Posted by on Feb 27, 2020 in Blogs

When it comes to involving your child in a rewarding extracurricular activity, it can be hard to make a choice that will eventually involve dedication and challenges.

Gymnastics and dance are two amazing programs that you can enroll your child in – but which do you choose and how?

Both are challenging and rewarding but vastly different in style and expectation.

Read on to learn more about the differences between the two and how you can make an informed decision with your child as to which one is better suited for your little one.

Gymnastics Versus Dance

Gymnastics and dance have very similar characteristics – both involve moving the body in some sort of performance and usually to music.

However, there are vast differences between the two activities.

Overall, gymnastics is considered by many to be a sport while dance is usually categorized as an art form. Therefore, more importance is placed on the technicalities of movement such as position and actions when it comes to gymnastics. In dance, the focus is usually placed on the steps, routines, and fluidity of one movement to another.

Dancing requires no special equipment, although most dance studios feature wooden floors designed for shock absorption. Gymnastic training uses equipment such as springboards, beams, bars, and trampolines.

Both dance and gymnastics train the body in strength, balance, and flexibility. However, gymnasts develop a stronger upper body and core while dancers tend to build more leg muscle – and they build that strength equally in both legs. Gymnasts tend to favor one side of their body, so muscle strength may be imbalanced.

Lastly, while dancing offers a variety of different dance styles to choose from, gymnastics is a bit more rigid in styling and focuses on a standard repertoire of moves.

Which Is Better For My Child?

Overall, both gymnastics and dance are amazing choices for children when it comes to enrolling in a physical activity.

However, there are some considerations when it comes to involving your child in either.

Gymnastics is an activity best started at a young age. Because it involves conditioning of the body to move in very specific ways, the younger a child starts the better. Dance, on the other hand, can be started at any age – even adulthood!

Dance is also an easier activity for young children to learn. The use of music makes it easier to encourage steps and routines in small children. Learning gymnastics involves practicing the basics before beginning any involved routines.

Financially, dance can be a more expensive endeavor than gymnastics, especially if you plan on enrolling your child in competitions. There are more costumes to purchase, and if your child does compete, travel expenses and additional costumes. Gymnasts tend to use one of two leotards – one for practice and one for performance.

How Do I Choose Between Dance and Gymnastics?

The best way for any parent to decide whether or not to enroll their child in dance or gymnastics is to encourage the child to make the decision.

First of all, consider your child’s skill set. You know your child best, so you may have an inclination which activity they are better suited for. Even though you want the decision to be made by your child, you can use this to guide them one way or another.

Otherwise, expose your child to both activities. You can watch videos on YouTube of both dance and gymnastics to gauge which your child has more interest in. If they get up and try to attempt dances or routines, this may be a good indication as well.

In the end, you want to ensure that you enroll your child in an activity that they will be more dedicated to and passionate about. There is nothing wrong with trying a year of each to see which your child most prefers.

Interested in learning about the dance classes we offer for children? Contact Elite Dance Studio today!