Dance as a Subject in School
By Shiamak Davar, Artistic Director and Founder, Shiamak’s Dance Education
Children at school are more receptive to the process of learning and using dance as a medium of physical activity and creative medium. It has now been taken seriously as a viable career opportunity and not just a hobby. Today dance is considered an important part of the career as any other subject in the school due to its various other benefits.
The aim to implement dance as an additional subject is to provide quality dance education in India through a well-structured syllabus, inculcating correct technique and providing wholesome training to students of all ages.
This program has now helped students in overall developments mentioned below –
Collaborative and Cooperative Teamwork
Dance as an art form incorporates a lot of collaborative and team effort to put up a performance. Practicing dance in daily routine will improve the coordination, enhance teamwork, and co-operation which is essential and focused on the growth of students.
Building a sense of team spirit
Dance as a part of the curriculum initiates collaborative effort, coordination, and co-operative teamwork between classmates/students. With stage based choreography, students are required to work as a collective unit which helps them understand each other better and trust each other. This creates a sense of a positive community where everyone grows together
Dance as an art form is ever-evolving. There are multiple styles of dance and within each style, there are various techniques. This keeps the minds of students continuously involved and curious. Every class there is something new to learn and experience. It constantly keeps their minds engaged, the body active and their spirit searching for something more. This develops the curiosity to grab more knowledge and master it.
Positively Channelize Energy
Using dance as a medium of physical activity and creative medium, dance as a part of curriculum/education aims at channelizing their energy in a resourceful manner. This is where the art of dance and the performing arts help develop skills, knowledge, and understanding. Dance is a holistic activity for the mind, body and soul. It aligns all these, and the participants are then more aware of their strengths and weaknesses allowing them to identify them and work on them.
Developing Curiosity in Young Minds
Through dance, participants become more aware of their strengths and weaknesses giving them an opportunity to work on them. While some may be better at remembering choreography, others may perform it better. So they progressively work not only to strengthen their mental capacity, but their physical ability to interpret the movements as well. This is where the art of dance and the performing arts help develop skills, knowledge, and understanding.
Overall Personality Development
In times when technology and social media take most everyone’s time, dance is a great hobby where one can learn, enjoy and work out at the same time. Each class targets skillful progression to improve fitness levels, confidence, focus, concentration, team spirit, positive thinking, discipline, all-round development, posture, and body language. Participants are encouraged to learn in a healthy environment where no one is judged. My motto has always been “Have Feet. Will Dance.”, therefore each student is given equal attention and the entire group grows together.
Dance is a great way to release energy, shed inhibitions and let out emotions. When you dance you sweat, and you release ‘feel-good’ endorphins that make you happy. Good music, good dancing is a great way to be in a happy state of mind. Music in itself is therapeutic. Dance is a physical interpretation of what the music says. Good music, good dancing is a great way to be in a happy state of mind. The teaching pattern is interactive and communicative ensuring that the learning process is fun and stress-free.
Quick Grasping Power
Dance reduces stress and helps one in releasing emotions. Dancing improves mental health and memory as it empowers the art of remembering. You know it is difficult to remember the whole choreography hence continuous practice is key.
Giving equal importance
Giving it equal importance as other subjects not only helps them develop their personality but also opens up opportunities to make dance their profession. Whether as a performer, dance instructor, choreographer or entrepreneur in the field of the performing arts; there are a plethora of opportunities. Being a first-hand witness through the transitional phase of western dance in India, the last thirty years have been a revolution of sorts. There is a progression in one’s ability to grasp choreography, understand movement and realizing the positive impact it has on your personality that one can only achieve by making it a part of a regular curriculum.
Parents often tell us that their children show an improvement in their academics because of the dance classes. The reason behind this is primarily that their focus increases as they have something to look forward to, they get to do what they like and enjoy. Also, many students who are introverts get a platform to express themselves and their personality develops through these classes. Not only do they learn to dance, engage in physical activity but also experience something that highlights their spirit.