Benefits of Dance - Synergy Dance Outreach

Benefits of Dance for Children with ADHD

There is no doubt that dance has many benefits for children or all ages, such as improved coordination, stamina fitness and so forth. But did you know about the benefits of dance for children with ADHD?

Continue reading to find out more about how dance could help your ADHD child or teenager.

Typically, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is associated with difficulties of focus and attention. It is usually diagnosed between four and six years. Symptoms may peak at seven or eight years and then recede, although it often lasts into adulthood.

Difficulties of ADHD
Children with ADHD have neurodiverse needs. They may display some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty paying attention to detail.
  • Problems remembering combinations of movements.
  • Making careless mistakes in schoolwork
  • Struggle to stay focused on tasks or in play.
  • Trouble completing tasks, projects, and chores.
  • Try to avoid tasks which do not hold their attention.
  • Easily distracted.
  • Forget to complete simple daily tasks.
  • Seem to be constantly moving.
  • Fidget frequently.
  • Talk a lot or blurt out answers.
  • Seem to act before thinking.

In dance classes, children with ADHD can have a hard time standing still, plus finding movement skills, coordination and learning more of a challenge. They may also be perfectionists who are hard on themselves. The need to control anxiety may appear in what mental health professionals call ‘stimming’ or self-stimulating repetitive behaviour.

How dance can help
Dance is beneficial as it improves confidence, aids in motor coordination, and helps with memory and confidence building. Studies have found that focusing on movements acts as an anchor for the mind and brain of those with ADHD.

Exercise also boosts dopamine, the brain chemical that people with ADHD are thought to have less of. Adding dance, including ballet, to the programme for children with ADHD can help with dopamine neurotransmission in the brain and alleviate cognitive difficulties.

Children with ADHD are mentally challenged, but the way their brains work might actually bestow some advantages in dance lessons. For example, children with ADHD may easily be able to attain a hyper-focused ‘flow state’, especially if they are deeply engrossed in a task or activity. They may also understand choreography as a whole, rather than as a series of separate movements. One study found that ballet dancers are more likely to display ADHD traits than the rest of the population.

Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) fosters social interactions and the sharing of feelings as well as teaching self-control. The more a child focuses on dance and movement, the more their overall focus in the rest of life can improve. Meanwhile, mindfulness meditation can help children with ADHD to feel grounded, and listening to music calms the mind and acts as a form of self-medication.

Synergy dance programmes for ADHD
The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) community includes children with ADHD, who are often marginalised and miss out on opportunities to engage in dance and movement. We wholly support this group and deliver inclusive dance and yoga for SEND children, teens, adults and seniors.

All children, regardless of whether they are able bodied, disabled or unable to cope in a mainstream environment, deserve the opportunity to participate in dance and movement and sport. Our SEND classes can be exciting and liberating for challenged children and adults with ADHD.

Our SEND instructors are highly trained to provide an all-inclusive dance and fitness programme. Seeing children with ADHD interacting in a safe environment and being able to take part in something they might not otherwise be able to do is our goal.

To these children being able to take part is just as thrilling as winning a race! We take care to cater to the individual needs of children with ADHD in our classes, and our parties allow participants to choose the music and dance styles from a variety of themes. All of these exciting offerings make our programme a fabulous resource for children with ADHD.

Book a class today.

Find out more about Synergy Dance Outreach

What are the Benefits of Dance for SEND Children?

What are the benefits of dance for SEND children?

What are the benefits of dance for SEND children

For everyone, dance is a fantastic exercise that can provide significant physical advantages:

  • Improved condition of the heart and lungs.
  • Increased muscular strength, endurance and aerobic fitness.
  • Better coordination.
  • Better agility.
  • Better flexibility.
  • Healthy blood pressure.
  • Improved overall balance.
  • Improved spatial awareness.

For children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), there are additional advantages that can help to ameliorate their disability.

Physical benefits of dance for SEND children
Through dancing, SEND children learn about body coordination and control. Dance is a fun way to practise balance skills, good posture, and build awareness of the body in space. Meanwhile, developing rhythm helps with improved motor control: both gross and fine motor skills develop when SEND children attend dance classes. These skills are translated into the movement patterns required for daily activities.

Many young people with a learning disability find it difficult to understand what they are doing now and what they are doing next. A well-structured dance curriculum will support a child in developing understanding of sequencing through choreography.

It’s a fact that SEND children are at a higher risk of being obese. Dance provides an aerobic activity for them supporting weight control and cardiovascular health.

Often exercise will have beneficial effects outside the dance class: improving children’s academic learning ability for example. Learning dance sequences can also help those with dyspraxia (a motor learning disability that impairs the organisation of movement skills).

Children with physical disabilities can regain or increase muscle strength and balance while mastering milestones such as bending the knees while walking and hand–eye coordination.

Mental benefits of dance for SEND children
Dance provides a unique non-verbal expression of feelings that is universally understood. It provides a channel for SEND children who have difficulty with their communication. When children explore expression through dance, they can convert their feelings and thoughts through physical movement, thus removing the limitations that they may feel in their spoken speech. Children can become ‘unlocked’ and express themselves more freely.

Dance is vital in tackling the social isolation, loneliness and frustration that many in the disabled community feel. It can affirm individuality and a sense of self. According to research from the Institute for Voluntary Action Research, 88 per cent of disabled young people participating in dance classes feel better able to express themselves while 75 per cent feel more physically fit.

Dance allows students with special needs to be actively involved in their learning. This independence boosts their self-esteem and can release endorphins in the brain. Participants are able to bond with other students in a common goal, which may promote better interpersonal skills. Through group work, both the confidence and social skills of SEND children come along in leaps and bounds.

Finally, dance can promote a state of euphoria that lasts long after the music stops: students can effectively leave their cares behind on the dance floor and forget the things that might hold them back.

How Synergy can help
We support the SEND community with dance, fitness and yoga classes for children and adults.

We provide inclusive opportunities for having fun and keeping fit where neither finance, fitness, ability, disability or family circumstance stand as barriers to participation.

Synergy Dance® Outreach aims to promote lifelong participation in dance and fitness and to reach all levels of fitness, ability and background – through our work in schools, leisure centres, outreach programmes and funded charity work for under-represented or inactive groups. Our exciting sessions may take place standing or seated for those in wheelchairs.


See our range of classes here.

To find our more about our charity, and what we offer go here.