In the United Kingdom, the Aldridge Foundation, an educational charity, has funded a pilot dance course in 29 schools across the country. The Essentially Dance project trained school staff to teach ballroom dance to students of all ages and abilities, and dance lessons were included as part of schools' Physical Education programs. The recently published evaluation report detailed how successful the program was. Some of the benefits of this program were:
- Students were provided with new learning opportunities.
- Students demonstrated a wider interest in more physical activity.
- Dancing in the schools improved students' communication skills, self confidence, and self esteem.
- Teamwork was encouraged and developed.
- Overall, the health fitness of the children involved improved considerably.
In a time when it's hard to get kids off the couch or detached from their iPod, ballroom dance is the answer! For more information on the Essentially Dance project, visit http://www.essentiallydance.com/.