Teachers, don’t underestimate your influence! We knew it, but now science confirms it: dance can make a real, measurable difference in young girls’ health, particularly when it comes to their emotional wellbeing.
In a recent study, 112 girls aged 13 to 18 who had visited their school nurse with psychosomatic aches and pains and tiredness took 8 months of dance classes. Those taking dance classes reported significantly reduced stress and psychosomatic symptoms, contributing to self-reported physical health improvements of up to 62%. What’s more, over 90% of the participants rated dance class an a positive experience.
Researchers credit dance class for the improvements, theorizing it could be the benefits of escaping the demands and pressures of school, or the feeling of involvement and worth that comes from contributing to choreography and music choices or even simply the social benefits of being with other dancers in class. We have a feeling it’s all of the above.
Photo: American Ballet Theatre’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School principal Franco De Vita working with a student, by Rosalie O’Connor