Improve your skills and yourself

Hitting the dance floor: From ballet and jazz to hip hop and tap, Dance HQ offers everyone, young and old, the opportunity to learn and have fun. Photo: Supplied.
Hitting the dance floor: From ballet and jazz to hip hop and tap, Dance HQ offers everyone, young and old, the opportunity to learn and have fun. Photo: Supplied.

It has been proven that participating in the arts such as learning to play an instrument, dance, paint, act or just being creative can help a child immensely with their learning abilities as they grow older. However learning a new skill isn’t just for kids, it can also assist adults looking for a new hobby or to improve their skills.

The start of the year is when many people start looking into things that they would like to pursue for the next twelve months. New age groups also often open up many more opportunities, so it is important to find out exactly what is available to begin learning or continue to develop.

Personal growth: Orange Public School students develop their skillset performing the Alice in Wonderland themed show Curiouser and Curiouser. Photo: Jude Keogh.

Personal growth: Orange Public School students develop their skillset performing the Alice in Wonderland themed show Curiouser and Curiouser. Photo: Jude Keogh.

There are many benefits to participating in the arts, both psychological and physical. Founder and Principal of Dance HQ, Emily Goodwin, has been dancing since she was eight and recognises the advantages for children attending her dance classes.

“We see a lot of other areas children develop in from dancing. They learn the value and meaning of teamwork, their social skills and confidence levels improve, their levels of fitness are increased, they learn discipline and structure and they develop life long friendships with other who share similar interests,” she said.

For children, it’s important that they try different things, learn new techniques and expand on their creativity. With the growing community concern that children are becoming too sheltered, it is also a great way for kids to learn how to accept and deal with both positive and negative feedback. 

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Miss Goodwin has seen first hand the success of a hands on approach when providing feedback. “At a very young age students learn to understand their capabilities and can therefore apply corrections and take feedback on board themselves when necessary. Positive feedback and setting goals always assists students, and giving them something to work towards makes the process rewarding and worthwhile for all involved,” she said.

Activities including learning to play an instrument, help to increase children’s concentration and memory, develop social and problem solving skills and improve coordination. Drama and dance also boost these and other skills, such as communication, and have the added benefit of increasing fitness levels.

Benefits of music: Learning to play an instrument helps to increase concentration and memory, develop social skills and improve coordination. Photo: Shutterstock.

Benefits of music: Learning to play an instrument helps to increase concentration and memory, develop social skills and improve coordination. Photo: Shutterstock.

Developing through the arts isn’t just for children either. It can assist adults looking to gain confidence, improve both communication and social skills, and improve their health and fitness levels. These activities can also help expand social and professional networks. 

Music and art especially have been shown to reduce stress levels and, as an emotional outlet, can be used as therapeutic tools to help overcome adversity in life.