Sunday, October 22, 2017

What Does Your Child Gain from Dance Class?

There are many more benefits to putting your child in dance beyond just keeping them busy. From building confidence, to mastering body coordination, to learning discipline, dance is so much more than an after school activity.

Building Confidence

Taking dance class can help build your child’s confidence on many levels. Learning to dance in front of an audience can help children develop other skills that require confidence such as speaking in front of a group, or taking the lead in a group project. If one is able to perform a dance in front of people, they will often find it easier to do simpler things in front of others (i.e. speeches, presentations). Achieving new technical skills in the dance classroom will also boost a dancer’s self-esteem. When introduced, many new dance steps will look nearly impossible at first, but with proper instruction and practice dancers learn that they are capable of more than they ever thought possible. Knowing that you are capable of accomplishing great things is an amazing aide in one’s confidence.

Mastering Body Coordination

Dance can be an excellent way to train for many other sports and forms of physical activity, including but not limited to: football, gymnastics, cheerleading, tennis, ice skating, baton, and yoga. Dancers refine skills pertaining to flexibility, strength, balance, and coordination. Being a dancer provides a way to really excel at understanding your own body. Even at a very young age, it’s a good idea to take dance to stimulate young minds with coordination and memorization exercises. Dancers learn to properly shift their weight, sustain muscle movement,  and demonstrate excellent control. They are also shining examples of agility, precision, and physical strength.

Learning Discipline

While many activities require discipline, dance is often considered one of the most disciplined forms of physical activity. Technique and form are essential in carrying out the desired movements, and the training behind these movements can be rigorous and incredibly specific. Being able to apply corrections and execute steps properly requires much discipline, providing an invaluable life skill to serious students. Best of all, although this training can be difficult, the feeling of mastering any given skill is beyond rewarding for dancers, causing them to continue working hard at each new level. Discipline is often considered a dying virtue, and dance is an incredibly fun way to achieve it.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Be an Inspiration

What does it mean to be an inspiration?

Inspiration is the feeling you have when someone or something makes you feel like you have the ability or motivation to accomplish something. Inspirational people can come from any walk of life and have the gift of helping others see their own inner strength that already exists. It’s that sense of creativity, drive, originality, bravery, selflessness, or grace that inspirational people have which makes us feel like anything is possible. 

How to be an inspiration

That’s easy! The best way to inspire the people around you is to be exactly who you are. You have your own unique set of skills and life experiences that allow you to impact others. You can inspire the people around you just by doing what you’re passionate about. 

The great thing about inspiration is that there are no barriers. It doesn’t matter what you look like, how old you are, or how much money you have when it comes to inspiring others. The only thing that can hold you back is your own attitude, so be positive and kind to yourself as well!

Act selflessly and inspire others

Often the most inspiring people are selfless. These people make choices because it will benefit someone else and not necessarily him or herself. If you don’t know how to start being inspirational to others, this is a great way to do it. Put others’ needs before your own and you’ll notice immediately the positive aftermath.

Look for a chance to help someone around you, and maybe even do so without expecting anything in return. Even if there is nothing in it for you, you will still feel great about what you’ve done and how you’ve helped others.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

3 Ways Dancing Builds Self-Confidence

Dancing is not just a great physical activity that can keep you in shape, but it can also have a lot of intangible benefits mentally and emotionally.

1) Learn to get over feeling awkward.
No one likes to feel awkward in public, but with dance, sometimes that’s just part of the territory. If you’re learning a new step, it might feel a bit weird at first, but once you learn it, it becomes second nature. Then it’s less weird and hard to learn a new step. This can translate into learning new things outside of the dance world.

2) Find a community to lean on.
Dancing can run a range of emotions from happiness and pride to frustration, but finding a group of people that can support you and that you feel like you belong with can really help to boost your self-confidence.

3) Build a strong body.
If you feel physically strong and capable, it’s much easier to feel capable in other situations. When you feel healthy, that will show itself in other areas of your life, leaving you to feeling more confident and assertive.

What have you learned from dance? Let us know in the comments.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

When Did the Easter Bunny Hop Onto the Scene?

When you hear the word ‘Easter’, it likely conjures images of bunnies, pastel-colored eggs, and lots of chocolate. Have you ever wondered why a rabbit brings children eggs for Easter? Why a rabbit and not a bird? It turns out that there’s a reason.

Where Did the Easter Bunny Come From?

It starts way back in the 1700’s, over 300 years ago in Germany. There they had a mythical creature called an ‘Osterhase. This is a rabbit that lays eggs!

German children would make nests for these rabbits to lay their eggs in. The colored eggs were a present for children that behaved well throughout the year (much like how Santa Claus gives presents to good boys and girls). When Germans immigrated to the United States, they likely brought this tradition with them. The tradition has changed, as traditions tend to, and now includes chocolates and other sweets and a basket instead of a nest. 

That’s why a bunny is in charge of bringing eggs and chocolates to all the children around the world for Easter. Now that you know you can appreciate what a neat tradition this is.

What is your favorite Easter tradition?

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Why Do We Decorate Eggs on Easter?

For most people, Easter is synonymous with Easter eggs! Whether it’s decorating them or hunting them or both, it’s not hard to see why the Easter egg has become so wrapped up in Easter tradition.

What came first: Easter or the egg?

Easter eggs, actually!

For many people around the world, the egg has been a symbol of new life. For thousands of years in Iran, Iranians have decorated eggs on their New Year which falls on the spring equinox, which falls usually around a month before Easter. 

But for Christians and the Easter that we’re familiar with, the Easter egg has been a symbol of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. For Eastern Catholic churches, it is quite common to see Easter eggs dyed a bright red to symbolize this. It was also common for Christians to abstain from eating eggs during Lent, so Easter was the first chance to eat eggs in weeks. Yum!

It’s all fun and games.

These fun decorated eggs are also used for games. You are probably familiar with the popular Easter egg hunts that are held around the country, but egg rolls also have a long history. The most famous egg roll actually happens on the White House lawn every Easter. 

What’s your favorite Easter tradition?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Why is it Important to Respect Our Elders?

Many children learn at an early that they must respect their elders. From listening to their stories, giving up your seat on the subway, or helping them cross the road, there are so many ways to show respect. But why is this concept such a commonly accepted one throughout most cultures around the globe?
There are many reasons why one should respect their elders. Generally, it’s practical to respect older people because we shall reap what we sow. Showing respect to others often means receiving respect in return. Hence, younger generation should learn this value as early as possible because in the future, they will be one of the elders, and the cycle of life will continue.
Another way to look at this is to acknowledge that older people have earned respect. With several years and decades that they’ve lived on earth, they have earned respect through their achievements. They have put in time as learning, working people and have picked up many a life lesson along the way. These life lessons bear repeating to future generations.
Life experience often leads to better decision making. Each generation goes through much struggle as the years pass, which ultimately leads to knowledge. No one is exempt from the trials and tribulations of life, and whether your troubles are about love, peers, family, friends, or other aspects of life, you can often receive great advice from elders. Their life experiences can be used to teach us how to avoid certain mistakes or situations, or simply, how to deal with inevitable problems.
Within the family, elders tend to serve as the foundation and cornerstone. They can serve as a friend, a philosopher, an advisor, and a life guide among other things. As they provide endless advice, we owe them much of our respect, as they have paved the way for us to have a better life. Our elders have successfully run the race of life, and we should be thankful that they are willing to share what they’ve experienced along the way. Acts of respect and kindness toward elders are ways of displaying appreciation of their achievements.

So don’t forget to spend some time with an elderly person! Get to know them, hear their words, and always show your respect.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Parent Involvement for Competitive Dancers

As with most aspects of parenting, being a dance mom or dad requires a delicate balance of involvement and freedom as your child navigates the competitive dance world.
1) Communicate with your child as they attend classes each week. Make sure they know you care about their passion. Ask what their goals are, as well as their strengths.
2) Show up to support your child. It means the world to your child to see you attending competitions and hear you cheering from the audience.
3) Support their decisions. Allow them to follow their passions when it comes to style and preference for training. If they’d like to explore a new style of dance, go for it! If they’d like to practice more often, encourage it!
4) Tell them how proud you are. It’s so important for your child to feel that you are in their corner, acknowledging their success.
1) Over-do it. Encourage a healthy amount of practice but be careful that you are not forcing your child. Dance should be enjoyable and your child should be internally motivated to improve.
2) Compare your dancer to others, especially teammates. While the nature of dance can be competitive, dancers and their parents must work to keep the competition healthy. Look to other dancers as a source of inspiration, not as dancers that you must be better than.
3) Hover too much. It’s important to let your dancer practice on his or her own sometimes, and let them explore their movement without being watched. This helps dancers learn to let go and perform at their fullest potential. It also allows dancers to develop independent study habits.

4)  Criticize them after a performance. When your dancer has just performed it’s important to remain positive and supportive, even if something unexpected happened. Leave the critiques for your child’s instructor as well as the judges from the competition. Remember you are your dancer’s best cheerleader!