The brain is such a complex thing! Did you know that early childhood is the prime time for brain development, specifically cognitive development? Current research shows that both the Left and the Right sides of the brain must develop and work together to reach maximum cognitive learning. The Left side of the brain organizes logical skills, language, math, science, and more. The Right side of the brain is responsible for controlling intuition, creativity, imagination, and feelings. While your child is dancing, their whole brain is activated, therefore increasing memory and communication skills and development! In fact, many educators argue that the arts are just as important as vocabulary and literacy, given the benefits of music and movement for early childhood development.
Dancing actually makes the brain open up new neural pathways!
Your child's brain is constantly developing and trying to absorb new information. All of that mental stimulation causes their brains to, for lack of better word, “rewire” themselves. This really means it is building new neural pathways so the child can better process information. Even in adults, the brain is very elastic and able to form new connections for storing and accessing information. But the brain only forms new pathways when it needs to, so something has to stimulate the brain to cause it to rewire itself.
That's where dance lessons come in. While other physical activities do offer health benefits, dancing is the only exercise that's been shown to dramatically improve overall cognitive functioning and building of new neural pathways. There's something about memorizing steps in the proper sequence and timing physical movements to the rhythm of music that causes the brain to rewire itself and work more effectively. The resulting boost in memory and reasoning skills can help your child in many aspects, especially with improving their learning skills.
The benefits of dance in the long-term development of children is immeasurable. This is why enrolling your toddler in any sort of dance class is an awesome idea and will help set them up for success!