How Does Dance Improve Cognitive Development
During the children’s early years, much of their brain architecture is being formed (but there are still opportunities in their later years). As a result, it’s crucial for children to gain a variety of learning experiences.
Dancing and cognitive development
One such experience is about learning how to dance. That’s because dancing has several neurological effects that help children with their overall development. These effects are highly similar to being engaged in exercise, play and other physical activities.
Dancing though is much more complex as it requires coordination of several movements, awareness of space and synchronicity with the rhythm and the group (if it’s a group performance). Several regions of the brain are required for learning how to dance and in the actual performance. For example, the cerebellum helps in planning fine motor actions while the basal ganglia works with a few other brain regions in coordinating movement. The somatosensory cortex also plays a role especially in eye-hand coordination and motor control.
With this high level of coordination and brain activity required, the children’s brains will be continuously engaged during dance classes and performances. This will be crucial not just in their cognitive development, but also in their overall physical development because dancing requires several movements and physical activity.
Dance classes and performances also help with the children’s social and emotional development. It’s especially the case in dance performances in front of a live audience. They will start to feel comfortable and confident in front of a crowd. During classes, they will get to make new friends and learn how to interact with other children with different ages and coming from different backgrounds.
In other words, dancing goes beyond helping children with their cognitive development. After all, proper development is an integrated and interdependent process where cognitive, physical, social and emotional progress all play a role and that each one actually helps the other. In dancing, children also gain valuable experiences both during the classes and performances.