Dance has both intrinsic and instrumental values; that is, it has worth in and of itself and can be used to achieve a multitude of purposes (e.g., to communicate issues and ideas, to persuade, to entertain, to beautify and to trade). Beyond the intrinsic value of dance, each dance discipline appeals to different senses and expresses itself through different media, adding richness and engagement to the learning environment.
An education in dance helps learners to learn to identify, appreciate, and participate in the traditional art forms of their own communities. As learners imagine, create, and reflect, they are developing both the verbal and nonverbal abilities necessary for school success. At the same time, the intellectual demands of dance help learners develop problem-solving, critical, and creative thinking abilities.
Numerous studies point toward a consistent and positive correlation between a comprehensive education in the arts and learner achievement in other subjects and on standardized tests. A comprehensive, articulated arts education program engages and helps learners develop the self-esteem, self-discipline, cooperative skills, and self-motivation necessary for success in life.
Dance benefits both the learner and society, because learners of the dance disciplines gain powerful tools for:
• Understanding human cultural experiences, both past and present;
• Teamwork and collaboration;
• Making decisions creatively and solving problems, when nob prescribed answers exist;
• Adapting to and respecting others’ diverse ways of thinking, working, and expressing themselves;
• Understanding the influence of dance as an art-form and its power to create and reflect cultures;
• Analyzing nonverbal communication, and making informed judgments about products and issues; and,
• Communicating effectively.