Top 2 Reasons Children Should Dance

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“Of the many reasons all children should dance, I think there are two that top the list,” says Gina Danene Thompson, Artistic Director of PURe Dance Ensemble Dance Company, which she founded in 2002.

PURe Dance Ensemble

In fact, only a couple generations ago, dancing was a normal part of growing up; children were placed into dance to help them learn proper behaviors, even how to walk with proper alignment

“Of the many reasons all children should dance, I think there are two that top the list,” says Gina Danene Thompson, Artistic Director of PURe Dance Ensemble Dance Company, which she founded in 2002.

1 – Dance technique helps children as they develop.

“A child may sometimes look in the mirror and feel negatively about what they see – this negativity is often times fueled by comments from their peers. Dance technique is an under tapped, fun way for these children to get positive reinforcement, improving their self-esteem,” says Gina Danene.

“In fact, only a couple generations ago, dancing was a normal part of growing up; children were placed into dance to help them learn proper behaviors, even how to walk with proper alignment,” says Gina Danene. “Many children – especially little girls – were dancing not just for professional experience, but also to help them adjust to adolescence and the changes occurring in their bodies. Dancing is truly such an enjoyable activity, and the benefits of disciplining the body through dance flow into every aspect of that child’s growth and development.”

2 – Children of all ethnicities have a natural desire to dance.

“In Michigan, we have over 75 ethnic groups from as many as 150 countries, making us one of the most diverse states in the country; we want the population to know dance classes for these groups do exist,” says Gina Danene. “It is so exciting to watch kids gain the self-esteem that isn’t coming from their peers or from television. Dancing breaks you down and lifts you up all in the same moment. It is not pure success every time; it is, however, pure positive change and transformation for those who choose to find movement in their soul.”

About Gina Danene Thompson: Gina received her dance certificate from San Francisco City College. Her techniques include Dunham technique, Graham and Horton based Modern, and Afro Haitian. She also teaches classical ballet, jazz, hip hop, tap, and street funk. She has been the Artistic Director of Project Universal Reflection (PURe) Dance ensemble since 2002. Gina is also an exercise instructor for Pilates, yoga, and dance. Gina has directed the Dance Showcase for Ann Arbor’s Recreation & Education Department since Fall of 2007. Gina also trains the nationally ranked and award-winning Ann Arbor Hockettes. She was also contracted to teach at the Ann Arbor School of Ice Dance, home to world competitive students, including four who, under her leadership, have been ranked nationally and internationally the last two years, consecutively. Gina also trains the University of Michigan synchronizing skating team, and the Ann Arbor Figure Skating Club. Gina also teaches dance classes in elementary and high schools across MI. In addition to her work as a choreographer and dance instructor, Gina is a mentor for her students. Gina can be reached at: ginadanene(at)hotmail(dot)com or 415.994.4244

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Josephine Nicholas
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