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The Benefits of Performing Arts (Part 2 of 6: Expression)

Six Benefits of Performing Arts

For anyone who has ever experienced performing arts of any kind in an educational setting or as an extracurricular activity, there is no denying that it shapes people’s lives. I see lives changing for the better every day in our classes and on our stage at Wonderland Performing Arts. Performing arts education aids in the development of social skills, self-expression, and confidence. Theatre, dance, music, singing—these disciplines require a person to put themselves “out there” in ways that can be scary at first, but will ultimately help students grow into the people they are meant to be. We can reach one another in rare, meaningful ways by using the connections performing arts provides. Join me over the next few weeks where I explore and highlight six major benefits of Performing Arts:  

  1. Meaningful Performance

  2. Expression

  3. Innovation

  4. Creativity

  5. Empowerment

  6. Acceptance

Part 2: Expression

I will never forget a moment that happened last summer. I directed Dr. Dolittle Jr., for our annual two-week summer musical theatre camp. The cast had a few first-timers involved and one was a quiet 15-year-old boy who displayed a good bit of enthusiasm throughout the rehearsal process. On opening night, after the show I ran into him in the hallway. I said, “Hey dude! How’d it go out there?!” Without hesitation he said with the most zeal and passion outpouring from his heart, “I FEEL SO ALIVE!” For an educator there is nothing better than moments like these.

Performing arts is a wonderful way to express ourselves, especially if we have a tough time vocalizing what we feel or think in “real life.” Many people have an easier time expressing feelings through someone else’s words, or while wearing a costume. The beauty of acting, dancing, and singing is that even though we are using someone else’s words, movement, or music to say something, we are still bringing parts of OURSELVES to the work of art. That is what it is all about. No two people will ever play a role the same, sing a song the same, or perform a dance the same. People approach these works of art in their own, INDIVIDUAL ways. If a teacher instructs an actor to, “Do it like Insert-Famous-Person’s-Name-Here,” they are robbing them of so much. Roles are intended to be interpreted by self, while staying true to the author’s intent. Therefore, performing arts takes a great deal of training, dedication, and discipline. It a challenging, yet extremely rewarding and fun, road to artistic discovery! My hope for you is that you find a way to “Feel SO alive!”

Stay tuned for Parts 2-6, coming soon! I hope you enjoy, and take some magic with you. 

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