Dance dates back to prehistoric times (and probably even further back), and is a part of almost every culture. It’s an activity that transcends time and place, and is valued the world over. It makes us feel good, allows us to express ourselves and is a great form of aerobic exercise whether you dance in front of the mirror for yourself, at an event with friends, or on a stage for the enjoyment of others.
Some of the best dancers in the world have been men, for example, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Michael Jackson or Fred Astaire. It’s important that we encourage our sons to dance, whether it be with friends, or in a more formal setting such as dance classes. Like any other physical activity, dance requires discipline, determination and effort.
The benefits of dance include physical aspects such as improved aerobic fitness, strength, endurance, flexibility, co-ordination and agility. There are health benefits such as improved muscle tone, heart and lung health, and a stronger skeletal system. There are mental benefits such as reduced stress and depression and increased memory and self-esteem through self-expression.
Here are five tips on how to encourage boys to dance:
1. Point out the benefits of dance
Dance need not be a formal activity for boys. Encourage them to dance at home and get them active. Point out that people admire good dancers and that they are never short of dance partners at parties. Other benefits of dance may even assist boys in sport, for example ballet can help boys with flexibility and for those that play AFL, rugby or football, it can help improve their kicking abilities.
2. Start them young
It is better for your boys to start trying out dance from a young age because they are more playful and receptive to new activities. Also, it would be best if the instructors provide play time during the lessons to keep them interested and energised.
3. Emphasise the physical and athletic aspects of dancing
You can remind your boys that dancing is not just about self-expression or performance – it also involves different physical and athletic skills to execute dance moves properly. Encourage your son to watch other dancers so that he can see and find the similarities between dancing and other physical activities like sports.
4. Introduce peers and role models
Boys are competitive in nature, so having other boys in their dance classes can keep them interested. By having other boys as company, they won’t feel alone. Also, you can help boys find role models so that they aren’t embarrassed while dancing.
Dancing is for everyone, regardless of gender. Give your boys your full guidance and support so that they may develop their dance skills and possibly turn it into a lifelong passion.
For over a hundred years Trinity Grammar School has educated boys in mind, body and spirit. Our mission is to provide a thoroughly Christian education for boys from Pre-Kindergarten to Year 12, imparting knowledge and understanding of the world we live in, and recognising the importance of spiritual qualities in every sphere of learning. We take creative and performing arts seriously and offer a wide range of programmes to suit a broad variety of needs.
Fuelled by a pastorally aware culture with exceptionally high levels of individual student attention, we aim to know, understand and nurture each student to help him realise his potential, passion and purpose in life.
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