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How to Encourage Your Family to Start Dancing

STEEZY Family

How to Encourage Your Family to Start Dancing

Wes Yen
October 31, 2022
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In our first STEEZY Family blog post, we covered how dancing makes your family happier, healthier, and more confident. 

To quickly recap how dance wholly enriches your mind, body, and spirit:

  1. Dance allows growing minds to push past their comfort zones and learn what they’re capable of, bolstering their confidence.
  2. When we learn to dance, our brains create new neural pathways and more white matter to fortify learning and memory
  3. Developing a strong mind-body connection through dance improves emotional resilience, motor skills, and body awareness alongside overall fitness.
  4. Dance offers a sandbox for young minds to experiment through creative expression and discover who they are.
  5. Through dance, we can express our truest selves and experience pure, childlike joy. In a UCLA research study, 98% of respondents reported that dancing improved their mood.

So we’ve covered the why of having your family dance ― but how do we actually make that happen?

Follow the Flame

The first step is making sure your family actually wants to dance.

We of course believe strongly in the research-backed benefits of dance as an activity that holistically improves our lives ― but nobody should be forced into it. 

If your loved ones truly have no affinity for dance, coercing them to do so may just build negative emotions around it when they could explore other things that they feel more naturally inclined toward. Maybe they’re not quite ready yet, or maybe dancing just isn’t for them.

Inspiring a creative spirit is never about forcing a spark; it’s about stoking a flame that’s already there. 

So, if your family loves participating in music by moving or singing along, we’d love to help you bring out their creative potential through dance.

Now, let’s dive in.

Nurture Their Inner Dancer

Everyone’s inner dancer is unique. 

Some may feel best vibing to their favorite songs over and over again, while others may thrive off of variety. Some get shy when dancing in front of other people, while others have no reservations about cutting loose in public. Some go deep on one style, while others try out as many as they can.

But one trait is universal regardless of age, style, or dance level: we all need to feel safe and empowered to explore what naturally moves us.

Let them lead. Let your little ones choose the music and style they jam out to, as long as you deem it appropriate. Dance feels best when it’s free-flowing ― when you feel the music is moving you rather than you consciously moving to it. So, help them find what naturally gets them grooving.

This way, they can follow their curiosity and experiment with their own unique style. They may not need to start with any style at all. Discovering their creative identity can sometimes be easier when they carve out their own lane before being crammed into an existing one. 

So before you enroll them in a 10-week dance class, observe what they derive intrinsic enjoyment from. Then, offer tools that nourish that spirit (like STEEZY!).

Foster a safe emotional environment. Expressing yourself through dance is extremely vulnerable, so feeling shy is totally normal. Your loved ones should feel free from judgment no matter how they look. Let them know that there’s no “right” way to dance ― they can move however they want to the beat of their favorite songs.

If they want to dance but might feel safer exploring it alone, see if they’d enjoy vibing out by themselves in a separate room. Don’t take offense if they’d rather dance on their own for now; let them bring you into their world at their own pace.

Be the example. While your loved ones should feel free to drive the experience, it can be extremely empowering to see you leading by example. Growing minds love mimicking their parents. If you have a natural affinity for grooving, there’s a great chance they’ll pick up on that, too.

So, set your inhibitions aside. Let out your inner child and claim the pure joy that comes with dance. Move with a freedom that inspires their own. Embrace the learning process with a sense of humor while speaking openly about what dancing does for you. If it isn’t for you, that’s okay ― just make them feel supported in expressing themselves.

Build Dance Into Your Lives.

Building any habit requires some sort of structure. We only have so much time, so we naturally need to find ways to intentionally incorporate dance into our lives. The good news is, dance gives us more energy and positive feelings to focus on the things that really matter.

Create a space for dance. If you can, clear out some room in your home to groove freely. Having a safe physical space for dance is an essential measure to make sure your family stays healthy. It can also feel psychologically secure for them to know that they have a designated space to express themselves, even if that space also serves other purposes.

Make dance a reward. Try jamming out in between chores, or celebrate with a dance party when they bring home good grades. Letting out positive energy through movement can build strong joyful associations with dance. You can even try offering it as consolation ― dancing can be incredibly powerful for processing difficult emotions, as well.

Make it a fun family bonding routine. To quote Roy Kent from Ted Lasso: “Look, most adults think kids need to be constantly entertained. That’s BS… The truth is, they just want to feel like they're part of our lives.” Give your loved ones the present of your presence.

See if you can reserve a specific time out of your day or week for family dance time. Put on your favorite tunes and get grooving, or try out a beginner-friendly STEEZY program. We might just be launching a family-friendly section on our platform soon… Stay tuned for more. 👀 

Takeaway

Above all else, the most important thing is to have fun. Do what you need to do to make your family feel safe ― then embrace the process. Kudos to you for inspiring their inner dancer and giving them a gift that will improve their quality of life for the rest of their lives.

The fact that you’ve read this far and are thinking this deeply about your loved ones’ health and happiness means a lot. You’re doing a great job. 💖