Inverness County is celebrating the many dance opportunities that have come into the community over the last few years. There are many dance styles to choose from: Tap, Jazz, Highland, Stepdance, Lyrical, Ballet, Hip Hop, Musical Theatre and more… What they all have in common are the skills they provide to enhance our body awareness, or passion for music and our need to move and be healthy. From a social perspective, dance class is a great place to meet new friends, develop lasting relationships, to learn about working in unison and collaborating, about taking turns, about leading and following, and about being in a group and utilizing the energy the group is creating. And, if you are in a performance opportunity, the abilities to explore sharing your talents with others. From a physical perspective dance is a physical activity that gets the body moving for strength and flexibility, the blood flowing and the brain/body connections underway. The brain is programmed to learn based on the information it receives from the body. As a child, movement is imperative to develop strategies for learning and for movement development. As an adult, movement keeps the brain active and engaged, coordinates functions and maintains patterns of learning. Dance class begins with an understanding of how the feet relate to the ground for stability, centering, balance, gravity and more. This information is fed to the brain and begins patterns of movement and understanding. Movement through different levels (high, low, fast, slow, front, back and side) all work different dimensions of the body, and their coordination is imperative for skill development and abstract thinking. Without this understanding math and science, as well as reading and writing become more challenged. Further, the use of music with movement coordinates the body in a special way that sports is not able to. Music taps into different aspects of the brain and body and coordinates the body in a rhythmic fashion. This rhythmic development helps to create patterns for security and success and brings about new understanding of how to enjoy dance and movement. And, the development of rhythm within the body is able to then support the skill development in sports to a stronger means. Lastly, dance is just plain FUN! There is nothing more exciting than putting on a piece of your favorite music and moving in an enjoyable way to the beat. Maybe a rhythm taps out your feet, or you pick up a scarf and flow with the lyrics. Imagination can be explored through storytelling in Musical Theatre and props can add more to the movement. As a child the movements develop as they grow and mature with their skill levels, as an adult there is an awareness of where movement can be challenging, and overcoming these challenges opens up more possibilities in learning, sharing and enjoying the possibilities that dance creates. If you have always wanted to try a dance class – Now is the time! If you want to give your child the best advantages in school and sports, consider a dance class. And, it is never too late to start. There are classes all over the County from walking age to Grandparenthood. Come and Join us!