Sunday, June 2, 2019

Why Students Should Keep Dancing Through Exam Week

While we've touched on this subject before, it seems appropriate to talk about it again in light of the impending recital season corresponding with high school finals.  

Someone recently sent me an article from The Telegraph from April of this year:  The article states that parents should not stop children from playing sport (or dance) in the run up to exams because it has no impact on the exam results.  The findings of the study conducted through Huddersfield University said that not only did participating in sport (or dance) not have any negative effect on exam results, participation actually has a lot of positive results for students.

The study found that those students who remained active during exams were happier, psychologically healthier, less anxious and more resilient and robust.  Active students learn to balance their time better to accommodate both sport and learning.  Here is just one way we've found that helps to make this a reality:

We suggest that students put the exam material on cue cards and carry them at all times.  Then whenever there is down time such as riding the bus, waiting in line, or waiting for their turn to perform, the student can pull out the cue cards and do some studying.

The cue cards are effective because they allow for frequent repetition of exam content.  Reviewing material in smaller portions more often really helps with retention.  

It is natural that parents and students be concerned that dancing too much will take away from their (child's) ability to do well academically.  However, after many years of observing dancers, we find for the most part that students who keep dance in their life have more success at school.  Here are a few reasons why:
  • Dance is the only activity that works both sides of your brain, which helps to expand knowledge as well as memorization skills
  • Dance reduces stress levels because it is a form of exercise as well as a form of expression
  • Dance enhances the quality of life of a student as they are more fit and feel more confident
  • Dance improves kinesthetic intelligence
  • Dance gives structure in a student's mind, making it easier for them to manage their time and complete assignments in a timely manner
And if those reasons aren't enough, did you know that the average dancer gets 30% higher on their exams than the average student who doesn't dance?!

So get out your cue cards and plan your time wisely during the upcoming recital and exam weeks - participating in both is not doing any harm and is actually doing good!