What To Expect and Wear on The First Day of Dance Class?
This is a typical question that parents ask when they register for a dance class. How do you prepare and what do you wear for dance lessons? We're here to ease your minds!
Did things not go exactly as you thought they would on the first day? Don’t worry…read below to see what to wear and how to prepare for dance lessons. Keep in mind that every dancer’s first experience is different depending on how old they are, the type of dance class they attend and their past experiences.
How To Prepare For Dance Lessons?
Chat With Your Dancer Prior To The Class: It’s a wonderful idea to talk about the dance class before so that your dancer is more prepared and knows what to wear. For the Tiny Movers classes and older (our 3 yr old classes and older), it’s important your dancer knows ahead of time that you will not be going into the room. Offer ongoing encouragement to your dancer such as, "This is a big girl/ boy class and you will have so much fun! You can tell us all about it afterwards." This will help them be prepared for dance class and the fact that you won't be in the room. It can, also, help eliminate separation anxiety.
Watch The Class Videos Online Prior To The Dance Class: These dance class videos shows your dancer what to expect, how to prepare, what to wear and gets them excited to go to dance lessons.
Meet The Teacher Prior To The Dance Lesson: Make sure you and your dancer check out the teacher’s bio and picture. Knowing the teachers name and face before the dance class will be very helpful in preparing and easing your dancer's mind.
How else can we prepare for dance lessons?
Don't Be Late: Not only can it be a disruption to the dance class, entering the room late can be very intimidating to your kids. Getting there early will help prepare your dancer and give you enough time to get comfortable or situated with the new environment. It is a great idea to be a few minutes early so your dancer can see the room and hopefully have time to talk with the teacher before dance class. When the dancers enter the room all together, it makes it feel more like a group experience.
Get Involved: If your dancer is participating in Baby Boppers or Magical Munchkins (our 2-3 yr old classes), the more you get involved and dancing, the more engaged your dancer will be. Then it will just be a matter of time before they're dancing on their own. If your dancer is in an older class, just be prepared and stay nearby (at least that dance lesson) so s/he is a little more comfortable during their dance class.
Bring A Friend: It always adds to the fun and eases any butterflies in the stomach to have a friend join you in dance class. Ask a friend to register with you or bring them along on 'bring a friend day.'
What to Wear in Dance Lessons: If your dancer is wearing the appropriate clothing, it will help them to understand they are going to a structured dance lesson (versus playtime). This is especially true for younger dancers. We do not require you to wear or buy anything specific for a trial dance lesson, but get creative on the clothes choices to make them feel like a dancer. If you are ready to make a purchase, receive 10% off your first order with Discount Dance by using our Dance To EvOLvE code: TP35961. You will also find affordable dance attire, dance bags, and shoes at stores such as Target, Payless, and sometimes Walmart. If you are not prepared and do not have the ballet or tap shoes, just let your dancer know you are going to try it for today and if the s/he likes it, then you will get the fun dance shoes.
What Are Appropriate Expectations for Dance Class?
Dancer Participation: Parents often think because their child dances at home, they are going to immediately jump into class and start dancing. It’s important to be prepared and remember that it is completely normal for a young dancer to be a little nervous or shy during their first class. That doesn’t mean s/he isn't enjoying the dance class...rather they're just checking things out first. The first dance class can be a lot of new things happening: a new teacher, new room, new music, new space, etc. If they don't jump in right away, that's completely OK. If your dancer is watching and paying attention, that’s a great sign! So know, s/he may or they may not participate immediately and that is okay. Sometimes they just need to sit and watch for a while. Our teachers are prepared and will continuously invite your dancer in to participate in the fun whenever they are ready. We don’t want to force anything, this way s/he feels it is their choice to get involved in dance class and it is less overwhelming.
Yes, Tears Are Normal: For our tiny tot classes (especially Tiny Movers, which is the first big girl and boy class where parents are outside of the room) be prepared that there can sometimes be tears that can happen at any point in the dance lessons. Know that this is not unusual. Remember, it often takes time for them to get comfortable with all the newness. Our teachers are prepared to work with this age for dance lessons and that means working with tears. It’s okay, just keep movin’ and groovin’. Our teachers also have a lot of experience working with separation anxiety…yours and/or your dancers. ;-). Sometimes a new dancer is simply uncharacteristically shy. Trust our suggestions as all of this is normal. Typically, we recommend that parents don’t enter the room. (Once you enter the room with your dancer, it can be difficult for them to let you leave. It also makes the other dancers want their families in the room with them.) So if your dancer isn’t ready yet, that’s OK. We encourage that you stay with your dancer at the doorway just outside of the dance room but close enough to see and hear what is going on in the class. It is even better if you slowly start doing dance moves together from the doorway to engage your child in what the teacher is doing. Our teachers will tell the dancer that s/he is welcome to come and join the dance class anytime and will continually welcome her/him in. Again, this gives the new dancer the choice to come and join the class when s/he is ready so that it isn’t scary or intimidating.
It Takes Time: Too often parents walk away from the dance experience because their dancer was shy or shed some tears on the first day. It depends on the child, but it is very common for it to take a few dance lessons before the new dancer is comfortable and fully engaged. The best thing to do is be prepared for dance lessons and give them some time before writing it off as a failed experience.
Readiness For Dance Class: Parents are also worried that their dancer will not be prepared and will be behind because they haven’t taken dance class before or are starting in the middle of a semester. No worries! Our teachers are prepared to have new dancers in the dance lesson all the time. At that age they pick up quickly and the teacher will help with the process.