Your Child’s First Dance Class: Tips to Ease the Transition
Set Expectations in advance
You know your child better than anyone, having conversations with them prior to class will help them feel less anxious and ultimately, enjoy their time in class.
Talk to them about what they can expect when they go to the studio for the first time. Feel free to email your studio ahead of time if you want to know more about the class routine.
If it is an un-parented class let them know what you will be doing while they are in class. It is recommended that you stay and wait outside the classroom for the first week or so in case your child needs you.
Teach your child their teacher’s name so that if they need something they will know how to ask.
Consult the studio website for dress code and be sure that your child has the necessary attire for their class (including shoes if applicable). This will help them feel like they are part of the group right from the beginning.
Use the bathroom BEFORE class
Arrive a few minutes early in order to have time to take your child to the bathroom – even if they say they might not have to go. Feeling nervous may cause your child to not fully relieve themselves. Nothing creates a more negative experience for a child than having an accident in class.
Be conscious of your child’s learning style
All children learn differently. Just as some adults will sit in the back of a meeting and take it all in before providing feedback and some will have a million questions as soon as the presenter opens their mouth – your child’s experience with learning is much the same. Some are observers and it will take them a couple of weeks before they feel comfortable enough to fully participate, some will dive in immediately. Talk to your teacher if you are concerned with your child’s participation. We expect that most children will be settled into the class routine one month after class start.
Discuss the class with your child and help them practice what they have learned
Not only will this make for great conversation on the way home in the car and allow you lots of opportunities to watch your little dancer grow and learn; it will help them feel more confident dancing in front of other children and their teacher in class. The more opportunities your child has to show what they have learned the more confident they become. Don’t worry, even if you have 2 left feet you will be able to help your little one practice – follow their lead and make it fun – you may even pick up a few new moves.
Lastly, remember your child’s teacher is here to help your child integrate into the class environment in every way they can. We are looking forward to an excellent year of dance and are very excited that you chose Edmonton Dance Factory for your child’s first dance experience!