Evidence That It Works
In a study of 1st through 4th graders, teachers reported that dance and drama instruction contributed greatly to students’ social and emotional development.
In general, arts education has been found to increase students’ prosocial behavior, academic achievement, and positive self-concept, among other benefits.
Why Does It Matter?
Cultivating positive relationships between students is key to their academic success and well-being. Indeed, studies have found that peer acceptance relates positively to GPA in middle school and can explain up to 40% of adolescents’ academic achievement. In addition, positive peer relationships help to increase students’ resilience and self-esteem, and reduce their loneliness.
Programs that focus on cultural and social dance demonstrate that these kinds of dance experiences foster respect for others and collaboration across age, culture, and socioeconomic status.