Dance To EvOLvE Blog

10 Dance Class Etiquette Tips For Kids

Posted by Bridget Savant on Dec 21, 2012 1:27:00 PM

Many new young students and parents show up to kids dance classes without realizing there is standard dance class etiquette. Not to worry! We put together a guide of ten helpful tips for you and your dancer to look at to be prepared for dance class.  Read on to see everything you need to know about dance class etiquette: 

dance class, kids dance classes, tap classes for kids1. Arriving On Time: When dancers arrive on time, it allows them to get settled and focused so they do not enter the class in a whirlwind. Many times when parents bring their young ones to class late, the child feels overwhelmed or uncomfortable without having time to get used to their surroundings. We have experienced the most easy going kids having meltdowns just because they were rushed into their dance class late. Also, being nice and respectful to your teacher is huge when it comes to dance class etiqutte considering they probably just spent time getting the kids settled down and focused in the first place. When dancers show up late, it is disruptive to everyone. Teachers almost always start their class off with a warm up and your dancer may have more trouble staying focused and engaged without that initial time to get all the wiggles and jiggles out.  Yes, sometimes it is challenging to arrive on time with our busy lives but the importance of your little one having a chance to settle in and become comfortable with their new surroundings cannot be stressed enough.  You wouldn't want your dancer to confuse a fun and exciting new environment with an overwhelming one just because they did not have enough time to get used to it.

2. Entering the Class: With younger children dance classes, dancers should wait outside the classroom until the teacher invites students in to begin dance class. It is challenging for the dance teacher when children are running around the room while the teacher is trying to set-up for their next dance class or talk with parents.  The teacher needs an appropriate amount of time for preparation so they can teach the next class the best they can just as students need their time to prepare as well.  

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3. Dress Code: Many dance studios as well as kids dance classes have a dress code for their students so kids are not coming in with distracting clothing on. Often, young dancers show up in party dresses, costumes, or jewelry and as fun as that is, it can be very distracting to everyone in the room. Dance attire is flexible and clingy to show the dancers lines while giving them the ability to move as much as they can. The appropriate dance shoes make a big difference too! When parents send their dancer with the wrong shoes, it can create safety issues, hinder their movement, or cause discomfort during the dance class. Your dancer will have plenty of time outside of the studio to practice their new dance moves in their favorite party dresses and costumes.    

4. Talking: All kids are in the process of learning when it is and isn't appropriate to talk during the dance class. With an experienced dance teacher, time should be given to the dancers  to talk and share with one another to help cut down on disruptive talking while the lesson is going on. In children dance classes, kids begin to learn that they should be quiet unless their teacher is asking for them to speak or it is an unstructured time of the dance class. 

5. Water Breaks: Many teachers give about one water break per hour in children dance classes. Especially if the class is high energy or if it is hot. Some teachers do not give any water breaks in young ballet/tap dance classes for kids if the dancers are in a more mellow environment. When children start asking for a water break frequently, that means they are losing focus. Dance classes go much smoother when dancers know to wait for their teacher to give them a break rather than interrupting by asking over and over again. Parents should not be interrupting the class to give their dancer water unless the teacher asks them too. It can be very disruptive and make other young dancers want their parents to do the same. You can always send your dancer with a water bottle if needed.

6. Bathroom Breaks: Dancers should go to the bathroom before dance class starts just like they do in school. It is especially difficult for a teacher if a child needs to go to the bathroom and their parent has already dropped them off. The teacher then gets stuck with interrupting his or her whole class for one child who needs to be excused. 

dance classes, ballet classes for kids, children dance classes7. Parent Involvement During Class: Parents should not be entering the class without being asked by the teacher or giving comments/feedback to their dancer during it. It can be very distracting to the student and affect their attitude. Let your teacher teach and let your dancer focus on one adult at a time. When there are too many cooks in the kitchen, things don't run smoothly. If you have any suggestions, questions, or comments, please talk to your teacher or dancer after the dance class.

8. Parents Sitting Outside the Room: Some younger dance classes ask that parents stay in the room and participate while others ask that you stay out. This is really about the developmental stage of the child. When kids are under 3 years old, it is very beneficial to have parents in the room helping as needed. When kids are 3 or older, they tend to focus and have better attitudes when parents watch from a distance. Please respect your teacher's rules if you register for his or her kids dance class. Explain to your dancer in advance that they are in a big kids' class and tell them where you will be. This way, they won't get any surprises and will feel more comfortable knowing where you are.  

9. Distractions: Dancers should not be bringing anything into dance class that will be distracting to the learning environment such as toys or accessories.  These only end up causing more problems and sometimes tears if the teacher has to take them away from the dancer.

10. Thanking Your Teacher After Class: It is a tradition in dance class (all ages!) to thank your teacher after class for giving you their knowledge and energy. It is a big sign of respect and teaches kids that dancing is a privilege that they should be grateful to learn.

The good news is that kids dance classes are great for teaching kids etiquette and structure. These manners go a long way throughout the rest of their lives and should be reinforced at home. The more respectful everyone is in class, the easier it is to learn and have a good time. Talk to your dancer about these topics and ask your dance teacher for feedback if you have any questions!  We hope these tips helped, please let us know if you have any questions or comments below, we would love to hear from you!

 

Tags: Dance Classes, children activities, kids dance classes, dance classes for children

10 Life Skills Kids Learn From Dance Classes

Posted by Brittany White on Dec 14, 2012 4:47:00 PM

Dance classes are an amazing tool for teaching children basic life skills that can be used for throughout the rest of their lives. So many different skills and rules are needed to be successful in this world and kids are never too young to start learning them. 

1. Spacial Awareness: Kids learn about spacial awareness pretty quickly in dance classes. In many young classes, you will see teachers using colors, spots, or shapes to keep the kids standing in a certain area. When teachers use props like these, they are also teaching kids to not play with them or move them so they stay in a formation or line. In the real world, we all get a little offended when someone gets in our personal bubble, don't we? Teaching kids to be aware of space at a young age will help avoid some conflicts at school and on the playground. ballet class

2. Taking Turns: Dancers must take turns going across the floor, sharing information with their teacher, standing in the front, freestyling...the list goes on! Knowing when it is our turn to do something is a skill that everyone uses constantly to get through every day life. The sooner a child understands this, the sooner they understand how to interact better with others, and the less conflicts they will experience.   

3. Standing In Line: Throughout dance classes, dancers will stand in lines to keep things efficient, organized, and visually appealing. When people are not in lines when they should be, it can create a sense of chaos. Imagine Disneyland, the grocery store, or the freeways without lines! School teachers, camp directors, and other program leaders rely on lines constantly to get from place to place and teach this lesson over and over to run successful programs. Why not reinforce this skill in dance classes to help kids be more acquainted with every day expectations?

4. Listening: Dancers are taught to listen and watch more than speak. They must listen to their teacher, to the music, and to the sound of their steps. The more a dancer can listen closely, the more they can stay on beat and develop their musicality. Good listening skills are one of the most important things you can teach a child. It helps them be successful in school, understanding rules, and communicating with others. 

5. Talking When Appropriate: How often do you correct your child when they speak out of turn, interrupt, or talk back? This happens almost all day long until about college, right? Dance classes teach kids to be quiet while stretching, waiting in line, while the teacher instructs, and so on. If the teacher is experienced, they will create moments for their dancers to talk so kids know when it is and isn't appropriate to share. You can't expect a kid to be quiet for an entire hour while they are having fun, but you can teach them when it is ok to share their ideas.

6. Respect: Respecting other dancers and well as your teacher is a huge concept in dance class. Kids are taught to share, respect space, take turns, listen, clap for others... the whole shebang! Teachers really tend to drive this point home when students start dancing in groups to perform for each other. Dancers are always taught to clap for one another, give each other compliments, and never make fun of anyone for their dancing. If the teacher does it right, s/he should be creating an environment that feels safe and loving for kids to build their confidence. The more dancers respect one another, the better they will all feel and the more they will grow. 

7. Good Posture: Part of good etiquette is having good posture. Dancers are taught to keep their heads up, stand up straight, and keep their shoulders back. Younger dancers don't always learn these skills in too much depth but they start learning not to hang on ballet barres like monkeys, to lift up to stand on their toes, how to shift their weight quickly, and to change how high or low they are dancing. The muscles that create good posture are being developed whether they realize it or not. Dance classes force kids to start having body awareness which translates to posture and good body language a little later in life. 

8. Following Directions: Kids are all in the process of learning how to follow directions. Children who dance really get this reinforced throughout the entire class. Dancing is one of the only activities where one must follow the direction of their choreographer, the music, fellow dancers, and their own bodies all at the same time with precision and while looking good. There is a lot of direction going on there! We all know that following directions is a huge skill that dictates the majority of our lives. Again, let dance classes teach them while they are young!

9. Sharing: Young dancers often get to use props in their classes because it is a creative way for the teacher to keep them engaged in what they are learning. With the use of props, students are typically sharing through using them as well as bringing them back to the teacher. It's amazing how willing a young child is to help clean up, isn't it? Many times tiny tot dancers can get into little tiffs over who gets to give which prop to their teacher. Sharing is encouraged during clean up and in dance games to coincide with the lessons kids are being taught about sharing in school and at home. 

10. Dressing To Impress: Many dance studios ask that dancers have their hair out of their faces and are wearing dance attire. Dress codes help dancers focus so they aren't fidgeting or confined to their clothing. You don't tend to see too many sloppy dancers out there now do you? When we learn to dress to impress at a young age, it sends a message of structure, organization, and cleanliness. We make better first impressions and become more appealing to others when we take good care of ourselves. 

Many children's activities teach or reinforce similar life skills but the way dance classes do it is unparalleled. Combine a great teacher with music, movement, precision, athleticism, beauty, grace, fun, games, props, and energy and you've got a recipe for an amazing experience! Try out a dance class and teacher that engages your child for a while and you'll be surprised at how quickly these skills kick in gear! We all know how important each and every one of them are in our every day lives, develop them in your child through dance!

Tags: children activities, Dance Classes Dress Code, kids dance classes