At the tail end of spring every year, my daughter’s school spends a week rehearsing, dancing and performing for their World Dance Festival. Frankly, I wish that dance was a part of their curriculum all year long, because aside from the obvious physical benefits, it has been shown that students who are dancers are not only better, more confident students, but hey, they get higher test scores. Coincidentally, that’s one of the primary motivating factors in today’s school system, so shouldn’t more schools be looking at implementing a dance program?
The potential benefits run the physical, emotional, social and academic gamut. Here are a few factual tidbits to chew on (compiled from the a study by the National Assembly of State Art Agencies titled: “Critical Evidence: How the ARTS Benefit Student Achievement”):
In a well-documented national study using a federal database of over 25,000 middle and high school students, researchers from the University of California at Los Angeles found students with high arts involvement performed better on standardized achievement tests than students with low arts involvement. Moreover, the high arts-involved students also watched fewer hours of TV, participated in more community service and reported less boredom in school.
In an experimental research study of high school age students, those who studied dance scored higher than non-dancers on measures of creative thinking, especially in the categories of fluency, originality and abstract thought.
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