The Impact of a Weekend Dance Program on Social-Emotional Learning Among Young Children

Mancheng Lei (Macau China Society of Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, Macau, China)
Siman Lei (Faculty of Education, University of Macau, Macau, China)
Yan Wang (Faculty of Education, University of Macau, Macau, China)
Tanjian Liang (Sport and Movement Studies, Central Washington University, United States)

Article ID: 5324



Dance and movement encourages socialization promoting children's social and emotional skills. This study aimed to examine the impact on the SEL of children after a weekend dance program. 

METHOD: This study employed a quasi-experimental controlled trial design with 60 children aged 5-6 in Fujian Province, China. Participants were randomly assigned to either an integrated dance program group (n=30) or control group (n=30). The weekend dance program was led by professional instructors and consisted of 12 weekly lessons, each lasting 50 minutes. Pre- and post-measurements were taken using the Social-Emotional and Character Development Scale (SECDS) and the Preschooler Gross Motor Quality Scale (PGMQS) to assess changes in social-emotional learning and gross motor skills. Repeated-measures ANOVA tests were conducted to determine the impact of the integrated dance program.

RESULTS: The study found a significant difference in the changes between the two groups, indicating that the weekend dance program had a positive impact on the social-emotional behavior and motor skill quality of the children who participated compared to the control group. Specifically, the participants in the dance program group demonstrated significantly greater improvements in their social-emotional behavior and motor skill quality compared to those in the control group.

CONCLUSION: The study provides preliminary evidence that an integrated dance program can promote social-emotional development and gross motor skills in young children. After-school dance activities may help to improve children's well-being. Further research is needed to understand the underlying mechanisms and to evaluate alternative arts-based therapies.



Dance program; Culture and art center; Young children; Social-emotional learning; Motor skills

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