The results have been amazing in the 29 Dancing Classrooms sites around the world. Research has shown that the semester residency of two classes per week:
- Helps students overcome social anxieties;
- Increases self-confidence and self-esteem;
- Increases student awareness of other cultures;
- Increases student physical development, coordination, and participation in physical activity; and
- Has a positive impact on variables that lead to child obesity.
Said one teacher: “Students had to learn to respect one another and work together.”
In a survey of principals, 81% believed the program improved academic performance. 80% thought the program improved behavior management problems, and 70% thought the program increased parental involvement.
Whether or not Dancing Classrooms has a site in your area, it is an example of just one program that shows the importance of social and emotional development as a different kind of education for a young person. “Transformational,” say some principals.
Yet, these are the kinds of services in schools first to be cut to make more time for testing preparation.
What kind of a price are we paying for cutting the programs that build social character? They are an integral part of 21st century education.