5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Dance Class
So, your child is ready to start their first dance. Here are some tips we’ve picked up over the past 15 years of teaching to help you (and them) prepare to have the best experience.
Progress through a curriculum
Find a dance school that is backed by a curriculum that trains their teachers to deliver consistent, high quality dance classes. It shows when teachers love teaching dance enough to invest in training every year to stay on top of the latest information and research. When teachers follow a curriculum and dancers progress through that curriculum, they are in the best position for growth. A good curriculum ensures that children are learning the foundations for success in the studio, in school and in life. Year after they they are introduced to more complex concepts but they will be successful with new challenges because they have a strong foundation for movement when a curriculum takes into consideration a child’s physical and mental development every step of the way.
Register for the best class for your child’s age
The best ballet schools separate children’s ballet classes by age. There’s a huge difference between a three and a five year old. For the best learning experience look for classes where the ages are more defined. If you’re not sure what class would be the best fit for your child, ask their instructor for advice.
Arrive on time
And in the ballet world, early is on time! Everyone needs a chance to transition from the outside world into the studio. When you arrive a few minutes early, your child has a chance to connect with their teacher and the other students before going into the classroom. (oh, and it’s always a good idea to use the bathroom before class!)
Look the Part
Believe it or not, when children look like dancers, they act like dancers. And who doesn’t love dressing up like a ballerina?! Baseball players don’t show up to a baseball game without their uniform, glove and cleats. Ballerinas should come to dance class with their ballet attire, hair in bun and ballet shoes in hand. Be sure to check our dress code before class starts.
Know what to expect
There are some great resources for children starting ballet. One our our favorite books for brand new dancers is Florrie Flamingo’s First Ballet Class or this one for older dancers. We also ask parents to go over our “Manners for Dancers” before starting class. Ballet was originally created as entertainment for Kings and Queens. When we enter the studio we are behaving as if we are in the presence of royalty. Young children love pretending they are princes and princesses and older dancers know that dance training sets them apart. When students step inside a studio or on the stage, they know they are in a magical place like no other.
Beginning your child’s dance education in the right studio and in the right way can make the difference between a good and a great experience. Even if a child doesn’t grow up to be a ballet dancer – and most won’t – there are endless benefits to being in a dance class. We hope these tips help you make the most our of your child’s first dance class.