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Dance Your Way to a Healthier You!


Hello there, 🙋

I hope this newsletter finds you happy and healthy. 😃

Did you know that April 29th is International Dance Day? This day was established by the International Dance Council to celebrate the importance of dance in our lives. Dancing is not just a form of art, but an activity that has been a part of human culture for centuries. It is a way of expressing ourselves, connecting with others, and improving our overall well-being. 💃

Dance is a non-verbal expression of our emotions, isn't it? This reminds me of a quote:

"The body says what words cannot" — Martha Graham.

Dancing offers numerous benefits not only for children and teenagers but also for adults and the elderly. Here are some ways in which dancing contributes to our physical and mental well-being:


  • According to research, it helps youth increase their creative capacity, constructiveness, self-esteem, and self-confidence. It also aids in reducing stress. Moreover, dancing acts as an intervention in maintaining and improving cognitive functions.

  • Based on the findings of the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), Dance Movement Therapy (DMT), a form of psychotherapy in which physical movements are used as an intervention to promote emotional and behavioral health, has been proven to decrease anxiety and depression and improve the quality of life, interpersonal relationships, and cognitive skills.

  • As per a systematic review based on 20 years of studies, dance is a convenient physical activity that people can take up as an alternative to traditional physical activity. It also indicated that dance is beneficial for children, adolescents, as well as medically compromised populations.


Enrolling your child in a dance class can be a great way to promote their physical and mental well-being. When selecting a dance class for your child, it's important to consider their interests and natural abilities. By aligning the type of dance with their passion, your child is more likely to enjoy the experience and develop a lifelong love for dancing. I have compiled a list of dance forms for you to consider:


Bharatanatyam

Bharatanatyam is a classical dance form that originated in Tamil Nadu, India. It's characterized by precise footwork, intricate hand gestures, and facial expressions. If traditional dance and precise movements interest your kid then it may be a good fit.

Credit: freepik

Benefits:

  • Improves flexibility, coordination, balance, and stamina

  • Reduces stress, improves memory, and enhances cognitive abilities.

  • Enhances creativity and artistic skills.


Do’s:

  • Warm up before practice or performance to prevent injury

  • Learn the basic steps and hand gestures (mudras) before attempting advanced movements

  • Pay attention to musicality, rhythm, and expression


Don’ts:

  • Overexert yourself or push beyond your physical limits

  • Wear inappropriate clothing or jewellery that hinders movement

  • Use inappropriate facial expressions or gestures during the performance


Kathak

Kathak is another classical dance form that originated in northern India. It's characterized by rapid footwork, spins, and storytelling through movement. If your kid is into storytelling and fast-paced footwork, they may enjoy Kathak.

Credit: Unsplash

Benefits:

  • Improves cardiovascular health, coordination, and balance

  • Develops endurance, strength, and flexibility.

  • Enhances self-confidence, self-esteem, and communication skills by connecting you with a community of like-minded dancers, musicians, and artists.


Do’s:

  • Listen to your body and take breaks as needed to prevent fatigue or injury.

  • Learn the basic steps and footwork before attempting advanced movements

  • Focus on developing good posture and alignment to improve technique


Don’ts:

  • Dance on an uneven or slippery surface to prevent falls or accidents.

  • Neglect the importance of practice and consistent training. It takes time and effort to master Kathak.

  • Eat a heavy meal or consume alcohol or drugs before dancing, as it can affect your performance and health.


Bollywood

Bollywood dance is a modern, fusion-style dance form that draws inspiration from Indian classical and folk dances as well as Western dance styles. It's characterized by upbeat music, energetic movements, and expressive hand gestures. If your kid is overcharged most of the time and enjoys energetic, fun dance styles then it may be a better option.

Credit: Dharma Productions

Benefits:

  • Provides an excellent cardiovascular workout

  • Enhances coordination, rhythm, and balance

  • Promotes emotional expression and creativity.


Do’s:

  • Focus on developing good rhythm and musicality to enhance your performance

  • Practice regularly to improve your stamina and technique

  • Wear appropriate clothing and shoes that allow for freedom of movement


Don’ts:

  • Attempt advanced movements without proper training and preparation

  • Use inappropriate language or gestures during dance performances

  • Overuse of facial expressions, which can detract from the overall performance


Hip-Hop

Hip-hop is a popular dance form that originated in the United States and is known for its energetic, rhythmic movements. It involves a lot of popping, locking, and breaking, and is often performed in hip-hop or rap music. If your kid enjoys fast-paced, high-energy dance styles they they may enjoy hip-hop.

Credit: Unsplash

Benefits:

  • Enhances cardiovascular health

  • Improves coordination, and agility

  • Promotes body awareness and self-expression.


Do’s:

  • Practice good posture and alignment to prevent injury

  • Warm up and stretch before starting any dance routine

  • Practice regularly to improve technique and stamina


Don’ts:

  • Push yourself too hard and risk injury

  • Overuse and strain your joints by practising for too long without proper rest and recovery

  • Wear inappropriate clothing that can restrict movement


Contemporary

Contemporary dance is a modern style of dance that is a blend of classical ballet and modern dance. It's characterized by fluid, expressive movements and is often used to tell a story through movement. If your kid is into exploring emotion and creativity through dance then it may be a more suitable choice.

Credit: Pexels (Photo by Yogendra Singh)

Benefits:

  • Improves flexibility, strength

  • Enhances balance, and posture

  • Promotes creative expression and emotional release


Do’s:

  • Develop a strong core and good alignment to improve technique

  • Focus on expression and musicality to enhance the emotional impact of your performance

  • Work with a partner to develop trust and connection in duet or group dances


Don’ts:

  • Ignore proper alignment and technique, which can lead to injury

  • Use exaggerated or unnatural movement that detracts from the emotional impact of the dance

  • Rely too heavily on lifts or partner work without considering safety


Jazz

Jazz dance is a fun and upbeat dance style that involves a lot of jumps, turns, and kicks. It originated in the United States in the early 20th century and is often performed in jazz music. If upbeat and energetic dance style interests your kid then they may enjoy jazz.


Benefits:

  • Develops musicality and rhythm

  • Improves coordination

  • Enhances cardiovascular fitness and flexibility.


Do’s:

  • Focus on rhythm and musicality to enhance the energy of your performance

  • Practice proper technique and alignment to improve your skills and prevent injury

  • Wear appropriate clothing that allows for freedom of movement


Don’ts:

  • Ignore proper alignment and technique, which can lead to injury

  • Overuse of arms and shoulders, which can lead to strain and injury

  • Overuse of facial expressions, which can detract from the overall performance


Tap

Tap dancing is a dance form that involves creating rhythmic sounds with your feet by wearing special shoes with metal plates on the soles. It originated in the United States in the 19th century and is often performed in jazz or swing music. If your kid is into making noise and creating rhythms with their feet then it may be a good fit.

Benefits:

  • Improves coordination and provides an excellent aerobic workout

  • Develops balance, and rhythm

  • Enhances cognitive function.


Do’s:

  • Focus on rhythm and timing to enhance your performance

  • Practice proper technique and alignment to improve your skills and prevent injury

  • Be open to improvisation and experimentation to find your personal style


Don’ts:

  • Overuse and strain your joints by practising for too long without proper rest and recovery

  • Use shoes that do not fit properly or do not have proper support

  • Overuse of arm movements, which can detract from the tapping sounds


Ballet

Ballet is a classical dance form that has been around for centuries and is known for its graceful, fluid movements. It originated in Italy in the 15th century and was later developed in France and Russia. Ballet is often performed to classical music and is a great option for your kids if they enjoy a more traditional style of dance.

Credit: Pexels (Photo by Pixabay)

Benefits:

  • Improves flexibility and posture

  • Develops balance and strength

  • Promotes graceful movement and artistic expression.


Do’s:

  • Focus on developing proper technique and alignment to improve your skills

  • Practice regularly to build strength, flexibility, and endurance

  • Wear appropriate clothing and shoes that allow for proper movement and support


Don’ts:

  • Ignore proper alignment and technique, which can lead to injury

  • Attempt advanced movements without proper training and preparation

  • Wear inappropriate clothing or shoes that restrict movement or do not provide proper support


K-Pop

K-pop dance is a popular and energetic style that features precise and synchronized movements, complex choreography, and attention to detail. It draws inspiration from various dance styles and incorporates acrobatics and large group formations. K-pop dance is not just entertainment, but also a key aspect of K-pop culture, connecting fans worldwide through a shared passion for music and dance.

Credit: Koreaboo.com

Benefits:

  • Enhances self-expression and self-esteem

  • Improves coordination

  • Develops balance and endurance


Do’s:

  • Focus on developing good rhythm and musicality to enhance your performance

  • Practice regularly to improve your stamina and technique

  • Wear appropriate clothing and shoes that allow for freedom of movement


Don’ts:

  • Attempt advanced movements without proper training and preparation

  • Use inappropriate language or gestures during dance performances

  • Overuse of facial expressions, which can detract from the overall performance


It's also important to find a dance studio or teacher who can work with your child's interests and abilities. Look for a teacher who is experienced in the type of dance your child is interested in and who has a positive, supportive teaching style. This can help your child develop their skills and passion for dance even further.


By keeping these factors in mind, you can find a dance class that's the right fit for your child and promotes their well-being. I encourage you to research local dance classes or sign up for a trial class to give your child the gift of dance.


Sending good vibes,

Bonani Gupta

Counselling Psychologist


Trumsy Corner:

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