Learning the mastery of bodily movement through dance provides children with an opportunity to express themselves emotionally too. Every child is able to freely express the full range of emotions physically: jumping for joy, bouncing in excitement, trembling for fear, etc. But as it reaches adolescence, it tends to suppress such natural and spontaneous reactions for a variety of reasons. Dance, as another way to articulate one's moods or sentiments, allows the young to overcome their inhibitions and to literally "move on." All evidence suggests that movement of this kind can positively influence the physical and intellectual development of children through their early teens.
"Dance inspires, challenges and excites – it plays a unique role in young people’s lives and their development.
Youth Dance England
There is more to getting young people into dance than what some motion picture plots might suggest. From the pioneering efforts by dedicated dance teachers evolved more methodical approaches. "The Dancing Classrooms" - an ambitious project launched by former DanceSport champion Pierre Dulaine whose work with inner city kids in New York was made into "Take the Lead" - were among the very first ones.
Today, successful youth dance programmes are being implemented in many countries around the world. Youth Dance England (YDE) is one of the most ambitious programmes in terms of mission and scope. YDE’s aim is to increase dance opportunities for all children and young people on a national scale both in and out of school settings.
Children and young people up to 19 years (24 years for disabled young people) are targeted with a wide range of dance experiences available at schools (including alternative educational establishments such as short-stay schools, young offender institutions and hospital schools), and with high-profile promotional campaigns delivered through different sports, dance, arts and youth organisations.
You are still asking ... YDE provides more answers in its publications.
"Dance uses the kinaesthetic mode (bodily movement) with imagination, thus making a unique contribution to the education of young people."
"There is a dance genre to attract most people to take part. As the second most popular physical activity to football, dance plays an important role in helping young people achieve and sustain physical health and as such can also help tackle issues of obesity and other health problems."
"Participation in dance can break down social and cultural barriers and improve communications between individuals and groups."