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American Dance Therapy Association

10632 Little Patuxent Parkway, Ste 108, Columbia, MD 21044 410-997-4040 www.adta.org Exit Disclaimer

Dance & Movement Build Healthy Development and Learning

Children are natural movers! They grow, develop thinking and communication skills, and build self-confidence and close bonds with parents - all through movement. Dance turns simple movements into self expression, communication, and fun.

Dance & Movement Help Children:
  • Grow physically strong and healthy muscles and bones
  • Develop thinking and communication skills as they explore and interact with the world around them
  • Build self-confidence and a positive body image so they feel competent, physically and emotionally
  • Practice social skills, healthy body boundaries, and improve impulse control
  • Develop close attachments with parents
Parents, caregivers, and teachers can bring dance and movement into children's lives in simple ways!

Play at your child's level: on the floor! You don't need a lot of toys for movement play. Try "bridges and tunnels"! You can make a bridge with your body and your young child can crawl under. Then try it the other way around! Children learn problem-solving skills as they try different actions¬óclimbing up, over, in, or through.

Start a new family tradition: After dinner dancing! Each night one member of the family gets to pick the song, and then...everybody up! Dance through one whole song together. There's always time for one dance before homework and bedtime and doing the dishes. Dance is a way we express ourselves! Try out others' facial expressions, rhythms, and body movements just for fun - it helps us connect with others. Sharing the joy of movement helps everyone build close bonds!

Shy? Need help getting started? Play Dance Dance Revolution or use a dance video to get you going! Children are natural dancers - at one time all adults were too! It's ok to start small, for example, moving just your feet at first and then adding your arms. Rediscover the joy of moving and dancing.

Thanks to dance/movement therapists Dr. Sherry Goodill, BC-DMT; Dr. Suzi Tortora, BC-DMT; Susan Loman, BC-DMT; & Robyne Davis, BC-DMT for material included in these tips! Go to www.adta.org Exit Disclaimer for more information.

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