How To Get Ready for the First Day of Dance Class?
This is a common question for parents of our young dancers so here are some points to ease those parenting minds so they know what to wear and how to get ready for dance class.
Did things not go exactly as you envisioned on the first day of class? Don’t worry…read on to learn what is normal, what to wear and how to get ready for dance classes. Keep in mind that every dancer’s first experience will be different, depending on their age, the type of dance class and past experiences.
How To Get Ready for Dance Class?
Talk About The Dance 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 and how to get ready. For the Tiny Movers 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 mommies/ daddies have to sit outside.” This way there is no surprises on the day and lessens separation anxiety.
Meet The Teacher Ahead Of Time: Use the teacher’s name when talking about the dance class ahead of time and get ready by reviewing the teacher’s bio and picture.
Watch The Dance Class Class Videos Online Ahead Of Time: These dance class videos shows your dancer what to expect and gets them excited to go to class.
How Else Can We Get Ready for Class?
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 dance class, get ready and just stay near-by (at least that first day) so s/he has the visible comfort of you close-by.
Bring A Friend: It always adds to the fun and eases any butterfly nerves to have a friendly face with you. Ask your friends to join the class with you or on "bring a friend day".
What to Wear to Dance Class: It always 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 to dance class. We do not require you to buy or wear anything specific for a trial dance class, but get creative on the clothing 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 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.
What Are Appropriate Expectations?
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) get ready, there is often tears that can happen at any point in the dance class. Know that this is normal…remember there is a lot of newness and can be overwhelming. Our teachers are ready and are used to working with this age 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 dance room. (Once you are in the room with your dancer, it is hard to get you out again.) So if your dancer isn’t ready yet, that’s okay. We encourage that you stay with your dancer at the doorway just outside of the room but close enough to see and hear what is going on in the dance class. It is even better if you get ready and 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 participate when s/he is comfortable 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 showed some tears on the first dance class. It depends on the child, but it is very common for it to take a few dance classes before the new dancer is comfortable, ready, and fully engaged. The best thing to do is give it some time because only time will tell.
Practice Makes Perfect: It’s very common for a dancer to come out of dance class and not remember what s/he learned. Don’t misinterpret this as your dancer wasn’t paying attention or didn’t learn anything. Again, there is a lot of newness and it takes a few times for dancers to start remembering what s/he worked on and learned in dance class.
Behavior: Parents will often get embarrassed because they think their child isn’t listening in dance class and therefore shouldn’t be in the class or is not ready for the class. But remember…we are teachers, we are ready for your child to learn in dance class. More often than not, a child may look like they are not listening or disrupting class but in reality they just don’t know the rules of the class yet and don’t know what is expected. For our littlest dancers, this is often their first structured class so there is a lot to learn and that is what the class is all about! Dancers will often not know where to go or how to get ready in dance class…no worries, they will know next class.
How to Get Ready for Dance Class: Parents are also worried that their dancer will not be ready because they haven’t taken dance class before or are starting in the middle of a semester. No worries! Our teachers are used to having new dancers in the dance class all the time so trust us. The teachers will get them caught up and at that age they pick up quickly so the teacher will help with the process.