Studies have proven that when students who are afforded classes in such things as drama, art, music, and dancing attendance improves and scholastic achievement increases. All of these disciplines can be employed for the interpretation of literary works or historical events--activities that excite and enhance students who often are not interested in the traditional ways of learning.
While some are talented in the movements of dance, others are not; so, dancing should be an elective. Also, students who enjoy dance can make advancements and do not need those with "two left feet" holding back the class, frustrating them.
While I don't think dance needs to be mandatory, it could be one option for something that should be mandatory...MOVEMENT. The more we learn about the brain and learning, the more we understand just how critical movement is to the process. Some of the work being done in Australia (Move to Learn) is very exciting. Kids with reading problems, learning difficulties, etc. are making huge strides because they are put into very prescribed movement programs.
From an administrative perspective it would be difficult to make dancing a required course. First, most hours the gym has classes scheduled in it. Second, most states have a required number of credits students must earn in specific areas, and it would be difficult to fit another mandatory class into the schedule. With that being said, PE is required because it is supposed to address a wide variety of health and fitness topics. Dance would not have as expansive a scope.
If by mandatory you mean a requirementno. It should be no more mandatory than art, band, choir, speech and debate, and etc. However, what a wonderful elective it would be for a physical education or fine arts credit. This would open up a whole other avenue through which students might find an outlet for expressing themselves.
The problem of course is where do you insert this course into an already full curriculum, and with what funds do you pay a teacher qualified to teach it?
If it does become mandatory I will be even more glad that I am no longer in school... However, I do think that perhaps it should be mandatory to offer it as an alternative to typical PE once you get, say, to middle school.
I don't see where dance is so important that it should be mandatory. But I do see where it would have the same benefits as regular PE and where it would be attractive to some who hate the kinds of things that are played in regular PE.
Dancing and the arts can be an excellent complement to other classes such as history, psychology and sociology. It should also be used if the school has music classes as they both have similar histories and customs.
I love dancing. And I believe that dancing can do wonders for both body and soul of individuals. It will be wonderful if all schools compulsorily introduce their students to the wonderful world of dancing. But is this really practical?
There are so many nice things in world, and it will be nice if all these can be made compulsory in schools. But it is just not possible. Secondly, does the school have the necessary resources to handle it effectively. It is not all that uncommon for schools to convert perfectly enjoyable activities, like reading a good story, in a boring chore.