Saint John Vianney High School's News Site

The Art of Dance

Ashlyn Cooper, Writer

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In recent years, I was promoted from a dance student to a dance teacher. In this transition, I have gained a lot of insight on the way dance helps shape a human being. Once I became a teacher, it was easy to see the way the discipline of dance forms the character of a young person. Looking back on my years as a dancer, it is even clearer that dance has helped me grow into the person I am today.

Dance is a commitment. As a dancer, you learn to honor your words and commitment. Although I love to dance, I have dreaded going to long rehearsals after school or spending my weekends at tech. However, my dance teacher has taught me to honor the commitment I made not only to the art, but to myself. Dance teaches you not to waste your time or anyone else’s, because once you put in the time in the first place. it becomes your duty to carry through with your commitment. This is an important lesson to learn because, as you grow up, you will take on a multitude of responsibilities and commitments, many of which you never wanted in the first place, but you still have to carry through with.

Dance takes a lot of time out of your life, so time management is necessary. The art requires juggling class time and rehearsal time. So not only do you have to find time to learn to dance, but there is always the need to practice. Additionally, most have to juggle dance with traditional schooling. Both bring high levels of stress, but learning to handle it while young will help you in the future. Not only do you have to manage your time as a dancer and as a student, but you also have to perfect a work/social balance. This means you need to juggle your responsibilities with a social life, which can be difficult for adults who never had to do so as kids. Consequently, growing up as a dancer will make it easy for you to adapt to the demands of adulthood.

Dance can also teach respect. Many kids start dancing before they even start preschool, so a dance class is the perfect setting for them to learn how to respect others. In their formative years, kids are used to only responding to parents or family who have already established their authority over them. Dance class is a fun way to teach children to respect and listen to other adults, and in this case, the instructors. Dance classes also teach children to respect each other, which brings me to the next point.

Working with others is a crucial skill that everyone needs no matter what they do in life. In a dance class, you learn in a group. This means that children get used to not having direct one on one attention early on. This is important because, in traditional schooling, you do not have the benefit of a direct tutor. It makes you think independently and solve issues for yourself to make the most of a class. Also, it makes you learn how to cooperate. Kids will bicker over anything, especially in a class setting. Learning to interact and address these issues will help kids as they grow up. Plus, it teaches you to carry your weight in a group. When everyone in your class practices and does well while you fall behind, it serves as a lesson to do your part so the group looks good as a whole. This carries on into school projects, and eventually work projects.

This final point will not be true for every young dancer, but many times, dancing helps children find passion. Most children grow to love dance, which is important because it teaches you to do what you love and work to get better. Even though most kids do not dance forever, they carry that passion with them and it continues to bring them joy and happiness. Other times, people grow out of the passion they had for dance but use it to find a new passion. This is important because it ensures that you will always have something to bring joy to your life. That, in my opinion, is the greatest benefit of all. So if you have a bratty child at home, take them to the nearest dance studio. You will be glad you did, and one day they will thank you.

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Saint John Vianney High School's News Site
The Art of Dance