By Alyssa Tiren
Dance isn’t for everyone, or so you think! The arts, specifically dance, are an aspect typically neglected in many settings, such as public schools and senior facilities. Movement of any kind is a universal language that can be used as a form of communication. In fact, movement as a mode of expression and vocabulary is extremely valuable. Dance is an imperative art form for individuals of all ages. For example, students need to be provided with the opportunity to dive into dance starting from a young age due to the array of benefits it can have on a child’s education. Also, for adults, it is a fun, creative outlet that allows individuals to engage in a physical workout, that not only benefits their body, but also their mind. For seniors, dance strengthens interpersonal connections and gives them ownership of their own movements. Most importantly, through dance, individuals learn that they can have creative freedom, their ideas are valuable, and they can rely, trust and act upon their artistic choices.
So, you’re probably thinking, if there are so many positive factors to dance, then why aren’t all populations being provided the opportunity to dance? Unfortunately, dance is typically neglected and is not the priority in communities. Dance educators experience many barriers, such as lack of support and money when advocating for the benefits of dance through exposure and education. In fact, dance is the first thing to get cut from schools, specifically public schools, when a budget is low. However, dance (as an art form and an education tool) is necessary and important. Kinesthetic learning allows people to work through memories and information by moving. It also introduces regular physical activity in a creative, fun manner, which helps to improve coordination and gross motor skills. People who move around, rather than sit stagnant at a desk, tend to absorb content better and faster.
Through dance, people are able to learn about one another, connect with each other, and create community. Dance as an art form is vibrant, while also being inclusive, which makes it suitable for everyone of all ages. Anyone can be a dancer; it is not a selective league of individuals with a certain level of “talent” or “body image” or “physical capability.” Dancing includes everything, even everyday movements such as fidgeting in a chair or walking up steps. It is empowering for people of all ages to be informed and truly take part in dance.
I am honored to be involved with ARTS By The People because they strive to make the arts accessible to the community. I am dedicated to my craft of dance and to bring it to as many people as possible. People of all ages, backgrounds, and socioeconomic statuses should be provided with the opportunity to learn movement as a form of expression. The most important message I’d love to spread is that dance is for everyone!
(Photo credit: Eliza Glovin)