Hello from Barresoul’s front desk! My name is Jaicee and you can find me signing you in, or sweating in class! When I’m not at Barresoul I’m teaching dance in the Lake Country area where I’ve been teaching for nearly seven years with school-age kids. In this blog I want to address the benefits of dance movement in multiple facets of life!
There’s no question that raising children in the 21st century is different than raising children in any other generation we’ve known, and the benefits of disciplined movement for the development and focus in growing brains is undeniable. Growing up as a participant in the dance world is something that I now attribute to my work ethic, discipline, and motivation. It taught me that hard work is the base of success and if you put enough effort into anything its bound to give you some kind of reward. You are not going to be able to do a double pirouette on your first day (not in a technically sound manner anyways) and that consistent idea of having to work to improve every step is an idea that all dancers have to accept and embrace! In a world where instant gratification is the norm, teaching kids to expect to put in hard work, time, and commitment to something to get results is of great value.
Creative outlets are something I think everyone needs -to have moments in your day where the task you are doing doesn’t necessarily need to be a contributing part of a greater sum. Dance is something that anyone can enjoy at any level, and enjoy for the simple and pure reason that it is fun! For those of us that have chosen it as a way of life, we can attest to the fact that sometimes being alone with music that speaks to you and having the ability to express something that you can’t possibly put into words but can illustrate in movement is liberating on an elevated level.
There are so many more benefits to dance than just work ethic and creativity- learning more about the body that you’ve been given for your lifetime is invaluable and dance movement teaches you how to understand and control the use of even the tiniest muscles. Dance is heavily based in consistently held postures (there isn’t a ton of time where you are standing slouched or in a relaxed way) and in a decade where it seems a lot of our work is based off of sitting in front of a computer proper back posture is an asset! To this day -seven years after my final ballet exam- I very rarely find myself sinking into the back rest of a chair (the ghostly voice of my very stern ballet teacher still ringing in my ears, telling me to pull my shoulders back).
Now, let’s talk flexibility. A vital part of taking care of your body and muscles is stretching them properly and on a regular basis. Dance, and any sport that involves dance movement (such as Barre) will have a base in stretching. Stretching your muscles in ways that you normally wouldn’t helps prevent injuries that may occur in the future, increases flexibility, and improves agility.
Brain time! Dance can be a great stress reliever, and the less stress your body is enduring the better you think, feel, and function! Dance choreography, and learning set movements has also been shown to have an overall positive effect on memory capabilities, and cognitive functioning in later years.
My philosophy in general is to try to live life in a holistic fashion, and to be aware of how this high-tech world is beginning to affect the natural ways our bodies are supposed to function. Fitness and dance are naturally craved by the body and mind. The physical benefits of dance are equal to the internal benefits. It can tone and strengthen your body, and it can fortify and open up your mental dialogue in a positive way! Ever find yourself moving your shoulders to that new catchy song? Responding the need to stretch your body in the middle of the day? Feeling an emotion that can only be expressed by posturing your body in a way that shows it? Dance or dance movement is something that is intuitive to all human beings, and I’ve been lucky enough to grow-up and work in an environment that allows me to embrace and celebrate that!
Get your body moving and enjoy the rewards that will follow!