In an era where smart phones and social media seem to set the standards for how we interact, and teens are better at texting than speaking, ballroom classes are a truly awesome way to get your kid away from that device and interacting directly with their peers.
Lately, I’ve been reading article after article about the benefits of Ballroom dancing for teens and tweens. What they say always seems to boil down to a few key points:
Social Skills - Partner dance classes help teen and tweens build social awareness and confidence because they are having face-to-face interactions with their peers constantly during class. Asking their partner to dance, talking while practicing, working through a new move together: all of these things build communication skills.
Coordination - Ballroom dancing is a sport, and like most sports, it helps build body awareness and coordination. Asking your feet to move in one direction, while your arms do something else, is all part of the fun. Unlike most sports, ballroom dancing does not have to involve competition and very rarely risks injury. In fact, at Sapphire, competition is not part of the program and we’ve never had a kid get seriously injured during class (a few toes have been stepped on, but that’s it).
Life skill - Partner dancing ability is something your teen will be able to draw on for the rest of their life. Many colleges, including Virginia Tech, have ballroom, swing, or latin dance clubs, which provide a great social outlet for students. Even into adulthood, partner dance will continue to be there for your child as a source of healthy, social activity.
Cognitive Ability - the People’s Pharmacy just released another podcast highlighting ballroom dancing as promoting neuroplasticity (the ability of the brain to make new connections while learning) in seniors. Well, guess what? What’s good for the elders is good for the youngsters. Learning any new skill makes learning others easier. Ballroom dancing has a unique combination of movement, memory, and rhythmic challenges that really get those juices flowing.
Fun - Well, are you convinced? I am - ballroom dancing is good for everyone, but offers extra benefits to teens and tweens. But what’s the best reason to get involved? It offers all those things above and still manages to be fun. Just fun. These kids come bounding through our doors once a week and what follows is an hour of smiles, laughter, and dancing.
If you want to get your child involved, check out the specific dates available for each class.
Each session will include a Swing Dance style - this spinning, up-beat dance is sure to get some of their energy out! - and another style based on the class's interest.