Dance To EvOLvE Blog

5 Easy Steps to Enhance Your Child's First Dance Class Experience

Posted by Brittany, Dance To EvOLvE on Feb 28, 2014 11:45:00 AM


The first day of dance class is something to be excited about...it can also raise a lot of questions, though! What should we expect? How can we get ready? What will we experience and what does my child need to wear? In hopes of answering these questions (and more!), we've outlined a few things you can do for your dancer to give them a fanatistc first experience.

1. Talk About The Class Ahead Of Time:  It’s a great idea to talk about the new dance class beforehand so that your dancer knows what to expect.  For the toddler dance classes and older, it’s important your dancer knows ahead of time that you will not be going into the room.  Offer ongoing encouragement such as “I’m going to be so proud of you to watch you dance with the big kids.”  “I will be right outside if you need me.”  “You are going to have so much fun.”  “We will do something special afterwards for my big boy/girl dancer like get ice-cream.” “You are in a big kid class now, so mommy’s/ daddy’s have to sit outside.”   This way, there are no surprises.

kid's dance class

2. Meet The Teacher Ahead Of Time:  Use the teacher’s name when talking about the class ahead of time and show them the dance teacher’s bio and picture to get your tiny tot excited to meet their new teacher.

3. Bring A Friend:  It always adds to the fun and eases any butterfly nerves to have a friendly face with you. Invite a friend to join by having them schedule a trial dance class.

4. Come Dressed Appropriately:  It also helps, especially for the young dancers, to understand they are going to a structured class (versus unstructured playtime) if they are wearing the appropriate clothing.  We do not require you to buy anything specific, 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 discountdance.com by using Dance To EvOLvE's code TP35961. You will also find affordable dance attire and shoes at stores such as Target, Payless, and sometimes Walmart.  If you do not have the ballet or tap shoes, just let your dancer know you are going to try it for today and if s/he likes it, then you will get the fun dance shoes. 
dance class with your child

5. Get Involved:  If your dancer is participating in Baby Boppers or Magical Munchkins the more you get involved, the more engaged your dancer will be and the sooner they will start doing the activities on their own.  If your dancer is in an older class, just stay near-by (at least that first day) so s/he has the visible comfort of you close-by.

Remember, every dancer’s first experience will be different, depending on their age, the type of class they attend and their past experiences. And yes, tears are normal! Adjusting to a new activity can take time and it is very common for it to take a few classes before a new dancer is comfortable and fully engaged. The best thing to do is give it some time because only time will tell.

We can't wait to get dancing with your little one!

 

Tags: Dance Classes Dress Code, tiny tot dance classes, toddler dance class, Dance Clothes, Where to buy dance clothes & shoes?

12 Ideas To Stay Inspired With Dance Lessons!

Posted by Brittany White on Aug 10, 2012 2:50:00 PM

As a parent, there is a fine line of how hard to push your child with an activity. If you burn them out, they might drop a great talent or interest because it just isn't fun anymore. If you don't teach them dedication, they may not understand that we must work hard to be good at something. Here is some advice to help you walk this tightrope when it comes to dance lessons.

First and foremost, we must understand that dance lessons can be a fun and artistic outlet or they can be more for sport and serious development. Ideally, the combination of both if what truely develops a young dancer. Dancing is a mixure of creativity and athleticism that takes time and patience to really excel in. It is also something that is universally in every culture and most social celebrations. To be skilled in this art is something anyone can use for the rest of their life. The longer someone sticks with good dance lessons, the more confidence, flexibility, body awareness, and great moves they will have! 
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So how do we maintain inspiration? Easy! Dance is contagious! Here are 12 ideas:

-Make sure they are in the right class in the first place. They need to like the style and teacher. If not, try something new!

-Look up some youtube videos that pertain to your dancer and the style they like. Here are
some great examples.

-Take pictures or videos of them dancing in class to show them after. 

-Give them performance opportunities if they get excited about showing off. (At home in front of family or friends, dance recitals, school talent shows, home videos, etc)

-Bring a friend to a dance lesson one day if your studio allows it.

-Take them to a dance show! (On a budget? Youth dance companies often do affordable performances throught the year.)

-Watch a dance inspired movie! (Happy Feet is great for younger kids, but the list is endless!)

-Allow them to bond with their teacher and classmates so they get excited to see them week after week.

-Take a break from dance lessons for a season if needed to rejevenute.

-If your dancer normally takes ballet, take a different style such as hip hop over the summer.

-Ask your dancer to show you what they've learned after class.

-Show off some new dance clothes! Click here for a 10% off code for Discount Dance Supply.

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to inspire your child to stick with their dance lessons. They are much more likely to develop the valuable life skills that come with dancing if they are having fun and getting excited about it. If for some reason, dance lessons just aren't for them anymore, casually move on to something else. As long as there is no pressure, they might get back into it one day!

 “We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

 

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Tags: children activities, dance classes for children, Dance Clothes

How do I pick out dance shoes for my dancer?

Posted by Brittany White on Dec 9, 2011 11:23:00 AM

This would depend on the age and level of the dancer. For tiny tot dancers, don’t waste your money on the most expensive pair of dance shoes that are available for dance classes. I always tell my dance parents to buy the most budget friendly pair as the dance steps that tiny tots will be doing in their dance classes do not require a higher quality shoe. Besides, a tiny tot dancer is going to outgrow the dance shoes before the quality is even a problem.

Most tap shoes run similar in size to street shoes, and like street shoes, a tap shoe for a tiny tot dancer should have a pinch above the big toe for comfort, but not too much so that the shoe falls off the heel when dancing. (A good trick to see if the dance shoe is too big is to have the dancer go up on the balls of their feet. If the heels pop out of the shoes, you should consider going down a size.) Typically, tap shoes for tiny tots are black, shiny and tie with a ribbon. Tap shoes can come in enticing fun colors, but check the dress code for your dance studio. I recommend getting black because come recital time, the dancer will already have the necessary shoe.

Ballet class shoes for tiny tot dancers are typically pink leather that tie on top of the foot. Again, I would recommend going with the traditional pink ballet shoe for the recital as most dance studios are going to use pink ballet shoes. Ballet class shoes should have an elastic strap across the ankle to keep the shoe from falling off the heel and be snug on the foot, but ensuring the toes are not pinched. The one shoe that should be avoided is more of a slipper. It has a cushion or padded sole and is usually silky material. Although these may be cute for around the house, they can be a safety concern in dance classes. Dancers can trip with the padded sole. Dancers are also not learning to feel the floor while dancing in dance class. (See picture of a cushioned ‘ballet slipper’ that should be avoided.) Both tiny tot tap and ballet shoes, can be purchased online for the best prices at www.discountdance.com and www.dancedistributors.com.

For older students, there are multiple ballet and tap brands. It is probably a good idea to buy your first pair in a retail dance store where you can try on various brands and styles. After that, you can definitely order them online to save some money. For the dancer buying her first pair of pointe shoes, it is very important to go into a well known dance store that has professional and knowledgable staff for the fitting. Many dance teachers will go with their students for this fitting in preparation for their first pointe class. Every dancer’s foot is significantly different in size, shape, and arch and therefore it is imperative to get the pointe shoe that fits the dancer’s foot.

For hip hop dance classes, dancers simply need to wear a tennis shoe that ties so it doesn’t fall off while dancing. It is also a good idea to have a shoe with less traction so that slides and turns are possible. This becomes more important with older dancers as they start doing more advanced moves and helps prevent knee injuries. High top shoes are great for added support too!

For more information on dress codes or where to purchase dance clothes and shoes, please check out my other blog.

Tags: Dance Clothes, Tiny Tot Dance Shoes

Where should you buy dance clothes or shoes?

Posted by Brittany White on Dec 2, 2011 3:17:00 PM

This is a common question from parents with new or young dancers with an endless answer. There are tons of places that sell dance clothes and it depends on what you are looking for. For a nearby retail store, an easy internet search of “dance clothes stores” will bring up a few options. Those results will probably include a couple of privately owned stores. (Just confirm that they are selling what you are looking for as some of these stores may be directed towards partner dance styles.) You will also find results that include dance name brands such as Capezio. Many studios sell dance wear or their own studio branded wear and can be purchased on site. These types of places will definitely have everything that you are looking for, but it will come with a higher price tag.

For some more budget friendly options, I have a few suggestions. If you are comfortable ordering online, I think the best two sites are www.discountdance.com and www.dancedistributors.com (with Discount Dance being my preference). You will find absolutely everything that you need on these sites, including name brands and store brands for dance wear but at a much lower price. (If ordering from Discount Dance, receive an additional 10% off with our code of TP35961.) I am a store brand buyer as they work for me and are really great options, especially for tiny tots. Both of these sites also sell shoes. Again, for tiny tots, a basic pair of tap or ballet shoes are fine as they do not need the most expensive ones. As the dancer gets older, he or she may prefer different brands because of the way they fit or the quality (and therefore how long they last).

If you would like to make your purchase in person, Target, Walmart and other such stores will also sell basic dance clothes to include leotards, tights and sometimes tutus. (If you are in Southern California, Discount Dance has two retail locations.) Before you buy anything, I do suggest that you check your studio’s dress code policy. (Also check out our blog on dress code.) Final words, is don’t overbuy until you know if your child is really committed to dance and never overpay with so many options out there.

Brittany White, EvOLvE Dance Director
www.dancetoevolve.com

Tags: Dance Clothes, Where to buy dance clothes & shoes?