This month's From the Expert post comes from guestblogger, Sheena Jeffers in Virginia. As a dancer, instructor, choreographer and writer, Sheena is studying Dance Education at Old Dominion University and teaching at Central Virginia Dance Academy where she teaches a variety of styles to dancers of all levels and ages. You can find Sheena and her posts on www.sheenajeffers.com
Here is an excerpt from her blog post, "Boys in Dance".
So you have a son! And your son wants to take dance! You as his parent may or may not have that moment of, “Wait… why dance? Why not football or soccer or hockey?”
Throughout my years of dance training and being a dance teacher, I have seen both sides of the spectrum. I see mothers and fathers who fully support their son’s decision to dance! They come in to observe his progress, they ask questions, they stay involved, they buy tickets to his shows. Then I have seen parents who make their son walk in and out of the studio by himself and he’s to meet them at the car when he’s finished. They pay their dance bill, but they do so with hesitation. I’ve seen the hesitation on those parents faces: Should I be funding this? Encouraging this?
YES! YES! YES!
Here is my proposal of why we need more boys/guys/men in dance:
1. Dance helps develop muscles: Dance is a great way to start building your son’s core. There are exercises that are taught at very young ages that help strengthen these muscles. What muscles are we talking about?
Stomach (transverse abdominals, obliques, rectus abdominals – “the 6-pack”)
Back (erector spinae- the muscles that run up and down your back, on both sides of your spine)
Hips (glutius maximus, glutius medius, glutius minimus and llio-psoas – hip flexors)
2. Dance helps with coordination, balance and good posture. Starting from a young age, dance helps develop a child’s sense of their bodies. For example, being able to touch your nose, right knee, left big toe, right shoulder, left pinky finger… all with your eyes closed! We, as adults, may be able to do this because we’ve lived in our bodies for a long time, but little ones learn to do this early on which heightens their awareness. They also learn how to shift their bodies’ weight – without picking their feet up, the difference between a jump and hop, and the mental and physical process that happens during balance.
3. Dance is healthy: From Day 1, dance is healthy. It’s an aerobic experience that protects your child’s heart from heart disease, and builds endurance.
For reasons 4 to 9, and other fun dance posts, check out her blog
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