Gross Motor Skills and Dance

Dance has always been a fun and exciting recreational activity for children of all ages. Along with the enjoyment of dancing to upbeat music and the social experience, dance is also a great way to help develop your child’s gross motor skills. Read on for 4 aspects of your child’s motor skills that can be facilitated with dance lessons and performance of any style.

4 Gross Motor Benefits to Dance:

  1. Balance-Many dance moves incorporate balancing on one leg, standing with feet right next to each other or standing with one foot in front of the other. All of these positions are challenging for your child’s balance systems, which help to strengthen her balancing abilities.
  2. Coordination-While learning to dance, your child will begin by learning different dance moves and positions. Most positions involve different placement of all 4 limbs, which requires a lot of coordination. Also, once your child learns a dance routine with multiple dance positions sequenced together, she will need to coordinate the entire routine.
  3. Strength-It should come as no surprise to anyone that dancing requires a lot of core, leg and even arm strength! All of the jumping, twirling and pliés place increased demand on your child’s muscles, and the more demand on the muscles, the stronger they will become.
  4. Knowing where one’s body is in space-This skill is also known as proprioception. In order for your child to master a dance routine, she has to be very aware of where her arms and legs are in space, as well as the position of her joints (for example, whether or not her ankle and toes are pointed or not).

Dance is a great recreational activity for children that can help to facilitate developing gross motor skills. However, if you have concerns about your child’s gross motor development, make sure to discuss them with your child’s pediatrician and physical therapist.