Not only does it teach them self-esteem through learning about their own bodies but they also learn the social aspects of the dance.
Team work and Individual work. Within the various forms of Middle Eastern Dance there are several ethnic dances as well as Oriental Dances that require group work as well as individual performances, through dancing as part of a team, the teens are able to learn how to share and work in team environments, an aspect that has proven to be key in social and work development. In dancing as an individual the teen learns self-confidence by being able to showcase themselves and their accomplishment in front of a group of parents, community and most importantly peers.
Middle Eastern dance also helps teens with their posture as you learn to be aware of your arms and your shoulders.
Teaches dance in any environment
Also by learning the different movements associated with the dance, as they are broken down by minute segments and isolated. As this dance form originates from natural body movements, teens are able to take the section of movements that appeal and feel comfortable to them and use them as part of their own dances at school functions, weddings and other social events where “regular” dancing is required.
Breaking common misconceptions of body type that are bombarded into teen’s minds by the media as well as their peers. Middle Eastern Dance has been danced by women for centuries, in the privacy of their own homes or within their communities, it is a dance developed by women, for women and has always been an empowering force behind the strengths of women who have had to face hardship as well as joyous moments in their lives. At the same times, teens are living through tumultuous times and this dance enables them to focus ON THEMSELVES for once and not on what people think or say of them.
Teaches about culture
Teens are able to learn about a completely different culture, with different customs and language. Through opening their eyes to the world the barriers that racism causes are dropped through the knowledge attained.
Within teen vocabulary “I can’t” and “I don’t know” are common terms, but within the Middle Eastern Dance classroom these terms are erased and even not allowed by the teacher so that the teen can learn to “try first” and then see what the outcome is. Middle Eastern Dance teachers should emphasize positive phrases such as “I can” and “I will” even if the “I can” is followed by “even if it’s not very well”.
Patience when working with teen is a key element to their success. Their bodies may learn certain movements faster than adults, but at the same time their minds are constantly telling them they cannot do it, due to years of low self-confidence.
By having a class solely dedicated to teens, they are able to work in their own environment along with their peers which enables them to feel more confident and be at the same pace as the other students around them.