the moment I first stepped foot in the classroom. Dance is part of the reason why I became an entrepreneur, a teacher, and business coach; it’s been a complement to each facet of my calling in life.
Today, when I see our students in the studio, I realize that this transformative power has taken on new meaning. Sure, I still believe dance will have a positive impact on their life goals, their education, their personal development, and their achievements. That is still AWESOME in every way.
The difference now is that there is a deeper internal transformation happening.
I can see it in our dancers.
Dance is meeting a physical need for activity. It’s allowing our kids to exercise their bodies that are sitting more than in previous years, with eyes that are commonly strained by hours of (often necessary) screen time. It’s giving them cardiovascular strength and respiratory stamina and an outlet to burn their excess energy.
Dance is meeting a social need for connection, bringing old friends together and introducing new ones, even from a safe physical distance. It’s giving our teachers and students moments of vital personal connection, through eye contact, jazz hands, and verbal encouragement.
Dance is meeting a psychological need for expression. It’s giving our kids a way to express their feelings, to communicate their highs and lows, even if they don’t want to talk. Expression through movement offers a relief; a respite from any stressors and a joyous celebration for successes.
Dance is meeting an emotional need for community. Everyone desires a sense of belonging, children especially, and dance is offering them a consistent place to sense that they belong—that their presence matters. Self-worth comes from many places, and community gives it a major boost!
I believe that a person’s well-being is profoundly, life-changingly influenced by these four areas, and now I can see just how much impact dance can have at this deeper level. It matters more than ever, because our kids are making history. They are with us on the journey through this season of pandemic life, but we must remember that their needs might be met differently than an adult’s.
Dance, to me, is the ultimate activity for a child, but I’m biased of course! What matters most is that our kids do SOMETHING that makes their hearts sing, that answers their need to move, connect, express, and belong.
This is a strange world we are living in now. But it doesn’t HAVE to be strange from EVERY angle. We can choose activities that offer familiarity, challenges, excitement, and growth. We can lean into what fulfills our children and watch them thrive! My hope is that, for many of our students, their experience with dance will be as transformative as it was for me—in their own unique way.
I want to leave you with this thought: Our children have the opportunity to progress through this year with a sense of confidence – if we make it possible. They have the chance to feel like they can come through the other side of this life experience with an incredible amount of resilience. We just have to help them get there.