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The Importance of Training AND Being a Good Student

One of the things I am most proud of at Platinum Dance Center is that we are a training-first studio. The importance of a quality, well-rounded dance education is at the paramount of all of the decisions I make at PDC. Teaching staff, continuing education, master classes, technique workshops, the competitions we attend and more are all factors that define our programming at the studio. Dance classes are often seen as a fun way to stay fit and express creativity, but the benefits of training in dance extend far beyond physical exercise and artistic expression. Enrolling in dance classes can significantly impact personal growth, discipline, and cognitive skills. Here are three key reasons why training in dance classes is essential: it helps you become a better student, enhances focus and discipline, and improves active listening skills that will translate to educational and professional environments later in life.

How can taking dance classes help you become a better student?

Dance classes are a unique blend of physical activity, artistry, and academic learning. They require dedication, discipline, and a willingness to learn—traits that are also vital in academic settings. Taking dance is not just about learning how to do a plie or tendu, but you are also learning how to work as a team and the science behind movement.

Dance classes provide a structured environment where students follow a curriculum, receive feedback, and are evaluated on their progress. This mirrors the academic process and helps students develop a routine and work ethic that they can transfer to their academic studies. It also teaches students how to self-evaluate and gives them self-confidence to not compare their abilities against others.

In dance, students set goals such as mastering a specific technique or skill, perfecting a group routine for competition or performing in a recital. Achieving these goals requires persistence and hard work, reinforcing the value of setting and working towards objectives—an essential skill for academic success. In order to achieve these goals, dancers learn the value of working toward a goal as a team, which includes the importance of coming to classes or rehearsals ready to work, and committing to success.

How do dance classes help teach students the importance of focus?

Focus is a critical skill in both dance and life. The nature of dance training requires intense concentration and mindfulness. As a whole, this is an area in which I am hoping to help our students at PDC improve upon. Once students get older, they naturally understand the studio environment better and are able to adapt and focus more. However, our younger students have a gap I want to help merge in their focus, as well as balancing having fun in class. Why is it so important to have focus in class?

Dance demands that students be fully present in the moment, as they need to coordinate their movements precisely with music and other dancers. Classes help with mind-body connection, which is so important to be able to manage as students go through young adulthood and grow. Having a good mind-body connection means that dancers understand the idea that a person's thoughts, feelings, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors can affect their physical health. Additionally there is a significant amount of attention-to-detail in dance: from where your foot is placed in a turn to how your fingertips are pointing in a routine. The need to be able to slow down, pay attention and apply corrections to these small things take an incredible amount of focus.

Platinum Dance Center is also a very BUSY studio! We are extremely family friendly and our lobby environment lends it to lots of socialization amongst our dance families. We LOVE this about our studio, but it creates a dynamic environment that can have a lot of distractions. From the lobby, to the studio with mirrors, music and other dancers...and then adding in phones and smart watches...the ways to be distracted at the studio are nearly endless.

Learning how to focus your mental energy in dance helps dancers train their brains to be able to apply the same focus to academic and professional successes.

In addition to all these benefits of dance listed above, dance also teaches our students to follow directions by listening to music, instructors and learning how to execute movements correctly. It also teaches them how to give and receive feedback in a positive way. Feedback on performance is something that will happen regularly in a professional world, and learning to take compliments and corrections at a young age allows our dancers to grow up and be more flexible and adaptable adults. Class also teaches dancers to work as a TEAM - a key component to being successful in any professional endeavor.

So yes, while it is fun to learn combinations and compete solos, it is extremely evident that the value of taking dance classes and training cannot be overlooked. Working on getting the most out of each and every class for you, the student, is invaluable. What are some ways that you can focus on improving each week that you are in the studio? How can you work toward being a better student, and thus, becoming a better dancer? I encourage you to reflect on these questions and come to class this week with some fresh motivation!

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