Rep. Tim Flook, R-Liberty, has written a bill that would allow Missouri public school students to take ballroom dancing as a replacement for physical education or fine arts.
The goal of a ballroom dance class would be to provide students who aren’t interested in P.E. another option to meet the physical education requirement.
While Flook looks to pass the bill, the rate of overweight children continues to rise.
A study released by the Centers for Disease and Prevention in January stated that the rate of overweight children rose from 19.6 percent to 26.5 percent for boys and 20.2 percent to 26.7 percent for girls from 1997 to 2007. Also, the obesity rate during this time period was fairly consistent at about 10 percent for infants and toddlers and 18 percent for adolescents and teens.
In a study released last summer that compared to children who weren’t overweight, MU researchers found overweight children from kindergarten through third grade displayed more depression, anxiety and loneliness that worsened over time.
Flook’s bill already has an example of the program that would run if the bill passes.
In 2006, Will Adams and Paula Marie Daub, William Jewell College dance instructors, started teaching dance class in Kansas City-area school districts. This pilot project led to Culture Through Ballroom Dance, a nonprofit organization that offers dance instruction to dancers of all ages.
Does ballroom dancing give kids the type of physical exercise they need to battle obesity? For that matter, does your typical physical education class?