Hip Hop Dancing Teaches Pre Schoolers

Hip hop dancing is great fun and hip hop dance troupes often put on truly mind-blowing shows to captivate the young and old alike. But can this popular art form actually be educational?

The good news for parents who are introducing their kids to hip hop from a young age is that they are exposing them to helpful life lessons that will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives. So what exactly can we teach our kids through hip hop?

Rule No.1: Grab Their Attention

Have you ever tried to teach a child something once you’ve lost their attention? It’s a painful experience for all involved as the child will do anything to escape the situation leading to frustration for all concerned. To maximise their learning time, children have to be stimulated and activities need to be varied regularly to avoid the dreaded boredom sinking in.

Hip hop dancing is like an all round educational programme wrapped up in a fun package. Providing sessions are pitched at the right level and not overly long, kids will learn a lot from each session, ultimately preparing them for school life.

Listening Skills and Concentration

When children start school they will have to learn how to listen to instructions and focus on the task in hand, so the earlier you can introduce these skills the better.When learning a simple dance routine, pre school children soon realise that listening and concentrating are not optional extras. It may take some children longer than others, but after a few sessions the difference in discipline and attention span is often remarkable.

Building Self Belief

One of the qualities that sets hip hop dancing apart from many other dance styles, when involving young people, is the emphasis on individuality and self-expression. Some dance programmes literally set children up to fail by presenting an ideal image of the standard they should be reaching and then pressurising them to meet it. While this approach may be necessary once older children have developed self-motivation, it is likely to discourage pre schoolers from dance altogether. Hip hop dance is about creativity and self-expression so there can be no ‘one form fits all.’ From the start, Hip Hop Tots® teaches kids that they are fine as they are yet they can choose to grow in whatever direction they want. What better lesson could there be for creating happy, positive children?

The Power of Teamwork

At the same time as learning about themselves and their abilities, kids are realising how cool hip hop dancing can look when everyone is working together. As they get older, this helps them to develop an awareness of others and a work ethic as they decide to put in the effort to create a ‘wow’ performance. Hip hop dance is one of the few styles that achieves a perfect blend of individual flair and group cohesion – this is part of its huge appeal all over the world today.

Hip Hop and Rocket Science

The educational benefits of hip hop dance are now becoming recognised by powerful groups such as governmental bodies and educational institutions. For example, in America, NASA have been part of an initiative called FMA Live! which aims to introduce young people to scientific principles through the art of dance. As one of the teachers involved puts it: “anytime you can connect a teaching moment to song or music or demonstration, the kids are always going to remember that better than just someone telling them what it is.”

We can’t promise that Hip Hop Tots® will turn your tot into a rocket scientist, but we are confident that he or she will learn some valuable life lessons through our hip hop dancing sessions! We look forward to welcoming you.

About Author

Paula Sampson

Hip Hop Tots® is a parent-child activity suitable for both boys and girls from 18 months to 6 years of age; sessions can run all the year round and are guaranteed to appeal to every child – because all children love to move.