Dance To EvOLvE Blog

How does performance develop a young dancer?

Posted by Brittany White on Apr 19, 2012 10:30:00 AM

I am a big believer in getting children performing at an early age. Of course it helps to develop their performance skills as they grow and develop into stronger dancers but more than that, I think performance is an opportunity to develop life-skills.

A dance recital is a fun experience that creates memories for a lifetime and is a wonderful chance for family and friends to see what the dancer has learned in class. The preparation for a recital is important because as the dancer is working on their recital dance, they are developing memorization skills, rhythm, technique, teamwork, and much more. Dancers learn to be proud of what they have learned and accomplished with their dances. It’s important for children to understand that when you work hard at something, you are rewarded with a great experience, some fun, and pride in your work.

A recital also gives the dancer a opportunity to be on a stage and to perform in front of an audience. This is a truly needed life-skill. Being able to get up in front of a group will prepare them for group projects in school and public speaking their entire life. Performance increases a child’s comfort level and confidence in all that they do as they are learning it’s good to try things in front of people and even okay if we mess up...the show must go on and life must go on.

I know many parents who are hesitant to have their child perform because of one reason or another. I encourage parents to have their children perform and to ensure it is not their own insecurities keeping the child from going on a stage. The earlier a child begins performing on some level, the better. With that said, a performance can bring on some nerves or different emotions but that is both normal and okay. Unfortunately I see a lot of dance studios or teachers putting unnecessary stress on the children when it comes to the recital so be sure you are comfortable with the studio’s philosophy on performance. Also check to see if the teacher will be dancing with their younger classes or not as this makes a huge difference for the little ones. Ask how long the show will be so you understand how long the kids will be backstage. Some studios, like Dance To EvOLvE, even allow volunteer class moms to be backstage. Knowing that you could stay with your dancer might ease some anxious feelings.

When a parent is hesitant to enroll their child in recital because they are shy, I always tell them, “you never know what we will get on show day. I have had my stars of the class freeze up on stage and I have had my shyest students in class be the stars on show day...it is all okay and a part of the experience.”

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Tags: Dance Classes, children activities

How can a good dance class for children prepare your dancer for school?

Posted by Brittany White on Apr 14, 2012 1:00:00 PM

A good dance teacher should go way beyond simply teaching dance in a dance class. A good dance teacher not only develops technique, imagination, and artistry but also teaches skills such as social, listening, coordination, memorization and math. They should also introduce class structure which is imperative when starting school. Good dance teachers see the importance of developing little humans versus just developing a dancer. They create a perfect environment in their dance class for a young dancer to start learning the skills that will benefit them in all their school years.

Quality children’s dance lessons will involve the dancers understanding that they need to listen to the teacher and follow the rules of the class and directions of the teacher. The young dancers will also learn to make lines, wait their turn, dance together, share, listen and repeat or listen and follow, and also count. As I like to say with my students, ‘the magic number is 8’ and we do a lot of counting forwards and backwards to 8. Putting dance moves with counts (or numbers) is the starting blocks of all the research that shows that dance helps mathematic scores.

In addition to all the skills the young dancers learn, they are also becoming comfortable with participating in a class without mom and dad. This helps with separation anxiety that is often a problem for the parent and child when beginning school.

Dance To EvOLvE’s tag line is ‘Dance Today For Your Life Tomorrow‘ and outlines the philosophy of EvOLvE and the EvOLvE teachers. As a team, we believe in teaching more than dance and take our role as a teacher seriously to develop our students in all aspects.

Brittany White, Dance To EvOLvE Director

Tags: children activities, academy dance

Dance Classes Do Not Have To Be Expensive

Posted by Brittany White on Apr 6, 2012 3:59:00 PM

One of the reasons that I started my own dance company is because after working at many dance studios over the years, I was always surprised by all the fees involved. Of course any type of class has associated costs and therefore participant fees are necessary, but with many classes or activities, including dance classes, there are numerous additional fees. There is a pressure on families to stay involved which can lead to more expenses. The pressure often comes from the dance studio itself or other parents at the studio to wear a specific color or brand of clothing, take multiple classes a week, and/or participate in expensive competitions, conventions and performances throughout the year. Some of these things are necessary for an older and advanced dancer. Multiple classes a week is a necessity to develop a dancer’s body and conventions or extra workshops can be very beneficial to a dancer’s training. With that said, a dancer can receive high quality instruction without mounting fees.

It is important for you to decide what your priorities are when taking a dance class. This way, you will not get caught up in the pressure that can bring the extra fees. If you are looking for a dance class for fun and recreation, then find a dance studio that does not have a strict dance code (saving money on buying dance attire) and that does not put pressure on the dancers to take lots of classes a week or to attend conventions.

If you are looking for a dance studio to provide a higher level of training, then go for a good studio that is not a ‘competition studio’. Participating in competitions are very expensive between the entry, travel and costume costs involved. Competition studios do not always bring quality instruction so do your research and find the studio that believes in developing their dancers technique and artistry.

At many studios, participating in the recital can also be required or sold with a package that includes things you may not need. (For example, many dance studios have a recital package between $100 and $200 that will include the costume, 2 tickets, a DVD and sometime pictures.) It is also important to research different dance studios and check out the companies that offer a free trial class. Be sure to ask if they have an annual registration fee, what the recital policies and dress code is, and other fees throughout the year. (They are often not forth coming about this so ask other parents.) If you are looking for affordability, I would also not be distracted with fancy studios. Fancy studios bring expensive upkeep which brings high fees. One of the wonderful things about dance is that there is no expensive equipment involved…the only true requirement is an open room Of course you want a professionally run company to ensure high quality instruction and good management (bad management can increase prices due to inefficiencies) but you don’t need all the ‘bells and whistles’ to have a great dance class.

Brittany White, Dance To EvOLvE Director

Tags: Dance Classes Costs and Fees