The Importance of Dance
by Philip Reece (Dancehub)
Being a dancer is a gift to those that witness their passion, share their belief, endure their pain, feel their sorrow and celebrate their achievements. In today’s competitive world of dance we often lose sight of the ‘real picture’ and tend to focus on ‘winning at all costs’.
Ask yourself what are those costs! Sure there are entry fees, costumes, choreographer fees – as parents we all bear those costs. But what about the impact it is having on their psyche! The majority of their morals, ethics and beliefs are learned from their parents.
Your child should never be put under pressure to win. Instead they should be encouraged, supported and mentored in a way that ensures your dancer is ‘humble’ and giving at all times. We often term this as being a ‘good sport’. I see so many dance parents push their children to extreme lengths to win a $5 trophy that means little when it comes to the commercial world of dance.
I’m not saying that competitions and eisteddfods are bad. In fact, I really support them. I think they offer great value to dancers. It teaches them partnership, working in groups, stage presence and gives them stage time which is valuable. It’s a great opportunity to see what it takes to run a production from a business point of view too.
Ask yourself these question and be honest with yourself:
What could I have said today to make my son or daughter less stressed before the competition?
Do I really believe that winning 10 trophies today will get my son or daughter into a dance company?
How will I react if they forget their routine or simply ‘don’t feel like dancing’?
Kids minds are sponges and they absorb your every frown, word, scowl and smile. How you react today will leave an indelible mark on them so show them you support them and love them, win or lose. Neorologist, Harold Chungai from Hong Kong uncovered these scientific facts which I thought I’d share with you.
He said, “By age 4, for instance, the cortex begins operating at adult activity levels. By 4, a child’s brain is more than twice as active as an adult’s. The brain continues to consume glucose at this feverish pitch through age 10 and then slows down until age 16, when it levels off at adult values.”
The term “Kids minds are like sponges” is very accurate.
What is the importance of dance?
In my eyes, the importance of dance lies with the dancer. If they are truly happy and they feel comfortable expressing themselves on the stage, then they have already won. For some children, dance is a means to communicate their feel or hidden feelings. In competitions, I don’t see winners and losers. I see dancers with passion and love for their artform. That’s the importance of dance. Embrace it.
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