Over our years as dance and art educators we have seen many studies that prove the positive impact that an artistic class can have on children's grades. At Pegasus we have witnessed our students have very successful years in elementary school and go on to earn many academic achievements at the secondary and post secondary level. Many of our students are on the honour role and have been through high school and into university. Why is this? These past studies explain that dance, as well as other arts, exercises use both the right and left side of the brain at the same time and helps students build the necessary brain muscles needed to be successful in Math, Science, English, and other subjects. At Pegasus we are not neuroscientists, but we are child educators and from our 28 years of observation we have seen four main areas that seem to help students retain good grades and a have a positive experience in the academic world.
1. Discipline - Dance, theatre, music and art classes all have a high level of discipline built it. Students learn the value of showing up to class in proper attire and on time. Classes teach the process of warming up, cooling down and respect for the craft. This lesson spills into the discipline needed for effective study habits.
2. Creative expression - We have found that after having an hour of creative expression students have a renewed ability to focus on school related tasks. Just as taking a break to read a book for pleasure, or watch a TV show, can provide a fresh perspective on homework, so can a dance class. Being able to use both sides of the brain and having the chance to express feelings from the day or the week, creates the emotional and mental space to do the academic work. Not to mention how positive it can be to get the creative juices flowing in order to come up with that perfect thesis statement for an English essay!
3. Physical outlet - A dance class is a great way to combine discipline and creative expression with energy output. We often see kids who spend all day sitting at a desk and are desperate to move, move, move. With pent up energy, of course it is going to be hard to concentrate on homework!
4. A positive and encouraging environment - Having a place that celebrates your achievements and provides that supportive space has helped our students reach success in their academic education. We hope to always make your child feel that they are able to achieve anything they put their mind to and work hard at, whether it is a pirouette, a sculpture, or a science assignment!