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Mental Health

How Kids Can Learn to Stretch before Every Dance Class

Child Stretching

Stretching goes hand in hand with the art of dancing. All dancers need to stretch before their class as it helps their body loosen up. Of the many benefits that stretching has to offer, flexibility is perhaps the most prominent one.

Stretching can also repair muscles and help children develop strong techniques. Since the bones and muscles of children are growing and developing constantly, stretching can help strengthen them. In other words, stretching is something that you should encourage your kids to do before each dance class.

6 Stretching Exercise You Should Do Before Every Dance Class

In this article, we present to you the top six ways or methods your child can learn to stretch before every dance class.

1. Side Stretch

You start by lifting your arms above your head and bending to one side slowly. Spend 10 to 15 seconds there and come back to the original pose. Now repeat the process with the other side. Do this for 5 rounds on both sides alternately. This exercise is good for stretching the muscles between your ribs.

2. Hamstring Stretch

You start this exercise by sitting on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Extend your arms forward towards your feet as far as you can. Your waist will be bending, too, as you reach forward. Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds.  You relax into the original starting pose.

3. Neck Stretch

You can carry out the neck stretch into one of the three ways

  • By touching the chin to each shoulder
  • By touching the ear to both shoulders
  • move the head backward and forwards

Each stretch needs to be slow. Whichever method you decide to go for, hold it for 5 seconds on each side.

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4. Arm Stretch

Use one arm to hold the back of the other arm just above the elbow and gently pull the arm that you are holding across your body until you feel a good stretch. Hold the pose for about 10 seconds on both sides.

5. Calf Stretch

Stand facing a wall approx. Two feet away, and place both your hands at shoulder height on the wall. Keep one knee straight and step towards the wall. You will feel a stretch in the calf of your straight leg. Do this with both legs and hold the position for a minimum of 5 seconds on both sides.

6. Upper body Stretch

The upper body or the triceps stretch is an easy exercise. Raise one hand above your hand with the palm touching in the back of your head. Further, increase the bend of the elbow so that the tips of your fingers touch the middle of your upper back. Hold the stretch for 5 to 10 seconds, switch arms, and repeat.

Aside from these, we also have other forms of simple stretches that strengthen all the right muscles in the growing body of a child. These include quadriceps, leg or lower back, shoulder, arms, and ankles stretches of warm-ups. In other words, there is no shortage of stretching exercises out there.

Stretching before their dance class can help install a permanent healthy lifestyle in your kids from the beginning. Now, isn’t that something every parent wants?

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Where’s Mummy! How to Reduce Separation Anxiety During Your Child’s Dance Class

While some children participate in their dance class with a smile on their faces, others might face some problems. Having separation anxiety during classes is entirely normal, and no reason to panic. Please remember that you neither alone nor the first parent to have a child got through separation anxiety, but it is something that you can overcome.

In this article, we present to you the top 4tips that can help you and your kid along the process of transition and make the duration of the class a bit easier.

4 Tips to Overcome Separation Anxiety during Class


1. Hear Them Out

Getting your child talking and actually hearing them out almost always end constructively. Regardless of the duration of the dance class, it is better to hear what your kids have to say. You need to calmly address all their concerns and let them know if their fears are validated or not. If you notice your child is winding up, it is better to have them calmed down first and then explain that it’s just for a short while. Once the kids actually start to participate in the exercises, stretching, or other activities of the class, it will become much easier for them to relax and enjoy themselves.

2. Meet Up With Their Dance Teacher

We say this once again; you are not alone in this. When dealing with the challenges of separation anxiety, do not forget your greatest asset, the class teacher. The teachers have usually dealt with kids like these a lot and know how to handle them. Most teachers are also trained in various techniques to entertain or capture the attention of the child in such a way that it gets the students involved and participating. Getting a teacher to help you out smoothens the transition further. 

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3. Get to the Class Early

Getting to the dance class early helps your kid develop familiarity with their surrounding in your presence. It clams them down. When it comes to leaving, once again talking to them, hearing and addressing their fears helps them out greatly. If your child has a habit of clinging to you and you arrive on time or late, you will be leaving a crying and anxious child behind in a setting he is not familiar with or comfortable with.

4. Socialise your Children 

Besides teachers, other students can also help your kid adjust better in class. Most children are shy and uncomfortable in talking to new people, but these fears lessen when they are of almost the same age. You can try introducing them to other students and have them work together. If your child can form a friendship in class, they will most likely be very eager to attend each class, and the goodbye process will become a lot easier.

To sum it up, separation anxiety is a real thing, but with proper patience and techniques, you can easily overcome this. All parents want their children to have an enjoyable and tension-free time in their class.

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Physical and Mental Advantages of Dance for Kids

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Studying dance helps in maintaining a healthy and balanced life. Dancing is a fun way to exercise, which can yield many benefits

Benefits include such things as reducing cholesterol, boosting healthy cholesterol levels, and lowering blood pressure. Here are some physical and mental benefits of dance for kids:

Physical Benefits of Dance for Kids


Maintaining Your Child’s Stamina and Posture

Children love physical activity, and dancing is one of the activities that require boundless energy. Dancing will not only help your children in releasing energy, but also increase their physical strength, range of motion, flexibility, and overall stamina.

The repetitive and consistent movement of the body will improve your child’s coordination, balance, posture, muscle tone, and overall cardiovascular health. Dance is an extreme form of aerobic exercise that keeps your children physically strong throughout their lives.

Keeping Your Child’s Body Active

Taking dance classes helps your children in positive and healthy physical growth, as they are regularly moving their complete body and exercising. If we compare it to other sports, both sides of the body get proper movement when you dance.

For instance, if your children are taking ballet classes, they will focus on both sides of their bodies and not just the dominant side. Dance requires excellent focus. The reason why dancing is challenging to master is that it requires proper form and steps. Following proper formations helps dancers avoid injuries and any other bad habits related to their fitness.

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Mental Benefits of Dance for Kids

Growing Your Child’s Brain Activity

According to recent research, dancing activity activates the areas that your sensorimotor stimuli stimulate while performing functions, such as touching, talking, and hearing. This means that major parts of your neural system and brain are involved when you dance. (Source)

The adjustments that your children’s brains make to replicate various complicated moves in perfect synchronization to the rhythm are a proper workout for their brains.

Building your Child’s Memory and Coordination Skills

As your children learn to dance, their brains are training with muscles replicating the dance moves. This improves the recall capabilities of your children and their memory, as their brains will memorize all those dance moves even after they grow. The more they retrieve and consolidate the information related to these moves, the better they become in memorising other relevant information in their lives.

Calming and Relieving Your Child of Stress

Our body relates dancing with pleasure. It is a form of expressing yourself, celebrating, and sometimes a part of the ritual. As a result of dancing, your body releases endorphins, an enzyme that helps in reducing pain and stress. Your children will feel a calm in their brains and nerves when they dance, creating a perfect mental state.

Conclusion

Dancing is a way of exercising while having fun. That is double the impact because you are combining physical activity with a brain-boosting one. This reduces your children’s chances of developing various health problems. If you want your children to grow healthy and active, encourage them to join dance classes.

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How Dancing Can Support Mental Health

Mental Health Dancing

Whether you are just beginning dancing classes or you have spent many years teaching and learning dance, it can always support your mental health. Whilst many people will look towards dance as a way to get fit and improve your body and strength, dance should always be considered if you need support with mental health.

Lil Beatz offer dance classes for young children aged from 2-6. We aim to improve all children’s dancing skills, whilst supporting them with any physical or mental challenges they face. With mental health awareness week taking place between 13th-19th May, it is important for everyone to talk about mental health.
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Body Positivity

No matter what age you are, it is too easy to be unhappy with your body and receive negative comments. Dancing is one of the best exercises which can inspire body positivity whilst improving your fitness and appearance. Even from a young age, this can be pivotal in improving mental health. Furthermore, this should give yourself a good impression of your own body and how you feel.

Body image is not seen as too important for young children. However, problems such as obesity can continue in later life if it develops from a young age. To give your children the best possible upbringing, exercise is essential. This should help with their body image when they get into teen years and you must try to keep them fit and in shape from a young age.

There are a range of dance styles, from hip hop and street dance all the way to Zumba. Lil Beatz want to give young children a fantastic opportunity to enjoy street dance, however, any age group can massively benefit from dance classes. If you are not happy with your current appearance, dancing is one of the best ways to get yourself fit.

Improving Mood & Lowering Stress

Away from your body image, street dance can also help with many other aspects of mental health. Stress is one of the biggest issues and again, whilst this isn’t a massive problem for young children, dance classes can help lower stress and give many kids a hobby they love to take part in. If you think your child seems down or is not enjoying their time at school, our dance classes offer the perfect solution.

Just one of our classes can always help lift the mood among toddlers and young children, with upbeat and energetic classes to keep everyone active. There has always been a positive correlation between mental health and dance, with a 2007 study finding that hip hop dance can lower stress the same way aerobic exercise would. This makes it a fantastic option for anyone struggling to cope with the stress of day to day life.

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Creating Friendships

Creating friendships can go a long way to help young children with any mental health issues they could encounter in early life. Friendships are a massive part of your childhood and loneliness can really give children a problem, as well as creating social anxiety which could cause problems later on in life.

By creating friendships from a young age, this should tackle any anxiety issues and help build the confidence of all individuals. Dance classes are a fantastic way to do this, with all children having a shared interest in dance and enjoying the hobby together. This makes it much easier for children to make friends as everyone is interacting with each other through our dancing activities and routines.

Preventing Depression

Most importantly, our dance classes are really fun and should be enjoyable for all children. This can help combat any fears of depression as we try to keep all children entertained, allowing them to have a fantastic time at all our street dance classes.

Preventing depression is important and by keeping fit and making friendships at dance classes, this is always made much easier. Additionally, with fun activities and routines, every class is exciting for our Lil dancers, who should have a great time.

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If you are interested in signing up for our street dance classes, get in touch with Lil Beatz today. We can talk you through all the classes we have available and book you in for your first class! Call us today on 0333 335 5034 or fill in our contact form to make an enquiry. Alternatively, you can visit our Facebook pages for a fast response. We offer our dance classes across Wythenshawe, Southport and Blackpool.

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