The connections between Dance and Brain development
Tiny toes ballet ‘learning through dance’: Top 5 ways to create a dance programme that offers a holistic approach for children’s brain development
The brain is built for learning. It wants to make meaning out of experience. Conceptual learning is more meaningful that random facts and that is why we plan and teach our curriculum through 16 different termly themes. When class content connects to a pupil’s life, both the brain and body gain and retain knowledge.
A movement-enriched environment develops larger brain cells that have more dendrites, therefore they communicate better with one another. We enrich the learning environment for our pupils by offering multi-sensory experiences involving problem solving, scaffolded activities and critical thinking opportunities.
The brain needs feedback to learn from experience. Pupils cannot learn, grow and develop without it. Meaningful feedback is positive, timely, frequent and descriptive- not simply general. Feedback must be personalised to stretch and develop pupils individually.
Emotions, thoughts and learning are linked. Joyful movement causes the secretion of serotonin, a feel-good chemical that boosts self-esteem. When pupils are emotionally engaged they not only want to return to class but they also learn more and remember longer. It is amazing to see pupils retaining scientific facts, language, the detailed sequence of a story, by attending a dance class that they are emotionally engaged with.
Provide both Novel & Repetitive Experiences
Synaptic connections in the brain are created through novelty. The new connections are then hard wired through repetition. Too much novelty leads to confusion and frustration. Too much repetition leads to boredom. The right balance between novelty and reputation is crucial for optimum learning. Our programme is built upon a spiral curriculum where ideas are developed and build upon Each of our themes run for six weeks, a perfect combination of novelty and repetition.
Emma Morgan, founder & director of tiny toes ballet ltd.
BA (Hons) PGCE RAD
For more information about the tiny toes ballet programme, the UK's first pre-school dance programme fully integrated with he EYFS curriculum, visit http://www.tinytoesballet.co.uk