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The Benefits of Performing Arts (Part 4 – Creativity)


Someone hands you a scarf. What do you do? More than likely, you look at it, look at the person who gave it to you, say a halfway heartfelt “Thanks…,” put it around your neck and call it a day. That’s an appropriate response to being handed a scarf.


If someone hands a child a scarf, however, that scarf may immediately start to swirl in the air- becoming an airplane propeller! The scarf may become a leash for an invisible dog, a superhero cape, a jump rope, a bandage for a favorite stuffed animal, Elsa’s magical powers, a skirt or belt, new hair… the sky’s the limit! 


Why is this? Why do we grow out of our natural God-given creativity over time? Wouldn’t you want to keep that spark you were born with ignited so that life can be a little more fun & interesting? What if the part of you that could turn a scarf into an airplane propeller as a kid were still alive? Would you be a better grown-up problem solver?

 

People who participate in the arts can readily tap into their creativity because they’re keeping that part of themselves sharp! Performing arts practices often spark an appreciation for music, connection, and movement that is easily transferred to everyday life.

   

A dancer may see the movement of a tree and think, “We are all rooted to the ground on which we stand, and blowing as the breeze moves us… maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on Chad.” A musician may hear a little tune, start making up lyrics without even thinking about it, and BOOM they’ve memorized the state capitols for their test because they had a catchy tune to inspire them. An actor may be irritated at Karen for cutting in front of them in line and taking “it” up with the manager at Starbucks but then create an imaginary scene in their head where they are able to tell Karen what they really think about her and BAM they’ve resolved their issue and can go about their day with a healthy mentality.

  

I’m having fun with these examples, but I stand on solid ground when saying artists ARE creative problem solvers and declaring that the arts can benefit us socially, emotionally, and educationally. For instance, I am convinced that my ability to read sheet music has helped me understand math, particularly fractions because measures are fractions of songs, and notes within those measures are fractions of each sound made! Dance, music, and acting all encourage the creation of something new. Creativity can allow us to discover our inner self-trust and discover how capable we are. A sense of power to create is beneath the surface in all of us, just waiting to get out! It’s always been there. Let your power out if you dare, because scarves are so much more than scarves.  My hope for this blog is that it may inspire you to get yourself and the children in your life – be it your own kids or your nieces, nephews, godchildren, neighbors, randos you meet in the community – more involved in the arts. I hope you enjoy, reply, and take some magic with you. 

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