THE INFLUENCE OF EDUCATIONAL DANCE ON THE MOTOR DEVELOPMENT OF CHILDREN

ABSTRACT Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare the motor development of children who practiced educational dance with the motor development of children who did not practice it and to verify the results obtained after six to eight months after the end of the intervention. Methods: The study was carried out with 85 children enrolled in the first year of elementary school in two schools located in the south of São Paulo city (São Paulo, Brazil). Children were randomized by lot in two groups (intervention and control). Children with intellectual and/or physical disabilities and the premature ones were excluded from the analysis. The two groups had their motor development evaluated in three moments: before the intervention, after the intervention and six to eight months after the end of the intervention. The intervention group participated in an educational dance class program for seven months. Control and intervention groups were compared by chi-square and t-test. Results: Children who participated in the educational dance program, compared to children who did not, achieved significant gains in their general motor development and on the following bases: balance, fine motor and overall praxis. Conclusions: Educational dance helped the children’s motor development, and the results were partially maintained months after the end of the intervention.