Why Dance?

There are many after school activities for young people in Chautauqua County, but studying dance is among the most beneficial. Adults, too, can profit from beginning dance instruction or resuming instruction. Many adults find dance an enjoyable way to put scheduled physical activity into their lives.

There are many dance studios in our area which offer choice in where to study, how much time and money to invest, and different styles of dance, as well as a myriad of teaching approaches and purpose statements. Parents and adults can shop around, make phone calls, tour facilities, and find a program that suits them. Studying dance itself helps an individual develop and improve the physical body, artistic development, emotional expression, social interaction, and intellectual decision making.

Attending regular dance lessons improves muscular strength, balance, posture, flexibility, physical endurance and body awareness. Being in good physical condition can help anyone cross over into other sports, too.

Having experience in dance as an art form can bring about better communication skills, emotional awareness, empathy, respect for others, confidence in presenting oneself and in completing a commitment. Because dance uses music in presentation, a dancer possesses musicality, and if one studies ballet, the person also learns another language (French), which can improve knowledge of vocabulary.

Dance classes are offered in group instruction, but not always the same groups of people a dancer encounters in school, family, or neighborhood, so, it’s a great structured environment to make new and different friends.

Lessons instill teamwork, respect, and patience for those who are different from us. The choices a dancer makes in creating compositions is a solid foundation for logical decision making in other aspects in one’s life.

Because dance is both discipline and art, it can inform in many ways. Look for teachers with a high level of experience and education in a comfortable environment. Meet and talk with the teacher recommended to you and find out the details of a program that interest you. Some are competitive based, some creative, some offer pre-professional level training, some are recreational. Whatever type of dance program is chosen, rest assured that studying dance has many benefits.

Rosanne Chesbro (BFA Theater Performance, MA Dance) is an adjunct instructor at Jamestown Community College and is the Artistic Director of Chadwick Bay Academy of Dance in Dunkirk. Comments on this article may be directed to lifestyles@observertoday.com