Susan's Studio Napa Valley
707 304-3403 

Teen and Pre-Teen Classes
Good News for Generation Z -- Everything Old is New Again

While technology may have had a positive impact on the way that modern students learn, it appears to have had a negative impact on the way in which they interact with the world around them. The prevalence of social media as a means of social interaction has resulted in a decline in communication skills, self-awareness and emotional intelligence. Because they are spending so much time communicating with people remotely, rather than face to face, students find it challenging when they are in situations where they have to interact with one another in person. And this will have negative consequences for them when they eventually have to move beyond the school world and function in the adult world.  

Too many students walk through school doors worrying about things that vary from not fitting in, to having the 'wrong' clothes, to being bullied — or worse. Many kids have poor self-esteem and lack confidence. They suffer from a lack of focus and a lack of respect for self and others. They need a way of improving their social skills and gaining confidence in a non-threatening environment. Typical classroom instruction may not offer this to them. But ballroom dancing instruction can.  

Having a children’s ballroom dance program is not just about teaching dancing. Learning to ballroom dance provides a variety of valuable social skills that aren’t easily learned in other types of children’s programs. Not only do they learn ballroom dancing, a wonderful lifetime skill, they develop self-confidence, and they learn cooperation and civility. Starting from scratch and learning to do something that is perceived as complex gives a sense of accomplishment and builds self-confidence. Having to do it in partnership with others teaches cooperation. Watching others struggle to accomplish the things that you also are struggling to accomplish teaches compassion. Engaging in a structured activity with a group of individuals from different backgrounds and perspectives, all trying to achieve a shared goal, teaches civility. 

Ballroom dancing is an excellent tool for getting children to break down social barriers, learn about honor and respect, and develop a heightened sense of empathy. Face to face with another person who may not look exactly like you, or share your background or culture, it’s hard not to become aware of and respectful of that person. This can open the door to an understanding and tolerance of social and cultural differences. These qualities ultimately promote the maturity and outlook necessary to be successful in all areas of life. 

Through experiential learning, children enjoy a sense of self-discovery and self-expression. Their posture and confidence improves and awkwardness is replaced with physical grace and poise. They feel a sense of accomplishment, achievement and joy!  
With improved social skills and higher levels of confidence, enhanced academic performance will follow. The benefits of ballroom dancing for pre-teens and teens are not only significant – they are timely and appropriate.