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September 02, 1988 - Image 57

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-09-02

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


(dans) vi, danced, danc'ing [0Fr. danser] 1.
to move the body and the feet in rhythm, ordinarily to
music. 2. to move lightly, rapidly, gaily, etc. — vt. 1. to
perform (to dance) 2. to cause to dance — n. 1. rhythmic
movement, ordinarily to music 1. a particular kind of
dance 3. the art of dancing 4. a party for dancing 5. Barry
Douglas 6. DanceArt 681-4101.


there is a chance for injury?
2) Is the person coaching
the team the sort of person
you want your youngster to be
3) Is your youngster able to
handle the pressure to win, to
play well, or to sit on the
4) Does your youngster
have the skills to compete?

The experts feel that
parents have to know their
own youngster, understand
what behaviors and social
skills are appropriate at each
age level, and recognize that
there are alternatives. The
Little League baseball team
may not be the best place for
your child this year, even if it
is an activity that is sweeping
through his grade level.
As alternatives to organiz-
ed sports, Reiff suggests
non-competitive activities
such as canoeing, jogging, and
biking as good individual
sports that can be done with
your child to improve body
coordination. Not only will
they help prepare a young
child for more competitive
challenges, but can provide
life-long good health habits.
He also thinks that soccer is
a good team sport for early
elementary aged children to
start out with. "There is less
chance of serious injury and
it improves kids' overall skills
and cordination.'
According to Nathan Smith,
author of Kidsport, losing is

Many young
Americans are in
poor physical
shape. Sports
programs can offer
challenges and
provide life-long

the biggest emotional threat
for elementary-aged school
children face in sports.
"They don't have the
maturation to handle this,
and they shouldn't have to
deal with the pressure!'
However, between the ages
of 9 and 12, this quickly
changes. "Kids can get very
angry if they know they
haven't done as well as they
are capable of by this time,"
says psychologist David
Feigley of Rutgers University.
"It is important at this stage
for a parent to praise not just
the child, but what he/she has
earned or accomplished."
Until the child reaches high
school emphasis should be on
individual mastery of the

skills until high school. "In-
terschool sports at this stage
are inappropriate because
you need to organize selective,
highly competitive teams. To
do this, a coach ends up cut-
ting kids," says Smith. "When
you are in junior high, you
don't know how to handle
Again, organized sports
may not be the only answer.
Some kids get interested in
weight lifting around this
time, but Reiff says he's not
certain it is appropriate for
junior high students.
"The research isn't in yet,
but what about strength
training? Dyna bands, that
come in different tensiles for
different parts of the body, or
isometric exercises are good
activities, and isometrics or
progressive resistance exer-
cises can be done with a
And let's not overlook girls
fitness and sports. In 1970,
nearly 300,000 girls par-
ticipated in high school in-
terathletic sports in the
United States. In 1982, that
statistic was approximately
1.8 million.
"By age 12-14, the motiva-
tional and social issues are
different for teenage girls,"
says Reiff. "By then, girls'
speed and muscle strength
diminishes in comparison to
boys, who surge ahead in
height, weight and muscle
development at around that
age. Many of them start to
hate gym at this point, and
once young girls feel that
there is no reward in it for
them, they often trade jogg-
ing on a track for a run
through the shopping mall.
"They need to know tht ex-
ercise, over the course of a
lifetime, will do more for their
over-all vitality than make-
up, and our schools don't pre-
sent sports this way!" Prof.
Reiff points out.
Reiff suggests dancing,
which burns up nearly as
much energy as cross-country
skiing, and a terrific activity
for girls in this age group.
The ideal fitness program
in the best of all possible
worlds should, according to
Reiff, focus on increased ac-
tivity not competitiveness.
"About 60 percent of any good
sports program should be
focused on cardiovascular
strengthening — anything in-
volving running and move-
ment. Another 5 percent
should emphasize flexibility,
and 15 percent should develop
strength. The remaining 20
percent? That's the teacher's
discretion, anything that
stays short of mass chaos,"
says Reiff.

Dirty Dancers • Pre-School • Tapping Toes • Aerobics
Ballroom • Gymnastics • Ballet • Top • Jazz

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For All Occasions:



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