We went to Stella’s first dance recital on Tuesday. Thankfully it wasn’t actually a dance recital. It was simply a chance for parents to sit in and watch a somewhat typical class. I think a dance recital for three year olds is somewhat cruel. Kind of like a spelling bee for the mentally challenged.
I was amazed though by what Stella learned. I’d always wanted my kids to take dance, because I feel like it’s something that’s much harder to pick up later in life. At UT I did a few dance related pieces and auditions. From talking to fellow auditioners, even people who had just a couple of years of dance as kids could generally pick up choreography about 10 times faster than I could. Which I don’t think is completely the lack of dance training’s fault. I’m a large force of nature that can’t always change direction on a dime (or a ball-change).
So I wanted Stella to take dance.
But what I didn’t count on, and why I think everyone should put their kid in dance, is that beyond the above reason is the focus and discipline. This was not some sort of old-school ballet class where you get kicked for talking or not being good enough. But it was very much about focus and discipline. A lot of time was spent making sure the kids were all where they were supposed to be and focused on what they were going to do next. It was fascinating to me as compared to organized sports. Sports are like dance in that they get rid of excess energy and teach cooperation and coordination. But I don’t think they’re good at teaching focus. I was never given tools for when I needed to stay focused out there in left field, and when I could goof off (and thus I pretty much always goofed off).
All in all, I was very impressed. Get your kids in dance. You’ll be really happy you did.