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Choosing the Best Dance School for a Young Child

By Edited Apr 9, 2016 1 1

Parents may decide to enroll their children in dance classes for many reasons. Perhaps a holiday performance of The Nutcracker inspired your child to dance. Maybe you are searching for a fun and healthy activity for your child to enjoy. On the other hand, you child may simply have a great deal of extra energy that you are hoping to channel in a positive and fulfilling way.

Dance classes can certainly help channel a child's energy in a positive new direction. They are an excellent means of encouraging a healthy, active lifestyle and your child will probably also have ample opportunity to make new friends. Dance classes for children have added bonuses as well. Each class presents a new challenge to your child. Successfully meeting that challenge can give kids a tremendous boost of self-confidence. When it comes to parenting, fostering self-confidence in children can be one of the most difficult elements. Dance classes provide your child with a chance to try something new, and succeed at it.

Children as young as three may be enrolled in dance classes. Most of these classes will be called "Creative Movement." Instructors who teach these classes should have a great deal of experience teaching the fundamentals of movement to young children. In some cases, these teachers have college degrees in dance education. Whatever their specific qualifications may be, the teacher you choose should excel at putting his or her students at ease from the very beginning. They should bring an atmosphere of fun into the studio with them that is tempered with just the right amount of discipline.

At this level, the dance teacher should have no problem with having parents observe every class session. In any properly run dance program for children of this age, the parents should be permitted to attend class. Many teachers provide a seating area so that parents can comfortably observe class. This provides you with a valuable opportunity to assess both the teacher and how your child responds to him or her.

After observing a few class sessions, you'll be able to make an informed evaluation of the teacher and their class. Decide whether the teacher provides sufficient encouragement and whether each child receives sufficient individual attention. Does the teacher seem overly harsh or demanding with the students? Have there been any injuries during the course of the class? Does your child look forward to dance class with anticipation or dread?

Don't be too concerned if your first choice of dance classes for children turns out to be the wrong one for any reason. In most towns, there are several dance studio options from which to choose. If your child does not make a positive connection with their teacher, there is probably another teacher whose class you can try.

With a young child between the ages of about three and seven, it is not important to insist upon attendance at the most prestigious dance school in the region. If you have a professional ballet company in your city, they likely have an associated ballet school. It's easy to think that the dance education for young children there would be superior to the curriculum offered at other dance schools. That may be true, but it does not mean that your child cannot receive a quality dance education at another studio. Classes offered at studios connected to professional dance companies tend to be more expensive than those offered elsewhere. If money is at all a concern, then it is not necessary for your child to attend an expensive class in order to get an adequate introduction to dance.

At this stage, it is simply important for the young child to explore movement and their own creativity in a positive and encouraging atmosphere. Above all, these classes should be fun. Pair the dance classes they attend with a performance by one of the professional dance companies in your area. This helps build performing arts appreciation for kids. However, a child's interests can be transitory. Creative movement may be huge one year, and then soccer is your child's favorite pastime the next. There will be plenty of time to decide whether your child needs to switch their focus to a more rigorous dance curriculum after they have demonstrated that they are serious about pursuing a dance education.







Mar 30, 2012 12:50pm
This article provides several good tips for choosing a dance school. Parents need to be proactive and not just plop their kids in whatever school is the most convenient. There is a reality show currently on television called "Dance Moms" and it features a dance teacher who is verbally abusive to her students and their mothers. The children dance beautifully and win many awards, which is why the mothers stick around; however, I would not subject my children to that. I'm sure that type of environment is the exception and not the rule, but then again, I could be wrong. Nice article!
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