Children learn at different rates and there are big differences between the developmental landmarks of a three, four and five year old. A good preschool dance program separates these ages to provide a quality, developmentally appropriate learning experience.
It’s also important to know that while one student may enter class with advanced physical skills for their age, their language skills may be further behind. Alternatively, another student in the same class may have more developed cognitive skills but may need more support when it comes to social skills. Take a look this this article from Adam & Mila that explains “an astonishing amount of human brain development takes place during a short period of time during child development.” These early years are critical to your child’s development as your child learns an incredible number of skills and a huge amount of information that they’ll need to function throughout the rest of their lives.
These developments are not all happening at the same time for every child. Child developmental psychologist, Annie Spell, explained at a dance educator workshop River Oaks Dance instructors attended that between the ages of zero to seven, a child’s development is like a moving graph. One area of their brain may be developing for a period of time and then switches gears while another child the same age may be having the opposite experiences until they all (hopefully!) come together by the time the child is seven. That’s why it’s important for educators to be able to meet children where they are. You don’t get this time back.
River Oaks Dance and our Leap ‘N Learn classes provide opportunities for all students to develop and succeed across all these areas. Instead of placing the same expectations on all students, our curriculum allows each child’s unique strengths to shine through.