Many people think that theatre classes aren't right for their child. Perhaps your son has never expressed a desire to act or your daughter isn't interested in dancing, so you've never explored the possibility of them trying those hobbies. But what if there were other things for them to learn, underneath the dancing or acting out a part in a play?
Theatre doesn't just teach you to act, or dance, or sing. It can also instill in your child things they might not effectively learn elsewhere!
- Theatre can help your child develop their sense of self & identity.
Children sometimes have difficulty coming out of their shell into the little person they are. Theatre can help them to develop their sense of self and identity by simply allowing them to be expressive and creative in a safe environment.
Tools such as improvisation and interpretive dance can often help a child overcome barriers of who they "should" be as opposed to who they are. Shy children often find that acting is a great release for them; taking on another character can help them to feel safer in being more outspoken and over time this feeling of safety can migrate into their everyday life.
- Expand their friendship group
Children make friends everywhere, given enough time. It's good for your child to have friends outside of school, and it encourages them to talk to children from other backgrounds they might not meet elsewhere. It will also help you as parents to meet other families with children of a similar age. You never know, you might make lifelong family friends!
- Responsibility & team work
Learning lines and songs off by heart at home helps a child to develop a sense of responsibility. When you are in a production, you are part of a wider team which relies on each member to know their roles, no matter how large or small. It's important for a child to understand that their role is important and that they matter, even in a production where there might be 50 other children taking part.
- Develop their confidence
Generally, performing can help children be more confident - if they can get up on stage in front of a group of people, that's going to prove to them they can do things they didn't know they could do. Even if your child already has a good sense of it, theatre classes will help to grow and maintain their confidence.
Good self confidence is a life skill not many people have from a young age. It's important for a child to believe in themselves as early as possible so that adulthood is much easier to navigate!
- Improve Co-ordination, Fitness & Communication skills
Learning to dance helps to co-ordinate the body and the brain at the same time, which is a very important life skill. Dancing also requires a certain level of fitness; dances can be highly energetic! Playing a part in a show requires the actor to learn to communicate their lines to the audience as if they've just thought of it, rather than learnt it off a page. Communication is a great tool for a child to learn early on, since it's a staple requirement for later on in life.
- Explore new skills & find new talents
Many children don't know what they are capable of and need the chance to explore new skills. Perhaps your child is not a skilled singer, but has a keen eye for dance moves. Theatre will help to bring out your child's best singing voice and develop their dance moves further. If they haven't explored these avenues yet, then theatre is a safe place to do so, because everyone else is in the same boat. You never know, your child might be the next West End performer!