To the layperson the immediate answer may be the physicality of dance, the fitness and agility a person may attain through the study of dance. This is most definitely an enormous benefit however it is now recognised that far greater benefits exist through the study of dance.
Noted psychologist, Howard Gardner, has recorded seven types of intelligence; logical/mathematical, linguistic, musical, spatial, bodily-kinaesthetic, interpersonal and intrapersonal. In the study of dance, all of Gardner’s intelligences are reflected. The most obvious of these is bodily kinaesthetic.
From a very early age body awareness can be developed through dance and becoming ‘body-conscious’ at an early age is a positive step toward self-acceptance that will in turn enable a child to acknowledge their inner feelings and enable them to deal with those feelings suitably. While it is readily acknowledged that dance develops kinaesthetic intelligence, it can also be seen to develop other intelligences.
Dance is the perfect medium for children to develop self-esteem and self-discipline whilst encouraging students to progress at their own pace, both physically and emotionally. Students learn to express their feelings through movement and co-operation with others in ‘group’ situations, allowing for continuing success in a non-threatening environment without the pressure of having to always ‘be the best’ as seen in many sports.
All students have the chance to become involved regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion or disability. At Ascot School of Dance this diversification is celebrated and students are given the chance to participate gaining self-confidence as they achieve individual success, control of their own bodies and consequently their own feelings.