In our dance classes, we are committed to developing dancers who have healthy bodies and minds—and a healthy outlook on life! We want our dancers to feel confident about themselves and love their bodies.
What can you do at home to support this objective and boost your child’s overall wellness? We encourage these principles as a guide to build healthy habits in your child:
We’ve created a wonderful resource to help our dancers stretch between classes. Encourage your child to follow their special dance stretch book, created by Myriad’s own dance staff: A Stretching Resource for Smart Dancers: Improving Flexibility & Technique. Your child’s dance teacher will specify which stretches are best for your dancer. Stretching daily is one of the most important habits to keeping a healthy body for a lifetime. This impacts flexibility, strength and injury-free dancing in class too.
THINK ABOUT FOOD AS FUEL
Nutrition plays a huge role in developing healthy dancers! Help your child see food as fuel by referring to it that way, that food makes up the protein, fats, and carbohydrates they need to have the energy and mental clarity for dancing.
MAKE HYDRATION EASY
Whether at home or at the studio, children may need extra reminders to stay hydrated. Make drinking water a habit by having a water bottle available whenever possible (such as in their backpack or dance bag) and inviting your child to help prepare it in their favorite way, such as with the squeeze of an orange or an overload of ice cubes!
WIND DOWN BEFORE BEDTIME
To optimize your child’s existing routine, help them discover ways to “decompress like a dancer” in the hour before bedtime. Listening to music or gently stretching, for example, can be excellent ways to unwind.
TALK ABOUT BODIES IN A HEALTHFUL WAY
We are aware that body-positive talk by adults influences kids’ perspectives about their own bodies. As adults and parents, we can all curb any negative talk about ourselves and instead model an appreciation for what healthy bodies can do, such as grow stronger muscles or learn new dance moves!
TAKE SOCIAL MEDIA BREAKS
Children can easily get caught in a current of body-comparisons as they scroll through their social media. Encouraging them to take breaks—even just an evening at a time—interrupts those thoughts, allowing kids to refresh their thinking.
It’s essential for us at Myriad’s Dance Academy to grow the mindset that dance class is about more than just the steps: it’s also a place that helps shape healthy habits for life.