The short is answer is YES! Whether you're looking for a class for your toddler or for yourself, there are a myriad of reasons to sign-up for a dance class.
Dancing Engages the Brain - Your toddler will thrive with the additional input. Taking a dance class will allow your child to engage with concepts that you might not think to introduce at home like weaving, depth-perception, and more. Dance class also encourages the introduction of multiple modalities of learning and of simultaneous use of skills. For adults, dance class can keep your brain active and healthy. I've often had new adult dancers explain that their brain understands but their bodies won't produce. It's important to know that this is a temporary hurdle in dance class. It gets better quickly. And it's also important to remember that you're doing your body a favor by working these connections in class. Complex patterns will challenge your coordination an your memory. The brain gains for dance are well established. Check out these resources for more: "Dancing Makes You Smarter," "Why is dancing so good for your brain?," and our own post "Move Your Body, Improve Your Brain."
Flexibility - While this may seem like a small benefit, it is actually quite important. You may not notice that your 3 year old has a dramatically shortened achilles tendon, but her dance teacher will! It's crucial to catch these issues early, and your dance teacher can be a big help there. For kids and adults alike, flexibility can help to decrease injury incurred in everyday life and in other sports. For children, flexibility can be key to creating good patterns of movement, and for all the adults who think that they aren't flexible enough to take a dance class, it is an excellent way to learn new stretches and to encourage flexibility. As we age, our bodies become less supple and staying active by taking a dance class will help you to maintain a good level of flexibility as you age. (Note: Acro classes encourage excellent flexibility, but do be sure that your dancer is gaining strength at the same rate as flexibility and check to see if your child's teacher is certified in Acro by a well-regarded program such as Acrobatic Arts.)
Emotional Health - Activity in general is good for the emotional health of all age ranges. Generally speaking, dance releases endorphins and this leads to an overall improvement in mood. Taking a dance class can be the highlight of your week. Dancing relieves stress from school and work, and it also provides a forum for enacting our emotions without the necessity of words. Teenagers and pre-teens often see the studio as a safe space where their feelings can and should be channeled into their classwork in a healthy way. To learn more, check out: "Can dancing improve your mental health?," or "Dancing Zumba Improves Emotional Health."
Overall Health - Dancing is an overall health benefit. Your heart rate will go up and your cardio health will improve. Your muscles will get stronger. Your coordination will improve. You may lose weight or see a change in your musculature. Putting your child in a dance class can start a love of movement that will continue into adulthood.
There is no downside! Give it a try and reap the rewards!