Wednesday, March 18, 2009

School Teachers' Comments on Benefits of Dance

A few comments from teachers---and how they think dance benefits a child's education:
  • “Dance for children is much needed-- along with physical education, because it explores their potential in movement ... on any size, shape, or color of body.”
  • “I get a lot of feedback from classroom teachers who say, ‘I can tell these children have been with you and had dance because they are more assertive — not aggressive, but more assertive in their thinking and being able to share their thoughts.’”
  • “Dance is a good experience for children who have a hard time sitting down. Once they come to dance and burn off some of that energy, they can focus on more sequential, factual information.”
  • “Boys do like to dance. I start them off using the word ‘movement.’ Some boys are beautiful at movement. They get to explore that. Girls widen their perspective. They see that it is not just one style — dance is about what you think, what you feel, what you see.”

Monday, March 16, 2009

Dance Teachers and Director Needed....

We are searching for a preschool dance instructor in the Philadelphia suburban area; as well as western NJ area with Little People's Creative Workshop.  Our program is expanding quickly!  If you (or anyone you know) is interested---be sure to send your resume and cover letter to:  It is a great opportunity for anyone that loves dance and young children.  Don't miss out!  Pass the word.

Little People's Creative Workshop is also looking for an individual to fill a Regional Director position in the Raleigh, NC area.  Resumes need to be submitted by April 15th to:  This position oversees the program and instructs classes.  Great opportunity!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Our New Northern NY Regional Director

Welcome, Jaymie!

Jaymie Boudreau, a native of Elmira, NY, graduated with her B.A. in dance from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA. While at JMU she performed with the Virginia Repertory Dance Company and the Contemporary Dance Ensemble. Jaymie has continued her performance career in the professional outdoor drama productions of Theatre West Virginia and as a touring member of the West Virginia Dance Company. She has been a teacher and choreographer for many years and is looking forward to sharing her love of dance and theatre with children. She is excited to become a dance educator and the Northern New York Regional Director of Little People’s Creative Workshop. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Benefits of Dance in the Early Years.....


Physical Development 


 Moving safely, imaginatively and with confidence 

 Moving with bodily control, co-ordination, flexibility and balance 

 The development of spatial awareness 

 Dancing with props; developing manipulative skills 

 Experiencing a range of gross motor movements and fine motor movements 

 Keeping healthy - dance as part of a healthy lifestyle 

Creative Development 


 Communicating ideas, thoughts and feelings non-verbally through movement 

 Using the imagination to create ideas, characters and narratives 

 Making movement responses 

 Having an enjoyable, exciting and motivating time 

 Working individually, with a partner and as part of a group 

 Developing trust and co-operation 

 Selecting and using movement ideas independently and with others 

 Exploring feelings and views of self and others - including other cultures and beliefs 

 Accepting the moral code on which discipline and courtesy within the group is based 

 Interacting with a new social group 



Communication, Language and Literacy Development 


 The use of sounds, music, words, poems, rhymes, texts and stories as stimuli for, and 

   accompaniment to dance 

 The use of language to imagine and recreate roles and ideas in the dance 

 Interaction - negotiating plans and activities and developing conversational skills 

 Appreciation - talking about personal dance performance 

 Observation - talking about the dance performance of others 

 Developing a vocabulary of movemen

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Dance for Young Children Being Used in Many Powerful Ways...

Nationwide we are finding that dance for children is now being used as a method of treating social, emotional, cognitive, and physical problems. Throughout the ages, people of many cultures have used dance to express powerful emotions, tell stories, treat illness, celebrate important events, and maintain communal bonds. Dancing harnesses this power of movement in a comfortable setting and uses it to promote personal growth, health, and well-being.

Quality dance programs for children are based on the premise that the body and mind are interrelated. Many dance therapists believe that mental and emotional problems are often held in the body in the form of muscle tension and constrained movement patterns. Conversely, studies have shown that the state of the body can affect attitude and feelings, both positively and negatively.

Dance movements promote healing in a number of ways. Moving as a group brings children of all ages out of isolation, creates powerful social and emotional bonds, and generates the good feelings that come from being with others. Moving rhythmically eases muscular rigidity, diminishes anxiety, and increases energy. Moving spontaneously helps children learn to recognize and trust their impulses, and to act on or contain them as they choose. Moving creatively encourages self-expression and opens up new ways of thinking and doing.

On a purely physical level, dance provides the benefits of exercise: improved health, well-being, coordination, and muscle tone. On an emotional level, it helps children feel more joyful and confident, and allows them to explore such issues as anger, frustration, and loss that may be too difficult to explore verbally. On a mental level, dance seeks to enhance cognitive learning.

Dance has a broad range of health benefits. It has been demonstrated to be clinically effective at improving body image, self-esteem, attentiveness, and communication skills. It can also reduce stress, fears and anxieties, as well as lessen feelings of isolation, body tension, chronic pain, and depression. In addition it can enhance the functioning of the body's circulatory and respiratory systems.

Dance has also been shown to benefit adolescent and adult psychiatric patients, the learning disabled, the visually and hearing impaired, the mentally handicapped.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Your Child's Development and Dance....

Children naturally communicate through movement.  They express their fears, excitement, and all other emotions with movement.  LPCW classes for young children focuses on the following:

*  developing creativity
*  expressing emotion
*  building social skills
*  encouraging independence
*  building their self-confidence
*  stimulating mental processes
*  enhancing their physical development
*  expanding their rhythmic and body awareness

These young years are so important---and the very time to encourage these traits.  These are building blocks for the rest of their life, that will be used and needed in every arena.   So many studies have proven the benefit of dance and a child's development:  mental, physical, and emotional.  Children who have participated in dance/music/theatre from a young age score better on SAT's, have better attention spans, are creative problem-solvers, and are more well-balanced and adjusted.   These are just a few of the benefits children reap from participating in the arts.  Parents that invest in their children with these classes are making the wisest investment around!

Friday, March 6, 2009

More Benefits of Dance for Young Children:

Here is a great article by Rachel Kemp, dance teacher:

Benefits of Dance, by Rachel Kemp

Toddlers love to move, stretch and jump. Teachers can introduce kids to new ways of moving their little bodies in entertaining and constructive ways. All forms of dance, and creative movement can be very beneficial. Kids should be introduced to exercise and physical exercise as early as possible. It might take a little more money, but in the long run it can pay off. Introducing your child to dance is one of the greatest gifts you can give them.

Dance promotes discipline, coordination, memory, flexibility, strength, line, grace and stamina. Performing builds positive self-esteem and confidence, helps with other sports, and is just great fun! All kids are capable of relating and understanding basic techniques that are shown to them and demonstrated properly.

The vocabulary they learn through dance can help them express themselves through movement and naturally incorporate it into their lives. Signing your child up in dance as soon as possible can be a great thing for him/her.

As long as children can listen and stay focused, no age is too young to get them started. Of course, forcing children into any activity is never healthy. It’s important to observe how they respond.

As children get older and more serious, the length of the class and the amount of class per week may increase. Again, it might mean more running around for you, but if your child is fortunate enough to find something he or she loves to do, it’s well worth the extra time and money. My parents ran around for me 4-5 times a week to participate in many classes, I don't know how they did it, but I’m so grateful, because I am now blessed to be making a living doing what I love.

Remember the 4 D’s: DISCIPLINE, DETERMINATION, DEDICATION, DESIRE. Dance class can help your child conquer all four.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Mind and Body Benefits of Dance for Children


Dance provides youth with mind and body benefits 

By Debra Strickland 

FamilyTalk Magazine, March/April Edition 2006 


Many different types of dance classes are available for children, from modern dance, 

ballet, tap and jazz to dance that celebrates unique ethnic and cultural traditions.  What’s 

the most important thing for parents to keep in mind when choosing a dance class?  It’s 

that research has proven that dance provides physical, developmental and artistic benefits 

to your child. 


Physical Benefits - Students build muscle strength while increasing flexibility.  Young 

dancers develop a sense of balance and improve agility and coordination.  Importantly, 

children also develop body awareness and learn correct posture. 


These benefits extend beyond a student’s involvement with dance, helping youth involved 

in other disciplines, such as sports and martial arts.  Studies have shown that physical 

activity helps children relieve stress and feel relaxed.  It also is a great way to help your 

child develop a positive lifelong attitude about staying active and healthy. 


Developmental Benefits - Dance classes are fun and a great way to meet new friends.  

Young dancers develop essential social skills through interaction with other students.  

Group choreography fosters teamwork, communication, trust and cooperation.  Dance 

also has been proven to nurture important life skills, such as discipline and focus.  

Dancers naturally display confidence, self-esteem and poise.  These skills are developed 

through participating in dance performances. 


Artistic Benefits – One of the greatest benefits of dance is that it sparks a child’s 

imagination and nurtures individual creativity in a unique way.  Dance classes share the 

joy of physical self-expression in a supportive and structured setting.  This can have a 

positive impact on children who have limited physical abilities, who act out or who have a 

difficult time sitting still.  Involving children in dance also teaches the basic elements of 

creative movement, such as time, space, rhythm and design. 


While people may not be as familiar with modern dance as with ballet or jazz, modern   


dance in particular honors the creative spirit and celebrates the individual.  Modern dance 

does not simply conform to conventional movements, shapes and patterns.  Instead, it 

requires the young dancer to learn movement from the inside out, nurturing the body and 

focusing the mind.  This form of dance especially is welcoming to children of all shapes, 

sizes and genders. 


There is one final reason to get your child dancing.  Research proves there is a strong link 

between involvement in the arts and increased educational achievement.  In fact, one 

study showed that “students who participate in the arts are not only more likely to 

participate in a math and science fair, but also out-perform their peers on the SATs by 87 

points” (  These educational benefits are gained by students regardless 

of their socioeconomic status.   


There’s sure to be a dance class that fits your child’s interests and your schedule, so why 

wait?  Enroll your child in a dance class.  The lessons she or he learns will last a lifetime. 


Debra Strickland is the executive director of Wellspring/Cori Terry & Dancers, southwest 

Michigan’s only professional modern dance company.  Debra holds a Master of Public 

Administration degree from Western Michigan University and has been passionate about 

working in the arts and women’s issues for nearly a decade. 

Monday, March 2, 2009

Great Spring Opportunity.....

Classes are in full swing and with the weather we have had lately it is so important for children to get exercise!  Dance is such a healthy form of exercise for any age---and is a wonderful outlet during the turbulent, unpredictable weather that we experience in spring, when many children do not get to go out and play.  Just because there are only 3 months left in the regular season---it is not too late to register for dance.  When you register your child for dance you are giving them a wonderful gift!