Dance To EvOLvE Blog

Boys love to dance too! – Killing The Social Stigma

Posted by Brittany White on Feb 16, 2012 11:40:00 PM

One of the biggest misconceptions out there is that dance is just for girls. That’s not true...boys love to dance too! We need to break this outdated stereotype and get more boys dancing! Boys can benefit from dance classes just as much as girls. Exposure to dance and music develops coordination, musicality, rhythm, and creative expression. Dance experience can also really benefit participation in sports. Dancers have flexibility, body awareness, agility, and balance, which are extremely important in athletic activities. Remember...Herschel Walker, a former American professional football player and a mixed martial artist, used to take ballet to improve his balance. All these reasons don’t even account for the simple fact that dance is fun for everyone! Loving music and ‘getting your groove on’ should not be stifled because of an outdated stigma.

Boys should be encouraged to take any type of dance class that they are interested in even if they are the minority in the class. Some boys love ballet...I even know of parents who appreciated the positive calming effect it had on their son’s energy! A lot of boys love tap because of the fun noises and rhythms they get to create. Now-a-days, with hip hop being so popular, boys can really channel their energy into this fun high energy style. I will say that hip hop is the most popular for boys and it is very common for multiple boys to be in the same class. There are many options so try out a few dance classes and see what is the best option for your male dancer.

I see two main reasons for why boys are not in dance classes:

  1. When a boy comes to try the class, he may be the only one and doesn’t return after that. (Often because of the parent’s feelings and not the boy’s feelings.) If the boy would only stay a little longer, then he would ultimately meet the other boys coming to try the class.
  2. As boys get older, they begin thinking that dance is uncool for them due to influences from fathers, brothers, or friends. This is unfortunate since dance is fantastic for boys. Especially as these boys become men...what girl doesn’t appreciate a boy who can dance?! ;)

Overall, there are so many positives for boys taking dance classes... as long as they’re growing, learning, and happy!

Brittany White, Dance To EvOLvE Director
www.dancetoevolve.com

Tags: children activities, Boys Dance

In the spirit of Valentine's Day...Why do dance teachers love to teach?

Posted by Brittany White on Feb 13, 2012 10:50:00 AM

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I thought it would be nice to share why we do what we do. Obviously every dance teacher is different, but we all share the same love for dance, teaching, and our students. This love is what keeps us going each and every week, ready to start class with a smile. Dance To EvOLvE’s teachers share their love with you...

Miss Brittany: "My students' genuine smiles and fun keep me going every class. Beyond that, I love teaching because I know and see how dance contributes to a child's development in building personal character and developing life skills they will always use."

Miss Laura: “Teaching dance is something I have always been passionate about. I begged my first dance teacher to let me start teaching when I was 12 yrs. old. I’m completely blessed to be doing what I love to do. There is nothing better than helping others find their passion of dance. They learn from me and I learn from them.”

Miss Abby: "I love teaching dancers because my students are making just as much of a difference in my life as I am in theirs!"

Miss Sara: "I love teaching because I love watching the excitement, creativity, and confidence grow in a dancer every week. Seeing passion for dance in young dancers is inspiring, and I love being able to nurture that."

Miss Tonya: "I love teaching dance classes because it's the best feeling to see the kids having a smile on their face and the laughs...that's what brings a smile to my face!"

Miss Kristin: "Having the opportunity to share something that I love with my students and watch each and every one of them improve and grow into a beautiful young dancers is what fuels my motivation and passion for teaching dance."

Miss Jenny: "It's when a dancer is excited to come to dance class, smiling, exclaims proudly out-loud when they have accomplished a new dance step, or reaches for my hand as we go across the floor...everyday I'm reminded of how blessed I am to share what I love with my students!"

Miss Christy: "I love seeing and hearing the silly wonderful things my girls say and do each week. But more than anything my favorite part about teaching is seeing how excited they are to come to class and share their love of dance with me. They are always making me smile and are a constant reminder of why I have never stopped dancing."

Brittany White, Dance To EvOLvE Director
www.dancetoevolve.com

How much technique should 3-4 year olds be learning in class?

Posted by Brittany White on Feb 6, 2012 11:26:00 AM

There are many approaches to teaching so every teacher and dance studio is going to structure their tiny tot dance classes differently. How much technique to teach in a 3-4 year old class will depend on the goal of the class, type of dance, and the quality of the teacher and studio. If the class is designed to be a general movement or creative dance class, specific dance technique may not be taught and that is okay. The teacher will most likely concentrate on the creative side of dance and developing the dancers’ imagination. Teaching and encouraging expression, pretend play/ dance, coordination, music and listening are key in such a class.

I believe all of these things can be taught in a class in addition to introducing the basics of technique. There is a reason fundamental classes are so popular for 3-4 year olds, it is the perfect time for them to be introduced to basic dance technique. This age is beneficially challenged by learning basic balances, turns, jumps, and choreography and specific technique such as 1st position, plié, and introducing the ballet barre. In a tiny tot tap class, dancers can learn heel and toe digs, shuffles, stomps, and shuffle hop step to name a few. The specific technique taught is not as important as a good teacher using moves and activities that have a purpose. The movements taught in the dance class should build a basic foundation compared to a class where the teacher goes from one activity to the next with no ultimate plan or goal in mind.

I often hear parents asking if their dancer is learning enough technique or they want their dancer to move up a level so that they will learn more technique. I caution parents to have this mentality. Dance lessons need to be age appropriate. If a dancer is doing something that is too old for them, they will not be successful because they are not strong enough to physically execute the dance move, which is why dance teachers plan curriculum appropriate to not only a child’s mental ability but their physical ability. Also, in a dance class that is not age appropriate for your dancer, the movement would be presented in a way that is too mature for the young dancer and therefore will lose the dancer’s attention.

The most important thing for a tiny tot dance class is that the class has a good balance of learning ‘dance’ moves while also having fun. Everything, even the technique, should be taught in a fun, creative and game-like manner to keep the young dancers engaged and wanting to come back to class each week. As they get older and stronger with a higher attention span, the teacher will introduce more and more technique.

Brittany White, Dance To EvOLvE Director
www.dancetoevolve.com

Tags: Tiny Tot Dance Technique