Date of Graduation

Summer 2021


Master of Science in Child Life Studies


Childhood Education and Family Studies

Committee Chair

Lindsey Murphy


Weekly dance classes are a popular after school activity for many children in the United States. Although at first glance, one may simply see toddlers bouncing up and down or adolescents engaging in repetitive movements at the ballet barre, there is much more going on than what meets the eye. The purpose of this study was to determine the perspectives of school-aged children and their parents on the developmental benefits of participation in weekly dance classes. This qualitative study gathered data through interviews with students (and their parents) enrolled in a small dance studio located in Springfield, Missouri. This research study ultimately identified developmental benefits in the domains of social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development, as a result of school-aged dancers’ participation in weekly dance classes.


dance, dance class, cognitive development, developmental benefits, emotional development, physical development, school-aged children, social development

Subject Categories

Development Studies


© Maria Elizabeth Jackson

Open Access