“If you hit a wall, climb over it, crawl under it, or dance on top of it.” - Unknown
According to a study by OpinionWay and Ubisoft, 75% of Europeans think that dancing is a good way to “break the ice” and “make friends”. Be it a dance class, out and about, or an end of year show, dancing is a great way to socialise.
So whether it’s contemporary dance or ballet, in a dance studio, dance school, or private lessons, here’s what you need to know about helping your children learn how to dance.
Top 10 Reasons for Children to Attend Dance Classes
Dance classes are among the most popular activities for children. Moving around, burning off that excess energy, and copying their favourite artist’s dance moves, etc., there are so many reasons that kids want to learn how to dance.
Whether it’s Zumba, tap dance, modern dance, ballroom dance, hip hop dance, classical ballet, contemporary dance, tango, Latin dance or modern jazz dance, there are dance styles for everyone.
In addition to being enjoyable, dancing is great for their development. It’s healthy, for one. Choreography and dancing require endurance and it’s great for the heart. Regular exercise is good for your whole body.
Just like with any other sport, dancing also can reduce stress in children and adults alike. Similarly, dancing can channel energy into something productive.
It can also help children to find their balance, improve coordination, and develop motor skills. This is particularly true in introductory classes where they’ll learn all the basics of dancing and movement.
Dance lessons are also great for their creativity. Dancing is a way to express yourself through movement. Students are regularly invited to create choreography and move around how they’d like.
There are fun and practical activities for them to build their self-confidence in front of other children. Dancing can help shy children to come out of their shells and they’ll soon discover that they can remember and execute several routines without any problems.
If you’re hesitant about signing your child up to a dance school, remember that studies have shown that students who dance tend to have better results at school. Dancing can help students to learn how to adapt as well as improve their memory, which can help them to perform better in school. Furthermore, they can do all this while having fun.
If none of these reasons has convinced you, remember that dancing is also a lot of fun!
Find out more about the benefits of children's dance lessons.
What Type of Dancing Should Your Child Do?
So which type of dance school should you enrol your child in? Zumba, ballet, hip hop, breakdancing, etc., what kind of style would your child like to do?
Ask your child what style they’d like to do first. If they don’t have a preference, you might want to see if there are classes for them to try out different styles. These types of classes show off the basics of dancing and allow them to experience different disciplines. Your child will have the opportunity to see which one they prefer.
For the youngest dancers (4 to 6 years old), you’ll want to opt for introduction to dance classes. These classes are for young children to learn more about the movement involved in dancing. They’ll learn about stretching, gestures, movement, expression, and the general idea behind dancing before focusing on a particular style.
Introductory classes are great for working on their balance and motor skills so don’t hesitate to sign them up to other dance classes once they get older.
Teenagers may prefer a style of dance like modern jazz or hip hop as these types of classes will include dynamic movement and routines that resemble those of their favourite artists. These styles of dance are becoming increasingly popular so it’s never been easier to find classes for them.
The most common classes still tend to be ballet, though. The very youngest often start with ballet classes. These classes are also very demanding and require a huge amount of flexibility. The students will work on their posture.
Why not choose something more original for them?
Irish dancing, tap, capoeira, African dance, etc. The goal is to find something they love.
Find out more about choosing the right dance lessons for your kids.
How to Find Dance Classes for Children
So how can you find dance classes for your kids?
The first thing you need to is to have a look for local organisations and schools that offer extra-curricular activities and dance classes. Thus, you’ll hopefully find something that isn’t miles away. Furthermore, your local government should have plenty of information on these kinds of things. If you don’t want to travel around, they’re the people to get in touch with.
Generally speaking, the internet is a great source of information. Look for keywords like “dance classes” and the name of your town or city to find classes. You can also get lessons in a dance school or leisure centre, for example. Dance schools can be expensive (especially if you opt for a conservatoire).
You could always get dance lessons from associations. Some associations offer dance lessons in smaller towns. Lessons are taught by either volunteers or paid teachers and kids can learn plenty of different types of dance. These are usually quite good for learning unique styles of dancing from all over the world.
Private tutors are also a good option for teaching your children how to dance. You can find a tutor who has the perfect experience and qualifications for teaching your child how to dance. You’ll find plenty of tutors on Superprof, for example. Some tutors will have websites where you can find more about them, what they do, and how much they charge.
Finally, word of mouth and classified ads are good ways of finding tutors, too. Don’t forget to look at noticeboards in local business as you may find a hidden gem. Don’t forget to tell friends and family that your child wants to learn how to dance. A friend of a friend of a friend might know somebody or have a recommendation for you.
Learn more about finding dance classes.
So What Are Dance Lessons for Kids Like?
It can be reassuring for both the parents and children to know exactly what happens in children’s dance classes.
More often than not, parents won’t attend the dance classes as the rooms are too small.
You should know that dance lessons usually include warming up. Warming up helps the muscles get ready for exercise and avoid injury and there are many different exercises to help children get into the mood for dancing.
Once they’ve warmed up, they’ll get into the lesson. Be it breakdancing, Zumba, dancehall, African dance, etc., the lion’s share of the lesson will be dedicated to learning new skills, moves, and routines.
The dance tutor will help them to learn new techniques that they can follow along with. Thus, through rehearsals, these young dancers will learn a routine. The routines or choreography will be learnt either for fun or an end-of-year show.
Some parts of the classes will be dedicated to improvising and creativity. Whether it’s in a group or on their own, they can create choreography to show the rest of the class. This is great for their self-confidence and creativity.
To finish, young dancers will cool down so that they won’t be sore the following day. Of course, what happens in a dance class will depend fully on how long the class is and the type of class.
The very first class will be very different from subsequent classes and the teacher will need some time with the students to get to know them better. They need to break the ice and let the students make some new friends.
Learn more about dance lessons for kids.
If there aren't any dance studios near you, you can always get your child a dance lesson from a private dance tutor. They can learn to dance from the comfort of their own home and have a dedicated tutor helping them with dance technique and musicality.
There are many talented and experienced dance tutors on Superprof offering face-to-face tutorials, online tutorials, or group tutorials. Each type of tutorial comes with its pros and cons so it's up to you to choose the one that's best for you, your preferred learning style, and your budget.
Most of the tutors on Superprof offer free tutoring for the first hour so use this time to try out a few different tutors and see who's right for you.