Some people say that dance is just an extracurricular activity and should be treated as such. But in reality, it does so much more for students and has changed the direction I myself have gone. It not only provides leadership opportunities, interaction like no other with peers and exercise, but it has also been proven that dance improves brain function, boosts memory and has relieved a ton of stress for me.
My class started taking lessons from Mr. Roberts in 5th grade. Originally, he was only going to give our class a few lessons and teach us a few dance moves that would correspond to a vocabulary word we needed to know for a test. I thought this was the coolest way to study for a test! Even now, in 8th grade, I still remember the first lesson Mr. Roberts gave us. It was on body awareness and control. He asked my class to go into an unusual position and hold it. “Even if I try to move you, don’t leave that position!”, I remember him saying. I even remember that my friend and I went into backbends and held that position as we watch Mr. Roberts go around and try to make one of us fall out of our positions. Just that first lesson taught me self control and awareness, two things I’ve had to use a lot in middle school. Ever since that first lesson, I fell in love with dance and found out that I wasn’t the only one when my teacher was announced that Mr. Roberts would be coming back and teaching a lesson every Friday and everyone cheered! Every Friday turned out to be the best day of the week and was looked forward too just because we knew Mr. Roberts was coming. It was the best thing that happened to me, and from that I continued to dance in middle school and now I’m on Dixon’s Dance Company and Ballroom Team.
That year my class went through a lot of drama, but one place the drama could never reach was dance class. Dance was a stress reliever for our class and actually fixed a lot of problems because we didn’t have to talk to fix them, we just included them in our group for dance. 5th and 6th grade were the years I got my highest grades, which I think has to a lot with the stress-free environment dance creates. Dance didn’t have us work with a team, but required us to work as a team to reach the end. By working in teams, it provided leadership opportunities which helped me to learn how to be a leader and work with people, which is very important in most careers.
Dance is one of the things that made me choose the path I did, and I love where I’m at right now. It helped me academically by relieving stress, as well as physically by getting me up out of my chair and letting me move to express myself. Dance lets children who can’t communicate certain feelings through words, express them through dance. Dance really does so much more for students than what meets the eye, and trust me, a lot meets the eye!