7 Health Tips for Your Little Dancers
Windsor dance lessons for kids are a great way to help children get active, build strength, and most importantly, have fun. With so many different styles and classes to choose from, it’s easy to find the right fit for little dancers at every age, and with every interest and ability. While many parents recognize that dancing offers a multitude of health benefits to their child, many don’t realize how important it is to commit to healthy habits outside of the studio as well.
Dancing is a high impact art form that requires strength, agility, and athleticism, making it essential for dancers to prioritize wellness. Young dancers should take good care of their bodies and mind, even after class is over, to ensure they are in top form when it’s time to practice, train, and perform. You can help. Here are seven tips to keep your little dancers healthy, both in and out of the studio.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
Yes, dancers are artists. However, they are also athletes; maintaining a balanced diet can play a crucial role in their overall health and ability to achieve the best results possible in the studio. Lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fiber, and lean proteins are all critical to keep their young bodies moving. Additionally, it’s important to encourage young dancers not to skip meals to ensure they have the fuel needed in class. Also, bringing snacks to longer sessions can keep their energy levels up.
Of course, as parents, we all know that sometimes our children can have picky palettes. Sticking with healthy foods and snacks that your children enjoy can make it easier for them to make good choices when they start to feel hungry.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Drinking enough water every day is vital for everyone. However, for dancers staying hydrated is especially important. Not getting enough liquids can quickly cause dehydration to set in, making young dance students feel tired and nauseated. Dehydration can even prompt muscle cramping. Additionally, proper water intake can help flush toxins out of the body and keep the brain sharp and alert. Talk to your child’s doctor to determine exactly how much water (s)he should be getting daily to make sure you’re staying on top of hydration needs.
Make Sleep a Priority
Getting adequate sleep can yield a multitude of physical, mental, and emotion benefits. A well-rested dancer arrives at the studio mentally fresh and ready to absorb complicated routines, recall previously learned techniques, and apply new information during class. Physically, a well-rested body can perform at a higher capacity and is more likely to recover at a faster pace.
Warm-Ups and Cool Down Count
With everyone’s busy schedule chock-full of events and activities, we can easily find ourselves getting our dance students to class a little late, or having to leave a little early, so they miss the warm-up and cool down sessions. Warming up before an intensive dance class helps increase blood flow throughout the body, allowing your little one to optimize performance and reduce the risk of injury. Make getting to the studio at least 5-10 minutes early part of the routine, so there’s time to stretch. Likewise, always have your dancer stay through the end of class to cool down, giving the heart rate and muscles an opportunity to return to their normal states.
Remember Proper Foot Care
What is a dancer’s greatest asset (beyond an innate sense of rhythm)? Their feet. This makes it necessary not to undervalue proper foot care. Investing in good-quality dance shoes can make sure your child not only feels comfortable, but can also help keep knees, back, and other body parts in alignment throughout even the most rigorous routines.
Promote a Positive Body Image
A negative body image can have a significant impact on a young dancer’s emotional health. It’s important for dance students to realize that they are athletes who need muscles and strength to perform. Promoting a positive approach to body image can help your child successfully navigate through the emotional component of physical changes as he or she gets older.
Don’t Ignore Injuries
Dancers of any age should never try to “dance through” an injury. Talk with your dancers to ensure they know to listen to their bodies if they get hurt in the studio to avoid making the injury worse. If your child does suffer an injury, it’s important to get professional advice to ensure your dancer recovers quickly and fully before going back to class.
Are you looking for lessons for your little dancer? A Dance Place offers classes for children of all ages. Contact the studio today to hear more.