Ballroom dancing ‘improves pupils’ behaviour, motivates them to exercise’

June 22nd, 2009 - 6:33 pm ICT by ANI  

London, June 22 (ANI): Ballroom dancing not only helps improve children’s behaviour but motivates them to exercise, researchers have found. An evaluation of a national dancing initiative found that kids’ attitudes to exercise changed because of the introduction of dance to PE lessons.

The Essentially Dance project, aimed to improve children’s health and fitness, also builds their confidence and improves their relationship skills.

The initiative is backed by professionals Darren Bennett and Lilia Kopylova from the television programme ‘Strictly Come Dancing’.The evaluation, conducted by Dr Jeanne Keay, Dean of Education and Dr John Spence, Head of Physical Education at Roehampton University, saw more than 2,500 students aged five to 18 learn to cha-cha-cha, waltz and jive in 29 primary and secondary schools across England.

It found that shy children’s self-esteem was boosted, and they made friends as a result of the classes.

It also revealed that less sporty children became more interested in PE and children’s behaviour improved.

Teachers credited disciplined and structured nature of ballroom and Latin dancing for the improvements in kids.

“Dance clearly has the potential to make a huge impact on all children’s learning, helping pupils learn to move and move to learn,” the Telegraph quoted Keay as saying.

“The research also found that the introduction of dance into schools through this type of scheme has the potential to positively affect social interaction within families and in local communities,” Keay added. (ANI)

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