Dance is a wonderful art for any child to learn. At its core, dance is pure joy and self-expression. It’s that feeling when your favorite song comes on and it feels like no one else is around. But it can be so much more than that for your child. It helps build poise and confidence, relieves stress, and it’s a good way to form friendships and beef up their extra curricular resume as they get older. Dance can help your child grow into a confident, successful, disciplined adult--if you find the right dance studio.
First, you should look for a dance studio that covers your child’s level of experience. You don’t want a studio that will push your child too far, putting beginner dancers on pointe before they’re ready; on the other hand, your child won’t get much from an instructor who plays it too safe and doesn’t challenge them. If you can find a studio that offers a variety of classes, including beginner classes and more experienced courses, your child can grow through that studio, which will be especially convenient when they make friends and want to continue dancing with those friends.
Safety is the most important thing on any parents’ mind when it comes to their children, and it should be the first thing on the dance studio’s agenda, as well. Choose a dance studio that keeps an eye on students at all times. Learn the rules of the dance studio that you’re considering, and talk to instructors about how they enforce those rules. You might find that some dance studios are too strict so as to stifle your child, and that can be a problem, too. Find a happy medium: a studio committed to keeping your child safe and preventing accidents that uses discipline that’s proportionate and natural to the child’s actions.
If you enroll your child in dance classes, you don’t just want them to learn to pirouette. You want them to learn to become confident and to express themselves. You want them to learn that dedicated practice brings forth results. Take this former student’s experience with dance, for example. She talks about how she learned discipline by coming in regularly for all her dance rehearsals and recitals, and how the skills she learned through dance helped her to choose her career and to pursue it. Her dance studio was concerned with helping her grow as a person, and grow she did.
Ultimately, the right dance studio should be a place where your child can have fun, fall in love with dance, and grow to be more confident, disciplined, expressive people. As with anything concerning your child, do your research. Look through websites of local dance studios and call to speak to an actual employee there when you find one that you’re interested in. It might also be helpful to check their Facebook or yelp pages to see how parents and alumni feel about their experiences with that studio. If all seems well, sign your child up for a class.