Beginning dance lessons for your little one is a great outlet for them to expend some of the energy they give into music, while also teaching them communicable skills at the same time. Through dance lessons, your child can learn stage presence, poise, self-esteem, and social skills (like making a new friend.) Before you dive headfirst into enrolling your child into dance classes (as many parents do), it is important to consider factors that make them a good candidate for the class.
While there is no set age for beginning dance lessons (although most won’t teach any under the age of 3), dance classes tend to get broken down into different age groups. The older a child gets, the more variety of dances become available to them. Typically, 3 to 4-year-olds will be able to do basic ballet lessons, but not much more than that. Once they get a little older (5-7) then other forms of dance including tap, jazz, modern, acrobatics, and hip hop styles become available. This is typically because of the increased coordination and attention they will need to have to engage in these more complex forms of dance (but ballet is the foundation for most other dance styles!)
It is important to ask your child which type of dance they would be most interested in. Showing them videos of various dance styles and the music that accompanies these styles is a good start. Often times they will have an idea of what they aspire to do when shown the possibilities of the style. If they are still unsure, you could enroll them into a few different styles as “samplers” so they can get an idea first-hand of what they may or may not like. We recommend at least three lessons per style before they lose interest because it takes at least that many classes to get a good idea of what the style truly represents. If they still show no interest or resent going to lessons after the third, you will know that that is not the style they are interested in continuing with.
An important factor in whether to enroll your child in dance lessons or not is their attention span. Do they constantly change the song 30 seconds during it? Are they focusing on other aspects of their life when engaged with an activity? Did they even hold their attention to the videos of different dance styles while you were showing them? These are the types of questions where the negative answer will most likely make them not a suitable candidate for dance lessons as of now. Obviously, that doesn’t mean they won’t ever be ready with time. The great thing about these hypotheses is that they are testable. Enroll your child into a “trial” dance lesson, and observe them from afar. Who knows, they might just surprise you with their undivided attention and focus on dance!
One of the biggest factors going into whether or not your child is ready to participate in dance lessons is their level of maturity, no matter what age they may be. Let’s face it, some 4-year-olds are more mature and behaved than teenagers out there. Maturity and personality have no age restriction and develop differently in individuals over time. It is important that your child has proper maturity before starting dance classes for many reasons.
Dance lessons cost money, so if your child is not mature enough to handle the environment of dance classes, it is a large waste of your money. You don’t want to spend the money on dance lessons just for them to not pay attention or learn anything. This can be especially frustrating if your child is constantly asked to leave the room due to their inability to pay attention or not goof off. This affects not only you and your child but also the instructor and the other children and the parents of the other children who are also spending money for their children to learn dance.
If your child is impatient, stubborn, or tends to throw tantrums, chances are they will not be a good fit into dance lessons. If your child is respectful, willing to listen and follow directions, and open to the idea of exploring dance as a creative outlet, they should thrive in the world of dance.
Enrolling Your Child With Mercury Academy Of Dance
Do you think that your child is a suitable candidate for dance? Have they been begging you to start lessons? Do they just need an activity to divert creative energy into something productive? If any of these are applicable to you and your family, consider choosing Mercury Academy of Dance for lessons! We offer numerous styles for different age groups, so your child can learn and socialize with other students in their same age range. For kids who show proficiency over time, we offer more advanced classes, performances, and opportunities for more than just the standard curve of dance lessons. Be sure to contact us with any questions or to enroll them in our upcoming lessons!