Does taking dance class add up to performing better in school? Get ready to do a happy dance – yes, absolutely! According to FamilyTalk magazine, children who regularly participate in dance lessons perform better academically than their nonparticipating peers. Even more compelling, students with a dance background tend to achieve significantly higher SAT scores and do better in math and science competitions.
In a well-documented national study using a federal database of over 25,000 middle and high school students, researchers from the University of California at Los Angeles identified six major types of benefits associated with dance and academic achievement:
- Reading and Language Skills
- Mathematics Skills
- Thinking Skills
- Social Skills
- Motivation to Learn
- Positive School Environment
Another study of high school age students reported that those who studied dance scored higher than non-dancers on measures of creative thinking, especially in the categories of fluency, originality and abstract thought.
Dance partners well with academics because it:
- Helps kids stay disciplined and focused.
- Appeals to kinesthetic learners – kids who learn best doing a physical activity.
- Encourages kids to be creative in a safe, healthy way.
- Boosts confidence.
These studies confirm there’s a lot more to dance than twirling and tutus, and that keeping your child enrolled in dance class might be one of the smartest moves you’ve ever made!