Do you ever have that moment where you realise you are home alone so you put the music on loud, and I mean blaring loud, and you just DANCE! Dance like nobody is watching you, because nobody is watching you. I’m not going to lie to you, I do that a lot! I think everybody should. Music is there to be danced to. Music without dance is like a hot chocolate without cream and marshmallows (Hmm, I suddenly need a break from writing!)

Yum. Where was I? Yes, dance. Some people feel silly if they dance without choreography. That’s not silly, that’s FREESTYLE! You really are free to do what you want. That’s why we love ending our Funky Moves classes on a Freestyle circle. It allows you as the dancer to let whatever moves come out, come out! You let your heart and soul take over, feel the music and shake your body in whatever way feels natural. That’s how dance started thousands of years ago. People heard music and just felt an inspiration to move their feet, their hands, their head…their bum!…anything, and just have fun.

Well, this got me thinking- I mean I know we dance for the love of it but the most amazing part is how awesome it is for ourselves. I don’t just mean that it keeps us fit and active and works soooo many muscles in our body without even realising. Have you ever thought about how beneficial it is to our everyday life. I wanted to take a deeper look in to the health benefits for kids through dancing.

So here’s what I found…

Dance is an aerobic activity which is great for keeping our kids fit and healthy. It improves stamina, physical strength, flexibility and range of movement. On top of this our balance, posture and coordination will also improve. These are all incredibly important factors for when a child is growing.

Social and mental benefits – Dance is a highly social activity. You get used to working as part of a team and develop a great sense of trust with your peers as well as making new friends. By doing performances it can help your child get over many fears and anxieties. Remember, it’s not just us adults who suffer with stress. Dancing releases endorphins, which make us feel instantly better. Better than better – great! Better than great – INVINCIBLE!

Educational benefits- Though no desks, chairs or blackboards (remember blackboards?), this is still a classroom environment and as such your kids get used to the structure and their focus and discipline will increase. Dance classes can also spark a creativity side to a child which may lead them to appreciate the arts. It also provides an often welcomed break from the traditional classroom structure and can benefit when they return to those other subjects, refreshed and rejuvenated. This leads me nicely to something you may not know about Funky Moves – We also do private classes. So if you would love to get your kids along to enjoy all that we have to offer but locations or timings hamper you from doing so, our funky movers can come to you and teach our latest routines at a time and locations that works around your busy schedule. Intrigued? Find out more.

Confidence- As children get used to different movements, they will begin to understand how their body can move. This will naturally build their confidence as they do more moves they never thought they could do. Again, this is why we have our Freestyle circles. This is one of the few times in any classroom that it’s impossible to get it wrong. So there is no fear of disappointment or failure. You moved how your body wanted to move, and you aced it! *We’ll come back to this at the end*

Some parents have said “But what if my child doesn’t want to become a dancer when they’re older?”. They don’t have to. As we’ve seen above, the benefits of dance extend way beyond training for a possible future career. Not all kids that do self defence are going to be the next Jackie Chan and not all kids who dance will be the next Beyonce. But their social skills will be better, their health will be better, confidence will be sky high and they’ll find a love that they can take with them through life and alongside any career. I think most accountants would benefit from getting up from their desk every now and again to bust out some moves. As much as that’s a joke, it is true and that’s why companies get us in to shake their offices up and get people dancing to improve wellbeing.

On a side note, don’t be scared if your child does feel inspired to become a professional dancer when they’re older. Yes, it’s a tough, competitive industry, but every dancer wants to be a dancer and there aren’t many industries in which that is true.

So there we have it. Who knew dancing could have so many benefits to our children. Improvement to overall fitness, health and mental benefits, social life, education and a huge confidence boost all from dancing! It’s pretty incredible really when you break it all down.

Now, remember I said we’d come back to the freestyle thing. Well here we are this blog is almost over and I know you now know the benefit of dance, and you’ve been sat for a good few minutes reading, so it’s your turn to freestyle. Whichever song comes to mind, put it on and let yourself go. Even if you’re at a bus stop right now, I don’t care. Remember, it’s impossible to get it wrong so let those inhibitions go and FREESTYLE!!!