Starting dance classes can be a daunting experience for both parents and budding ballerinas. It is perfectly normal for your child to feel shy, nervous and apprehensive about attending their first dance class. Particularly for young preschool aged children from 2 - 7 years old dance classes are often the first formal and structured recreational activity a child may engage in.
Before commencing classes consider the following to help ease your little one and give you peace of mind.
- Speak with the dance school owner and meet class teacher to have any questions or concerns answered before starting.
- Inform your child when and where they will be starting dancing! (simple but often overlooked).
- Purchase any uniform, dance shoes and equipment your child may need prior to class. This will allow your child to feel prepared, like a dancer and part of the class from day one.
- Practice doing your child's hair in a ballet bun. So when it is class time this will be quick and easy.
- Explain to your child whether you will be participating, staying in the waiting area or will be back to pick them up at the conclusion of class.
- Consider driving past or visiting the dance studio and showing your child where they will be taking class.
- Consider reading dance related children's books to set the scene for your child.
- Play music and allow your child to practice dancing at home.
- Pack a water bottle for your child. Maybe a notebook and pencil along with their dance shoes etc.
- Arrive early to your first class. This allows time for the class teacher to introduce themselves to you and your budding ballerina. Furthermore provides an opportunity for your child to settle and meet other students prior to class.
- Take your child to the bathroom prior to class to avoid disruption during class time.
Students often require several weeks or even months to feel completely comfortable at dancing. It is not uncommon for young children to not participate, be disengaged in class content or even cry during their first few weeks. After this time they will learn and understand what a dance class involves. Such as Its lesson structure and etiquette. For example standing in line and waiting one's turn etc. Be patient, persistent and encouraging! Before long your child will discover a love of music, movement and their inner confidence will soar.