About Education in the Arts

“An educational foundation is only part of the equation. In order for creativity to flourish and imagination to take hold, we also need to expose our children to the arts from a very young age.”
~ First Lady Michelle Obama

Does training in the arts make us smart? Recent research from a consortium of neuroscientists from seven universities created by the philanthropic Dana Foundation revealed the following:
  • An interest in performing arts helps children develop focused attention spans.
  • There is a link between training in music and the ability to manipulate information in both short-term and long-term memory.
  • Music training is closely correlated with improvements in reading fluency, math calculation and capacity for geometric representation.
  • Dance is learned through observation and mimicry, which appears to improve other cognitive skills.
“The nation’s top business executives agree that arts education programs can help repair weaknesses in American education and better prepare workers for the 21st century.”
~ The Changing Workplace is Changing Our View of Education”, BusinessWeek

“An arts education helps build academic skills and increase academic performance, while also providing alternative opportunities to reward the skills of children who learn differently.”
~ Gavin Newsom, San Francisco Mayor

“Children learn better with arts as part of the curriculum. They learn all their subjects better. They’re more engaged. Teacher attendance goes up. The child is happier; the teacher is happier.”
~ Jane Alexander, former Chair, National Endowment for the Arts

About Dance Education

According to The National Dance Education Organization:
  • Research shows that brain function in learning dance demonstrates that both hemispheres of the brain are actively engaged. (Brown and Parsons, Scientific American, June 2008).
  • Research shows children in early childhood are sensory, motor, and concrete thinkers who learn best from processing information physically through bodily movement and through their senses. (Piaget, Werner, Cassirer, Vygotsky, and Kestenberg.)
  • Dance taught as an artistic discipline develops 21st century skills required in our workforce – the ability to focus, be persistent and engaged in one’s work; exercise tolerance, cooperation and collaboration; to solve big problems and exercise critical thinking; and be creative, imaginative and innovative. (AEP ImaginNation 2008; Research in Dance Education database 2009). Dance supports these skills.
  • Statistics have demonstrated that students who study dance score an average 36 and 15 points higher on verbal and math SATs. (College Entrance Examination Board, Student Descriptive Questionnaire)

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