Imagine fifty 10-year olds running around the room with grass skirts made from cut-up trash bags and lei’s made from construction paper and dissected straws, asking me adorable questions like, “Are those real bird feathers?” “Do you really wear coconuts?” “Can I play with your baby guitar?” Sounds like chaos, right?
This may not be everyone’s idea of a fun afternoon, but, for me, it is heavenly. Each time I teach a children’s Hawaiian hula class, I am filled with joy over the innocent excitement of my pupils.
Why I love Teaching Dance
Introducing young children to dance is something I feel very strongly about and have a great passion for. So, when I am given the opportunity to have a room full of inquiring minds, I am in my happy place.
When I show up to teach a hula class to children, we go all out. They, not only, learn a dance, but have fun making costumes, hands-on experience and talking about the hula instruments and learning a little bit about the culture and traditions surrounding this art form. It is an interactive experience with so many lifelong benefits.
The Benefits Of Introducing Dance To Your Child
Dance brings out traits in your children they will carry with them forever; dance nurtures creativity and expression, builds motor skills central to their development, introduces culture and art, builds focus and concentration, improves coordination and offers an outlet for physical fitness, contributes to body confidence and positive self-esteem; and promotes academic excellence. If those reasons aren’t enough, dance for children is just plain fun and fosters social interaction.
Experts agree that introducing dance to children at a young age is extremely beneficial. The National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) describes dance as something that embodies one of our most primal relationships to the universe. For children, especially:
“it is pre-verbal, beginning before words can be formed. It is innate in children before they possess command over language and is evoked when thoughts or emotions are too powerful for words to contain.”
NDEO further reminds us that movement is natural for children and when they are allowed to achieve mobility to express their feelings, it is joyful and feels wonderful. Read more from NDEO here.
The idea that introducing children to dance is important and spans the globe. In a 2015 article by Lin Marsh in the UK-based Voices Magazine, song and dance are essential for children’s development.
“Preparing children for the 21st century by allowing them to communicate freely with voice, face, and body, children learn to express ideas with confidence, empathize with others from different cultures and backgrounds, and feel at home in their own skin,” Marsh says. “Song, music and dance can help children become more imaginative, self-aware and collaborative global citizens.”
Why You Should Sign Your Child Up For A Class
During the 30+ years I have been teaching hula to children, I have witnessed such amazing transformations. Girls and boys alike connect to the music and dance, becoming more emotionally mature, confident, and well-rounded.
With my own daughters, I passed down the art of the Hawaiian hula at an early age, and have witnessed them blossom into active, bright young ladies with a deep appreciation for global culture and diversity. It started with dance and they both continue to include dance in their lives.
Get your kids dancing ~ they will receive more than you can ever imagine.
About Lori Kullberg
I am a Mom of two daughters, 20 and 17, finding a passion later-in-life for flamenco dancing. My blog, Fleur de Flamenco, chronicles my struggles and joys as I learn this passionate but demanding art form and talks about my background in hula, as well as my travels to Sevilla, Spain.