How to Prepare Your Little One for Dance
Starting dance classes is an exciting time for our littlest students, and there are many things you can do as a parent or caregiver to ensure that their first classes run as smoothly as possible. Some preparation will go a long way in easing any jitters (for both your child and yourself!). Here are our top tips on how to best prepare your little one for their first class:
Let Them Know What to Expect
Start talking to your child about their class and teacher prior to the class. Take the time to let your child know what to expect in their class and the kinds of things that they may learn. Find out your child’s teacher’s name, so that you can let them know that the teacher is looking forward to their first class with them. You can even do a practice run by driving past the dance studio and letting your child know where the classes will be, or organise to visit the studio and have one of the staff members give you and your child a tour of the facilities and class they will be in. This will help them get used to the idea of going to dancing, and will reduce the chances of a last-minute change of mind before class.
This is easier said than done, but children are like little sponges and if you are stressed about their first class, then they are more likely to be stressed too. If your little one is already nervous about starting classes, being positive and calm will assist them in alleviating those nerves. You can ask your child how they are feeling about starting dance classes, and point out the positive points of beginning dance, such as the new friends they will make and the fun they will have.
Find Out What They Need to Wear to Class
Being prepared is a great way to remove stress prior to your child’s first class. Find out the class attire (uniform and shoes) your child will need to wear to their particular class. Having the correct attire from the beginning also builds excitement in your child, as they will begin to feel like a little dancer from the beginning. If there is anything you are unsure of, you can contact your school in advance to ask for guidance.
Don’t Worry if Your Child Doesn’t React Like Other Students
It is a completely natural reaction for your child to be nervous or emotional during their first dance class. At KGD, we do everything we can to work with parents to nurture their child’s participation in our classes. This personalised approach means that every student should feel valued and included in our classes, and that they can become comfortable at their own pace.
It’s okay if your child spends the majority of their first class clinging to your leg - every child develops in their own time. We find that some students begin class and are fine straight away, but may go through some separation anxiety later in the term, whereas others may cling to their parent at first, then become more comfortable and confident as the term progresses. Give your child time to adjust to the class and become comfortable. Ask them how they are feeling about it and contact your school or teacher for guidance if you are uncertain.
The same principle goes if your child does not pick up skills straight away. Like learning any skill at this young age, this is a time for them to learn important basic techniques, guided by their teacher, ensuring this is achieved in a supportive and fun way. Before you know it, your child will be a confident and comfortable dancer!
These small but effective tips are a fabulous way to get your little one prepared for dance, ensuring they are engaged, excited and prepared for their first class.