A common sentiment I hear from students is... "if only I had started dancing sooner."
Why do we relegate our dreams — like dancing — to the back burner or to another time?
The fact is the perfect time doesn't exist. What's more important than when is who and how. If you have a 10-year-old child who has never danced she can be just as successful as a child who has danced since she was a toddler. It's only a matter of her desire to dance and if she's in a studio that gives her the training and education she needs to develop.
Dancers of any age, but especially children, can pick up skills and tools very quickly. And that's all you really need to start dancing... a willingness to learn and the desire to start!
Movement at any age is beneficial — even dance movement and listening to music during pregnancy is healthy for the mother and child. And although not all dance studios offer options for all ages, there are some studios that offer dance as early as toddler and parent classes.
Giving your child the opportunity to start dance at a young age is a great gift simply because dance has so many benefits. For example, "Mommy and Me" classes in which a child and her parent dance together are not only a great way to get started on the dance journey, but also help mommy and baby make a great connection together in a safe and positive environment. Helping children start dancing as early as the time they're crawling means they'll receive the benefits of dance that much sooner.
Dance classes for toddlers that focus on creative movement, or "pre-dance," which typically means letting toddlers have fun moving their bodies to a beat, are another excellent way to get started dancing. Any class that lets your toddler work off steam by leaping like a deer, hopping like a frog, or unfolding from the floor like a flower will likely be a hit. And perhaps most importantly, will also encourage her to be more comfortable in social settings.
Even if your child has never danced or doesn't have any prior dance experience, the key is to just start — anytime of the year is a good time. Take action and don't give up too quickly as each child will "click" at different times and you want to give them the time they need to feel accomplished. Just take that first step and then another step and before you know it, you or your child will be in the groove!
And when you do get started, remember to ask the dance instructor questions and to get feedback. When just starting out, feedback is one of the best ways to speed up the learning process and put your best foot forward. The second most important way is practice — dance as much as possible! And who knows... dance may become the highlight of you and your child's week.
So when's the best time to start dancing? The answer is: now!