One of my favorite things to do with my nieces is to dance with them. To turn on a Disney soundtrack or even some classical music and tango, sweeping them from their tiny feet and swinging them through the air, or even encouraging them to freestyle, is an exciting way to get your kids active and to also get yourself off of the couch. Even if you only survive for ten minutes the first few times.

The crazy thing about children is that they are naturally active and energetic. As an adult, you may have long forgotten the days where you come home after being at school for 7 hours and rush back outside to play soccer or basketball. Well, Squally Muffin’s mom and I hurried home and off to dance classes. We did ballet, hiphop, jazz, modern, some African, and even baton twirling. But what does any of that have to do with dancing with your own child?

Ever heard of mommy and me dance classes? Well, at our home dance studio, T. L. Williams Academy of Dance, one of the choreographer’s special treats every so often was to do a parent-child dance routine for one of the biannual dance showcases.

Why would you want to do this? Because learning a dance routine gives you a chance to spend time with your child, not only being active, but interacting with your child in something you are both interested in. Having shared interests with your child will strengthen your relationship and give you something to practice together.

Dancing also works on rhythm, coordination, self-confidence, posture, poise, and self-control. It provides a creative challenge that is constantly increased as you become stronger and more confident, giving you something to work on and perfect that you can be proud of.

Some other great dance styles to try with your kids would be swing, line dancing, and zumba. Don’t worry if it doesn’t come naturally to you, not everyone is an instant pro on the dance floor and the main goal of any parent-child activity is to find common ground with your kids. You can even incorporate dancing into your regular day like we do with Squally. You don’t always need music to dance, and you can squeeze in a couple of moves while cooking, waiting for bath water to run, during the intros of favorite children’s shows, and even waiting in line to checkout in stores.

 

Your new goal is to get active with your kids so get moving. Lots of cities have dance studios that offer classes suitable for parents and children so find one in your area and make dance time one of your regular bonding activities.

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Lori Jenessa

Writer of books and songs. Currently working through my first novel. Managed to magically nail a few short stories, a bit of erotica, and two poetry collections. Working on another poetry collection. Books are available by going to the left menu and clicking on "my books". I live at the intersection of eclectic and exceedingly weird. Also into editing. I'm not too sure why, but I love that stuff. Also dabbling in music composition. :)

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