By Michelle Rodriguez, Groove Contributor
For nearly ten years, Design Dance, parent of The Groove, has shared the joy of dance to children on a weekly basis in the Chicago-land area. Through after-school dance programs and classes, we have experienced the positive impact mindful movement has on children's social and emotional development and confidence. We aren't the only ones who can attest that children who move and participate in these kinds of activities grow socially and emotionally.
It's no myth that early stages in childhood play a significant role in long-term behavior and emotions. Professor Cathy Main is an early childhood education expert who lectures at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She understands how important it is to emphasize social and emotional growth from birth to age five.
Recent studies have gone beyond how children benefit from activities they do on their own and have explored how parent engagement in these activities can enhance social and emotional development.
"[Ages] birth to five is that big area where the combination of developmental biology and neuroscience has helped us understand. We've been able to do brain imagery and see what was happening to the brain during that period," says Main. "Now, we know how critical ages birth to five are because the brain is developing in very rapid and fundamental ways."
Main indicates that the more experiences you give to children, the more likely they will have healthy brain development. Furthermore, recent studies have gone beyond how children benefit from activities they do on their own and have explored how parent engagement in these activities can enhance social and emotional development. While providing children with a diverse background in extracurricular activities is necessary for healthy growth, children benefit when parents are also engaged. When parents are involved and initiate an action associated with early stages of learning, such as movement, a child's can grow socially and emotionally.
Activities that require movement at a young age are particularly curious since there is a connection between the first moments of learning and physical movement. From our experience, we have seen how dance positively influences emotional development, social skills, and self-awareness. Now, it is our goal to bring dance to not just students but families who welcome the prospect of connectivity and foster emotional and social growth.
We hope to bring guided family activities to the comforts of your home that will foster creativity and confidence during your child's crucial developmental periods. To learn how 15 minutes of dance per month can bring joy, calm, and empowerment to your home click here.