Dance: Finding more than the Rhythm

 

photo 3 (3)By: Alice, Co-Director Jakarta

I arrived and began as a co-director in August at the IHF center in Jakarta. A couple of weeks after arriving I began teaching weekly dance classes on Saturday afternoons. I’m from Australia and I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Dance along with nearly 10 years of experience in teaching dance and a several years of experience as a professional dancer. I have also studied traditional dance in Indonesia, including the ever popular Saman.

I wanted to run a dance classes at the Jakarta center not only because I love dancing myself, but because after years of teaching it in Australia I have seen first-hand the great impact it can have on the children who learn it.

There are obvious physical benefits from doing photo 2 (3)
regular dance class, including fitness, improved posture, flexibility and strength. There are also more underlying physical benefits, such as improved coordination, proprioception, balance and awareness. It is immensely beneficial to develop these skills at an early age, as they can set children up for a long and healthy life.

There are also many other benefits. Dance classes cultivate creativity and self-expression, as well as confidence and problem solving skills. Remembering routines and learning groups of steps also improve pattern recognition.

photo 1 (3)Aside from all these benefits, kids love jumping around to music and using lots of energy. Teaching these classes for the last couple of months has been an incredible amount of fun! We have learnt moves from many different dance styles and I have seen the kids improve very rapidly; as well as make hilarious mistakes that leaves the whole class laughing together. The enthusiasm of the kids to learn in these classes is unparalleled to any class I have taught in Australia. Never once did I need to ask them to ‘be quite’ or ‘concentrate’ as they followed the whole class with extreme interest.

I feel very lucky to teach these classes and hope that the benefits for these students will be long lasting!

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