The world of dance is extremely diverse. There are many types of dance, each with specific influences and characteristics. But one type of dance combines them all: creative dance. Although it seems a descriptive construction, it is a style in itself which combines technical skills with free expression of the self, in unique choreographies.
Practised by children, it opens their creative horizons and shapes the way they look at themselves and the world around them. Here’s how:
- Philosophy of life. Although they look like little people, children form opinions and philosophies of life from an early age. Through creative dance, they combine dance steps from various styles with their ideas, thus creating their own choreography in their own style. It is a powerful metaphor through which the child understands that we are the product of many influences that we transform, creating our own path.
- The four elements. Creative dance is based on space, time, force and body. In classes, children learn to use everything so as to give consistency to their choreography. This stimulates their creativity, imagination, and critical thinking, and shows them in a creative way how to give feedback and work together, as a team, in diversity, through acceptance and without judgment or criticism that leaves a painful imprint on the psyche. They get to see in all the surrounding elements, development opportunities and solutions that could inspire their dance life. Future careers are based on the discoveries and interests of childhood.
- Dancing like a game. An environment free from the pressure of competition is conducive to the development of creativity. As they explore in a relaxed environment, children become aware of their body and muscles, and coordinate themselves and discover new ways to express with their body. In a team, they learn to find support in others for more complex moves and not opponents they have to defeat.
- Let’s talk about dance. What is not to be ignored at all is the aspect of communication, or ‘verbal processing’. Creative dance sessions also involve discussions in which children talk about their choreography, their creative process, what they felt and what they want to express through what they propose. In this way they develop the ability to explain their choices, make connections between movement and emotion, see the big picture and express their emotions in front of others, which will help them later in life. We talk about difficulties, shame, inspiration, blockages and how we overcome them individually and together. We learn and inspire each other.
- Practiced improvisation. Someone said that spontaneity is a studied ability. Very true, and when the practice starts in childhood, the chances of developing a brilliant type of sparkle become higher. The choreographies prepared by children mostly involve improvisation, which makes their decisions regarding the steps natural and instinctive. Thus they live in the moment, becoming aware of the way their body chooses to make shapes that express sensations, emotions, and feelings.
The integration of creative dance in the child’s activities can help him to discover and look at daily activities from a different perspective, as shown by this study by Aristotle University in Greece. In addition to releasing the energy they have, children create dance roles, scenarios, a new world and a style they decide for themselves. In the rigors of everyday life, through dance they can be free.
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