It’s ok for boys to dance! Some of the most influential and well-known dancers were men. Bob Fosse, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly…the list is endless. Contrary to public perception, dance class isn’t just for girls. Dance is a physical and athletic activity requiring great skill, strength, and agility. To us, it sounds like an ideal fit for energetic boys! After all, to be a dancer is to be an athlete.
Thanks to the popularity of shows such as Dancing with the Stars, more boys are taking classes than ever before. However, the majority of classes still tend to be comprised mainly of females. Males are instead encouraged to participate in more ‘masculine’ sports as an outlet for their energies. The irony is that dancing is just as physically and mentally demanding as soccer…perhaps even more of a challenge!
It is incredibly important that we begin to eliminate the perception that dancing is a ‘girls only’ activity. Schoolboys who are kept out of dance class are actually missing out on valuable life skills. Here are some of the benefits for boys of dancing…
How can dance improve discipline and study habits
Dance class requires students to follow a dance instructor’s directions and focus on new skills. Boys learn the importance of repetition and practice, as they work hard towards meeting goals. The discipline learned in class can also help boys to build study habits for school. Dancing teaches boys not only how to use their feet, but how to use their brains as well.
How dance carries yourself with respect and grace
We’ve all heard the saying “boys will be boys.” However, dancing is a great way to begin shaping boys into young men. Physically, dance improves posture, teaching boys how to stand up straight. Socially, dance class shows boys how to respect others. Following a teacher’s instructions teaches students how to respect authority. Participating in performances shows boys how to work as a team!
How does dance help with confidence and self-esteem
Dancing is not only fun, it can also cater to the competitive nature that many boys are born with. Lads feel a sense of accomplishment and pride when they master a new routine or skill. This is a great way to boost self-esteem. Learning how to move to music is very satisfying to a young boy. It provides an outlet for self-expression, leading to an improved sense of self and confidence.
How dance training can make you a better athletic performance
A little known fact is that many NFL players have cross-trained in ballet in order to improve their performance on the football field. Well-known players such as Vance Johnson and Hall-of-Famer, Lynn Swann, have credited some of their success to ballet. All of which helps demonstrate that dance is not for “feminine” boys… it is fit for manly men! Dance improves overall body fitness, including flexibility, agility, muscle tone, balance, and endurance. As an aerobic exercise, dance improves heart health allowing boys to run, jump and play for extended periods of time.
Bottom line? The benefits of dance extend far beyond the ability to leap or turn. If the young man in your life expresses an interest in dance… try it out! Whether your little boy tries out the tap, ballet, or hip-hop, he’ll have a blast while picking up a variety of life skills along the way.