Advice to my baby nephews

July 18, 2012 — 4 Comments

I really hope these two little people are put into some dance classes.

These are my nephews, and the reason the thought just came into my head at 7:45 am is I was up and watching dvr’d “so you think you can dance” and as I always am when watching good dancers found myself very impressed with the athleticism on display.  And it’s such well rounded athleticism: power, grace, coordination, flexibility all seamlessly blended together in an expressive way.  Contrast that with athleticism such as a triathlon: ha, no competition in my eyes-the dancers win hands down.

The specificity of movement displayed by these dancers is unbelievable. They aren’t jumping maximum heights at every opportunity, they jump an exact height.  They aren’t moving their feet as fast as possible, they are moving their feet as fast as possible in a very specific way. And they have no problem coordinating upper body moves with lower body moves.  Dance, in my opinion, is likely one of the best things that a developing child could do for movement and athleticism.  And if you could get the little boys into dance before they’re told it’s “gay” or “lame” then you would be setting them up for future awesomeness. I think dance would be equally as good for physical development as gymnastics is, specifically because it is almost the opposite of gymnastics in terms of the lack of rules.  Gymnastics development is incredible for strength, body awareness, and movement confidence, yet it is a very specific teaching process with certain predetermined important moves.  Dance allows for freedom of movement and exploration of what is possible (and to me it seems like a natural thing to encourage as young as possible since babies/toddlers dance to music on their own anyway). Imagine a young person doing both of these things-that is setting up a brain-body connection that really teaches what the body can do.

If I had to set up a PE program it would start in preschool and every year after it would include dance.  This way dance isn’t introduced once the children are 12 and awkward and scared to embarrass themselves.  If it is common place since they entered school then it shouldn’t be a big deal.  My ideal PE classes would be blends of dance, gymnastics, classic games, and sports.  And introducing organized sports isn’t a bad thing as some bozos think it is.  It’s only a bad thing when it is the only thing introduced. General athleticism was developed in me through capture the flag games in the woods, karate, PE, play, and lots of sports-I wonder how much cooler I could’ve been if dance had been in there?

4 responses to Advice to my baby nephews

  1. 

    Totally agree. Over the last year I’ve been taking ballet and salsa classes regularly. Hardest shit I’ve done outside of some random things Ido has thrown at me. Dance also has the advantage of not penalizing the tall ones 🙂

  2. 

    Agree. Although I love gymnastics and I’me very happy that my boys do too I’m equally happy that they like Capoeira. They get the hand balancing, cartwheels and flips without the obsession on perfect form. Everyone has their own style and that’s cool.

  3. 
    jcbpathfinder July 18, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Not sure where my first comment went. great post and I agree. Although my sons do gymnastics I’m equally happy that they enjoy Capoeira. They get all the hand-balancing, cartwheels and flips without the obsession of perfect technique. Every one has their own style and that’s cool.

  4. 

    I love this post Clifton. It’s creepy sometimes how similar we think. You’re like the baby brother I never wanted 😉 I found this video the other day – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjBj0-KoT2Q lots of badass athleticism to watch! 🙂

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