15 March 2023
Modern dance has, in some ways, influenced every style of dance that we see around us today. It’s a popular style that transformed the landscape of dancing, shifting the focus away from strict sets of formal techniques and towards the promotion of creative exploration. It’s imaginative, fun and cool, meaning it has a lot to offer children who are interested in giving it a go.
The desire to dance is innate. Play some music for a young child and you’ll probably see them dance. Even babies, with no real concept of what they’re doing, will wobble their hips and clap their hands to the sound of a beat. One of the key tenets of modern dance is to encourage dancers to react to music in their own way. Children will get a space to let themselves go, enjoy what they hear and explore their own movements, completely free of inhibitions.
Much of modern dance is about telling a story, conveying feelings and emotions through movements of the body. Your child’s dance teacher will guide them in their creativity, showing them what it means to be creative and modelling what this looks like in dance. By putting together their own movements and routines, your child will gain a wonderful sense of achievement, and will feel the fulfilment that comes from making something that’s theirs. Choreographing and then performing a piece that they themselves have had a hand in creating will be an experience that stays with them forever.
Dance classes are open to children (and adults!) of all ages, and from all walks of life. More often than not, a local dance class will draw attendees from a range of places in the area, not just one school or street. Your child might meet and make friends with children who come from different backgrounds. Furthermore, they’ll be with people who naturally have the same interests as them. Taking part in any form of performance creates a bond that’s hard to find elsewhere. The fun and comradery that your child will experience by taking part in a dance show will be something they always cherish.
Modern dance emphasises the use of the body as a tool of expression. In the past, traditional dance would prioritise the learning of a few formal techniques. Modern dance focuses instead on maintaining the general fitness of the dancer, so that they’re ready for anything. Many dance teachers make physical training in their sessions fun, with games, chants and exercises that children enjoy taking part in.
Being a dancer is a badge of honour. There’s nothing cooler than someone who can stride up to the middle of the dance floor and pull off some moves to impress everyone. Apart from the benefits of getting fit, supple, and active, the ability to replicate the dance routines seen on TV, or pull a routine out of the bag, will give your child an enormous boost of confidence.