A dance class can be a highlight to your preschooler. In class, she/he will learn motor skills, social skills, and academic skills all while having fun. If this is the first dance class for your child, here are some things to expect from your new dancer.
Separation – Some children will walk onto the dance floor without looking back at a parent and some will be upset at the idea of going out to a class without a parent by their side. All is normal. We encourage you to do what you think is the best for your child in transitioning them to be independent in class. We suggest having a simple goodbye routine you use that establishes a consistent goodbye. Some might prefer a class with a parent or trusted adult dancing with them first, then transition to an independent creative dance class once a dancer is more comfortable. Most children will do fine within a minute of a parent leaving, so if you’d like to try that, simply ask the staff to let you know how it goes. Remember, the teacher and studio staff want your child to have a positive experience.
Participation – Some children like to observe and others will participate right away. All is normal. For some children it takes a few weeks to get comfortable to actively participate. It is common for a child to not move much in a class at first, but do all the moves at home after. Just because a child isn’t moving, it doesn’t mean they are not learning and processing information.
Following Directions – Following directions and waiting for turns are a part of the curriculum of a preschool dance class. It is common for children to take time to learn these skills. Sometimes a teacher may appear harsh in waiting for a child to do one thing before letting them go on to the next activity, but soon they will follow the system and adapt to new systems of waiting for turns and following directions.
Practice – Children will practice naturally at their own pace. You do not need to force any practice time. It is a good idea to use some language that reinforces what they are learning in dance class. For example, mention that you are waiting “behind” someone else in line at the store, just like how they do in dance class.
Skill Achievement – Preschool age children develop at different rates and still have a broad spectrum of ability. Some may be more flexible, some may learn to skip earlier, some may move to music with more ease. Dance classes will help develop these skills, but it is also important to recognize that children are still developing on their own perfect path. Dance class will teach vocabulary, enhance neurological motor pathways and create a good foundation for further dance development.
Communication – Teachers and studio staff want to help you and your dancer. Please communicate any concern you have.