by Carole Levy
Mums, especially if they haven’t been in dance classes themselves, can find it a bit of a challenge finding the right one for their child. And they can inadvertently form unhelpful expectations or not properly consider the whys and hows of it all.
Some of the best dance teachers around offer the following advice to loving mums and dads who want what’s best for their child when it comes to the world of dance:
1. Do a trial class first
This gives parents the chance to observe how the teacher delivers lessons, their communication skills and choice of words. Kids often want to observe a class before they feel comfortable joining in.
With a toddler class, it’s often best to simply join in yourself and show the way.
2. Don’t compare your child to others in the class
Parents can unintentionally find themselves comparing their child with others, even from the very first class. They may see their own child listening less, jumping and skipping around haphazardly, and make an assessment that the child isn’t really “into it” or the class isn’t right for them. It can seem a little chaotic but a good teacher has a plan. Kids generally find dancing uninhibitedly comes naturally and it’s actually the best starting point.
3. Don’t opt out of the end-of-year concert
Even if you find yourself having to thread and attach a bucketful of beads to a costume or need to reorganise a heavy holiday schedule, the concert offers a chance to put aside personal needs and wants and focus on the kids. Concerts are essentially all about them. They instil confidence, spark joy and nurture crucial presentation skills in the kids, while teachers get their moment in the sun to show their creativity.
4. Don’t underestimate the value of forming life-long bonds
This applies to children and parents. Meeting other mums and dads can open up new social interactions, while kids have the same opportunity. Learning together in a fun environment is a great way for kids to bond. If they continue on with classes as they grow, they share the joys, pains and successes of their dance “career” with like-minded peers which can cement significant friendships.