is a local youth arts program offered by the Youth Development
Program of Family & Community Services, Inc in Portage County,
Ohio. In 2007, Arts Alive! was started as a summer program for
teenagers enrolled in the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) youth services
program. There were less than 10 youth attending at that time. Since then, Arts Alive!
has expanded to serve over 200 youth in the visual, literary and
performing arts. Arts Alive! website Family & Community Services website
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Fun on the Ice
The Children’s Museum is the only institution
Cleveland completely dedicated to the overall development of children, ages
birth to eight years, through family learning. website
Franklin School of Dance located at 152 N. Water Street
Kent, Ohio 44240
photo by Kristen Milius/Courtesy of Franklin School of Dance Encouraging Activity
by Courtney Watt
These days, there is no shortage of after-school recreational options available for children here in Kent. But few offer the unique and long-lasting benefits of dance instruction.
Whether pursuing traditional dance forms like ballet, pointe, jazz and tap, or more modern styles like hip-hop, contemporary and cheer dance, students of all ages can gain invaluable physical and mental skills that they can carry throughout their lives – while having fun in the process. Because dance promotes fitness while contributing to general well being, it’s an excellent activity to begin at a young age and to hold onto throughout one’s life.
Here’s a look at some notable benefits of dance education: Increasing flexibility and strength
Dancing stealthily provides a full-body workout for young and old alike. While students are focusing on moving to music, their bodies are building strength and growing more limber. Most dance classes begin with stretching exercises to encourage full range of motion for major muscle groups, and the activity of dancing itself requires the body to bend and stretch – increasing flexibility in the process. By forcing muscles to resist against a dancer’s own body weight, dancing makes bodies stronger at the same time. Boosting mental and physical endurance
Physical exercise builds endurance. By working through dance routines, muscles are trained to work harder and longer with less fatigue. Dancing doesn’t just exercise the body though – it also exercises the mind. Like playing a musical instrument, choreographed routines can help to develop pattern recognition, improve memory skills and more. Building self-esteem and confidence
Studies have shown that having strong social ties and playing with friends lead children to develop a more positive outlook on life. Dance classes provide opportunities to meet other people and socialize in an encouraging environment. And in group classes, students learn to work with others toward a common goal. This socialization also helps to build self-esteem, as does the sense of achievement that comes with developing a skill and performing in front of an audience. Developing coordination and sense of rhythm
Dancing stimulates growth of individuals’ motor skills and sense of rhythm. While some people can appear well coordinated by nature, others may need a little more assistance and practice. And that’s okay! A good instructor takes the time and effort to help students improve their capacity to feel music and exert body control gracefully. Having fun
Last but certainly not least, dance classes give children and adults alike an opportunity to let loose, grow more comfortable in their own skin and simply have a good time while making new friends that can last a lifetime. Fun and fitness, happiness and health. They just go hand in hand.
Courtney Watt is owner and lead instructor at Franklin School of Dance, which is located at 152 N. Water St. in downtown Kent.
To learn more, visit www.franklinschoolofdance.com or call 330-673-5419.