Should My Child Start Dance Lessons?
“Should my child start dance lessons?” That’s a question that many moms ask. Obviously, there are many factors to consider before walking down to the dance studio and enrolling your child.
There are a number of reasons why dance lessons are excellent option for many kids. Some of the benefits include improvement in motor development, posture, creativity, flexibility, social skills, and even improvement in other sports. Dance tends to be stress and anxiety reducing. It’s great exercise for both the body and the mind.
However, dance may not be right for every child, or for children of every age. Is it right for YOUR child to start dance lessons?
A Few Things to Consider Before Enrolling in Dance Lessons
Is your child old enough?
This is a commonly ask question. While not every dance studio has the same age limit, 2 or 3 years old is commonly the earliest that a child can be enrolled to start dance lessons. Often children younger than 3 are not ready in their attention span for a class. However, that may not be the case for your child.
Does your child enjoy dancing?
Most kids, from an early age, move their little bodies to the music. However, does your child have enough interest in dance to actually want to participate in a class? Talk this over with your child.
Can your child handle it physically?
Whether because they’re young or maybe for another reason, it’s possible that some children do not yet have the strength. If that’s a case, you may consider giving them some time before you sign them up.
Consider your child’s overall behavior.
Is your child mature enough to do well in a class? While some dance studios allow parents to stay in the room or at least watch from a window, this isn’t always the case. Can your child handle you leaving him/her there alone? Think about how your child handles instructions and routines. Will they pay attention in class and stay focused? Will they throw a tantrum when they find something challenging or don’t want to obey the teacher? If that’s the case, you may want to give them the opportunity to grow in those areas before getting them started in dance.
How interested is my child?
Do they want to learn dance at a competition level or are they more interested in dancing for fun? Obviously if your child is only 3, a less competitive class is probably the better idea anyway. If your child wants to dance competitively, make sure you inform them well about what it will take: juggling the stress and hours of training along with school. Are they willing to commit and push through it? If your child is more interested in just dancing for fun (and if they’re younger), it may be better to start with a class that focuses more on creative movement rather than instruction designed for competition.
If your child is more interested in just dancing for fun (and if they’re younger), it may be better to start with a class that focuses more on creative movement rather than instruction designed for competition.
How will your child handle performing for others?
Even for dance studios that are not as competition focused, there are often dance recitals that children will participate in. Is that something your child will be able to do?
How to Get Started
If you decide you want your child to get started in dance, here are some ways to help you move forward in the process.
Find the right studio
First you need to look into available dance studios and classes near you. Find the dance studio that is right for your child (and your budget!). Look for someone who is ready to handle their maturity and interest level. If you want to avoid rigid focus on performance, find a studio that focuses more on dancing for fun.
Consider a sample class
Ask if your child can take a sample class. Watch your child carefully during the class, if possible, to see how they do.
Consider trying dance camp first
Instead of starting out with a class, you may even want to try a dance camp to see if your child really wants to continue pursuing dance. If they really enjoy the week or 2 of camp, that may be a good sign that it’s time to sign them up for a consistent dance class.
Talk to the dance instructor
Of course, make sure you talk to the dance instructor before you commit to having your child start dance lessons. Let them know about your child’s interests and any concerns you may have. They can help you decide whether or not your child is ready. You can also gain insight from other dance parents.