The Necessity of Dance

Why is co-curricular activity so important?

It is quite obviously apparent to all that in the latter years of high school, particularly in VCE, the time and effort demanded by school is exceptionally high, resulting in increased stress and reduced free time for high school students. In reaction to this exponential growth, many students undertake the decision to quit their co-curricular activities, capitulating to the pressure of VCE. It is essential that students know that ceasing their out of school physical activities (case in point dancing) is a decision that could prove detrimental to not only their mental health but also the culmination of their VCE years, their ATAR. VCE can be a frantic time, for all parties partaking in their studies, regardless of what subjects one studies, university one plans to go to or aspirations for the future.

In the desperate scrabble to achieve high marks, a vast majority forget to relax, exercise their bodies positively and take their mind off of stress-inducing studies. To corroborate this claim, I reference an article authored by Beyond Blue, a foundation that has considerable insight into the mental health of teenagers, both male and female. The article states that as well as managing study and getting a good nights sleep, physical activity is imperative. “Activities like sport or dance can increase your performance by increasing oxygen to your brain,” The articles states. “It’s also great and reducing tension from stress and school pressure.” This shows that not only does dancing help to reduce stress levels, but furthermore it can lead to enhanced performance at school. It helps to keep one relaxed, keeps one’s body healthy with exercise and can also improve time management, allowing one to ensure they take breaks from studying that will benefit them as well as making sure the student in question has a strict timetable set, that they must adhere to.

The Beyond Blue article above also recognises that, “The final year of secondary school is important, but it will not be the most important year of your life. Keep things in perspective because you’re far more than your ATAR score… It does not control your future success or happiness.” When deciding a course of action for VCE, this is the most important thing to consider. Is giving up on something you love and enjoy, abandoned so many years of work, really required just for a number on a sheet of paper? In addition, after decades of intense research into the connection between performing arts and education, the National Endowment for the Arts published the results of their study (2012). The key findings of these studies include: In two separate databases, students who had arts-rich experiences in high school showed higher overall Grade-point Averages than did students who lacked those experiences High school students who earned many arts credits were five times more likely to graduate than students with little to no arts credits Students who had intensive arts experiences in high school were three times more likely than students who lacked those experiences to earn a bachelor’s degree. They also were more likely to earn “mostly A’s” in college. (pp. 12-16) To conclude, without a shadow of a doubt, dancing during VCE is of incredible importance, for reasons of performance and mental health.

If you wish to find out more, the links to the studies and articles used as evidence within this blog are included below.