Dance is the perfect wellbeing tool
At tiny toes ballet we love teaching pre-school ballet and seeing all the benefits that ballet can bring to our young pupils.
When I saw that Darcy Bussell was in Cardiff, talking at the Mental Health & Wellbeing show about the benefits of dance and wellbeing, I knew I just had to attend. As a children’s ballet teacher, I can see the huge wellbeing benefits of teaching dance to children every day. But to hear Darcy also talk to a room full of people about this really inspired me. I wanted to write this blog to remind us of this wellbeing through ballet that I see every day through our tiny toes ballet program.
Teaching dance to children addresses all five areas of wellbeing
According to the government findings and NHS guidelines, there are five elements to wellbeing.
- Connect- Ballet allows social bonding, interpersonal skills, and trust.
- Take Notice- Taking part in ballet classes for children leads to increased attention and focus.
- Give- by learning and dancing together, children learn empathy towards others, kindness, and feeling self-fulfilled.
- Keep learning- through the varied movement of ballet and group work required, ballet stretches children’s creative thinking and problem-solving skills.
- Active- everybody is born to dance. It is part of our DNA and by connecting the emotions of music, dance stimulates us mentally and creatively.
Further to the above points, teaching dance to children enables them to recognise different emotional states which are so important for our wellbeing. Dance also binds us together and stimulates us to move, learn, and connect to music.
Children’s ballet for 1-year-olds and children’s ballet for 2-year-olds through the tiny toes ballet program enables children to engage emotionally. Through meaningful learning, research shows that cognitive ability increases by up to 17% in the early years. Our tiny toes ballet program is themed to ensure all learners are engaged. Staying active is more than just about sports and athletics. Teaching dance to children helps them to develop their cognitive ability, develop a positive attitude about themselves, connect with others, emotionally engage and feel alive.
I always remember one of our young pupils being asked, how does ballet make you feel? To which she replied ‘” It makes me feel alive”.
Here is a clip of our tiny toes ballet pupils explaining, in their words, how children’s ballet class makes them feel.....
I agree with Darcy Bussell that dance is “The perfect wellbeing tool”. Dance allows us all to connect, give, take notice, learn, and be active. I see this myself everyday teaching preschool dance but also more broadly across ages and generations when we invite our children to dance with their parents at class when they attend nursing homes and dance with the residents, and when they dance together and perform on stage. They don’t just share a dance routine for a moment, they share a smile, a word; they communicate.
These are all essential elements of wellbeing all achieved through ballet and dance. Even if it’s just in your kitchen- make sure you have a dance today!