The benefits of dancing with children – by Marija Lina Libiete

The benefits of dancing with children – by Marija Lina Libiete
17 May 2024 Sean Kemp
In Non classé

Human lives on some level are dependent on their emotions, do you agree? And even for us grown-ups there are times when it is hard to deal with them. But imagine how it would be if we felt our emotions 100 times stronger.  That’s how it is for children. The prefrontal cortex (frontal part of the brain) helps us to think, strategise and regulate our emotions. As a child, this part of our brain is underdeveloped. Children begin to be able to use this part of their brain at about the age of two or three.


So how can we help children to deal with their emotions?

Do you think we should try to ignore or suppress the emotions? I think that only works for robots. Numerous studies have shown that ignoring emotions can lead to mental and physical reactions. Suppressing these underlying, automatic emotions, which are biological forces, can lead to such consequences as anxiety and depression. Emotions should not be ignored.

Instead we can learn to name, recognize and control them and ask ourselves why we feel that way now. It is important to talk about emotions with children and try to help to manage their emotions  and to tell them that it is normal to feel like that, help them to understand why they feel that way and never to judge. As for kids it is a lot harder to manage emotions, or at a very early age – impossible, it’s good to find some healthy ways to express these emotions.  I think that dancing is the best way. Why? Well, because it includes music, physical activities, improvisation and listening to our instincts. It is a great way to get children moving and having fun. It’s also a great activity for improving coordination and musical ability. Exercise allows our brains to release feel-good chemicals such as endorphins and serotonin, which help to lift our mood.


I am a babysitter of four kids aged from 2 to 6 and all of them love music. Definitely not all kinds of music, but here is a playlist of songs that in my experience kids seem to enjoy – fun and dynamic.


So, where do we start?

  1. Firstly, choose the largest room and free it from any obstacles or possible danger. Turn on the music (preferably on the speakers) and you will see that kids will already start dancing. Yes, we might think that we are the ones who should teach something to the kids, but actually they can teach us so much! They have a fresh, different perspective for life, I mean, they just started it and who knows from where they are coming to this planet? So let them improvise and inspire each other.
  2. You can try out some dancing games. You are supposed to have at least three players but it is also pretty fun when you are just two.

a) Freeze – I bet you know this one. Players dance and when the music stops, they freeze. It’s really fun, even the ”freezer” himself dances sometimes. It helps practicing self-regulation and body-control.

b) Follow the Leader – well, just as it sounds. One of the players is the leader and shows the other players some dance movements, the others try to copy. And if you are only two players, you can try mirroring each-other. You will be surprised with what dance movements the children can come up with.




c) Guess the Dancing Animal – it’s charades, but instead of just showing the animal, you dance

like the animal would dance and other players have to guess the animal. You can use cards for this game but it is fun without cards as well.

And of course remember – the games are not about technique, but about the eyes that shine from happiness. If you can combine dancing, expressing emotions in a healthy way, you are the winner. To control our emotions not to be controlled by our emotions. If not to manage – express!

That is my formula. Maybe it can help you too.


Dance is a little folly that does us all good.” — Edward Demby


The playlist —

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