Why Dance ClassesMore Australian children are dancing and engaging [...]

Why Dance Classes

More Australian children are dancing and engaging in martial arts – but less are playing netball and tennis – according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
“Between 2003 and 2012, children’s participation has increased by 27 per cent for dancing.” 

“Contributing to the increasing popularity of dancing was a rise in participation among children aged five to eight years, with participation increasing from 27 per cent to 32 per cent for girls

Television shows had made dancing a more acceptable choice for boys, who mostly favour hip hop and funk dance while girls choose contemporary and more recent styles over classical ballet.

Kids love to be active. Making physical activity a part of their daily routine is not only fun, but also healthy. Physical activity is important for healthy growth and development. It is also a great way for kids to make friends and learn physical and social skills.
Encouraging kids to be active when they are young also establishes a routine that could stay with them throughout their life.

If you are a parent or carer of a young child, the two points to remember are:
* Children need at least 60 minutes (and up to several hours) of moderate to vigorous physical activity
every day.
* Children should not spend more than two hours a day using electronic media for entertainment (e.g. computer games,TV, Internet), particularly during daylight hours.

Why is physical activity important?

Children between 5 and 12 years of age greatly benefit from being physically active. It can:
* Promote healthy growth and development.
* Build strong bones and muscles.
* Improve balance and develop skills.
* Maintain and develop flexibility.
* Help achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
* Improve cardiovascular fitness.
* Help relaxation.
* Improve posture.
* Provide opportunities to make friends.
* Improve self-esteem.

How much is enough?

Kids need to do a minimum of 60 minutes of physical activity every day. But remember, more is better – even up to several hours! This can be built up throughout the day with a combination of moderate to vigorous activities.

What type of activity is recommended?

More vigorous activities will make kids “huff and puff”  like ballet, running and swimming laps.

Most importantly, kids need the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities that are fun and suit their interests, skills and abilities.

Variety will also offer your child a range of health benefits, experiences and challenges. Remember, any activity that sees your child expend energy is good!

What about skill learning? Kids gain valuable experience and can learn skills such as running, throwing, jumping, catching and kicking, by participating in a variety of physical activities.

‘excerpts from ABS report’


The other night someone asked me “Why do you pay so much money for your girls to dance?” Well I have a confession to make, I don’t pay for dance. Personally, I couldn’t care less about dance. I grew up in a family of 4 boys and no girls. The “Nutcracker” was something you did on a dare off of the high dive at the pool or something you unpleasantly surprised your brother with. Up until the day I met my wife if I were asked to go to Swan Lake I would have asked if we were water skiing or fishing.

So if I am not paying for dance what am I paying for?

I pay for those moments when my daughters become so tired they want to quit but don’t.

I pay for those days when my daughters come home from school and are “too tired” to go dance but go anyway.

I pay for my daughters to learn to be graceful.

I pay for my daughters to learn to take care of their body.

I pay for my daughters to learn to work with others and to be good team mates.

I pay for my daughters to learn to deal with disappointment, when they don’t get that part they hoped for, but still have to work hard at the part that they received.

I pay for my daughters learn to make and accomplish goals.

I pay for my daughters to learn that it takes hours and hours and hours and hours of hard work and practice to create something beautiful, and that success does not happen over night.

I pay for the opportunity my daughters have and will have to make life-long friendships.

I pay so that my daughters can be on stage instead of in front of a screen…

I could go on but to be short, I don’t pay for dance, I pay for the opportunities that dance provides my daughters to develop attributes that will serve them well throughout their lives and give them the opportunity to bless the lives of others. From what I have seen so far I think it is a great investment!

I am sure that other parents get similar questions. “Why do you pay for competitive baseball?” “Why do you pay for Quarterback training?” “Why do you pay for club soccer?” “Why does your kid swim year round?”…. I just think it is important to realize what we are really paying for.

By Shad Martin