straight to the pointe

At what point do we, as parents, realize that our child may need to do movement in order to grow and learn about the world around them? So many times we see the activities we enrol our children in as a necessity for exposure, experience and education. But at what stage do we connect with the fact that in order to live fully and learn, they need to express themselves through movement? Through expression. Through music.

In our busyness, we sometimes lose the beauty of the child. We expect them to function in the adult world so quickly. This week I spoke with a student at our dance school that commented on how “stressed” she was with their busyness. It wasn’t really her busyness, it was her parent’s. But she took it on as if it was her own. I quickly rerouted the conversation to talking about her favourite candy. Life was putchild-dancing back in perspective. When that student left her class that night, she seemed so joyful. As if the movement aloud the stress to trickle off her shoulders.

The dance classes we offer give children of all ages the ability to move. “Movement, physical activity, and rhythmic patterns enhance learning and understanding. Students use gestures, actions, movement patterns, songs, and dance to understand academic concepts and anchor learning. The concept is called embodied cognition. When more modalities are used in learning a concept, the information is stored in several areas of the brain so the brain has more memory pathways for retrieving the information.”(HumanKinetics.com)

If we cross reference the benefits of movement with the individual need for self expression…I think we have won a gold medal. Every student that passes through our doors seems to ‘”find” themselves in the studio and feel a connection with their body, themselves and others. They realize that without words, the world can be set straight.

Dance there upon the shore;

What need have you to care

For wind or water’s roar?

And tumble out your hair

That the salt drops have wet;

Being young you have not known

The fool’s triumph, nor yet

Love lost as soon as won,

Nor the best labourer dead

And all the sheaves to bind.

What need have you to dread

The monstrous crying of wind?

William Butler Yeats, 1914

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