What to Expect in my Child's First Dance Class A Guide for Parents

Please begin to talk to your child about attending dance classes as soon as you have decided s/he will be attending. The more notice and verbalization the child has surrounding this new activity the more comfortable they will feel on the first day.

Tell him/her things such as:
"Ms. So and so will be your dance teacher and is excited to meet you"
"You will wear ballet slippers (and tap shoes if enrolled in a Ballet/Tap class)"
"I will be right outside the classroom in the waiting room while you dance" (or other parent/guardian/grandparent)
"Your classroom has mirrors on the walls so you can watch yourself dance and the teacher will play fun music"

We strongly encourage you to register in person so that your child's first time in the studio is prior to their first class experience. It is imperative not only not to be late for your first class, but that you arrive early so your child isn't rushed into the classroom. Arriving late causes your child to be the last to enter a room full of unfamiliar faces who may already be participating in an activity that your child did not hear the directions for.

Please make sure your child uses the bathroom at home. A parent/guardian must be present in the waiting room during class to bring your child to the bathroom during class time if need be. If your child does not use the bathroom at home we suggest having them go immediately prior to the start of class. If they need to go during class it can become a chain reaction of children wanting to use the bathroom which can be disruptive to the class.

The following is a list of answers to frequently asked questions about toddler and preschool behavior and how to make the most of their dance classes.

How will my child respond to being in a class?
Even if this is not your child's first time in a classroom, it is a new environment which may take some getting used to. They may not want to enter the room at first or they may come running in with a huge smile and in ten minutes go running out to find you. These reactions are all normal so please do not be upset or embarrassed if it happens to you. Some children may cry during class then stop once the next activity begins that catches their interest. Some may cry for the entire first class and be fine the following week, while others may quietly observe and not participate until the second or third class.

What can I do to help my dancer at home?
Frequently asking questions like "What did you learn at dance class?" or "Can you show me something from dance class?" will help jog their memory in between lessons and excite them about the learning process. Encourage them to put on a show for you by playing the class music that will be e-mailed to you after a few classes.

Why can't I come in the dance room and watch class every week?
Children of this age are easily distracted and easily reminded that they miss their parent too. If one parent comes in the room, then the other students will begin to want their parents in the room as well. For the first few classes, depending on the dynamic of the class,  parents are permitted to come in the room at the request of the teacher to assist transitioning their child into a class structure. Don't worry, you will know if they need your presence by peeking through the viewing window which has blinds slanted at such an angle that they can't see you, but you can see them.

Why does my child seem so distracted during class? Is s/he not paying attention?
If it looks like all your child does is make silly faces in the mirror or stand and watch everyone else, that doesn't mean they aren't learning or paying attention. Give them time. Some of our best students spent their first few classes standing still or just being silly. It just takes some children a few weeks to be comfortable enough with their surroundings to fully participate. Don't worry, this is totally normal!

Why does my child get upset at home when it's time to get ready for dance class, but is all smiles when class actually starts?
Most young children are homebodies. They don't want to leave their toys, TV, siblings, etc. to go to class. They also don't want to stop what they are doing to change into a leotard. Once they get to class, they have fun! If you have trouble motivating them to get ready for class, mention their friends' names from class and how their teacher is looking forward to dancing with them.

What should I have or not have in my child's dance bag for my child in a Ballet/Tap class?
It is best to keep it simple. Ballet/Tap students should have ballet shoes, tap shoes, and some extra hair ties. Some parents keep an extra set of dance clothes in the bag "just in case." Leave toys, books, games, makeup, etc. at home. Parent & Me Dance students do not need to bring a dance bag into the classroom.

Is there a recital at the end of the year?
Yes, we have an optional recital for all age dance students in June. Each class performs a 3 minute dance in a costume on stage for their friends and families. Recital participation decision time is mid-December.
Remember, dance class for this age is supposed to be fun and a way to introduce children to music and movement. Even the most well behaved child will not follow every single direction. They are all sponges that soak up information and will surprise you at home by saying a ballet term in French or doing a dance move you did not know they knew while strolling the aisles in the grocery store!



Why We’re Different

As a parent we realize you have a choice between several different music and dance schools in the Hillsborough, Manville and Bridgewater NJ area. All studios are not the same. We constantly renovate and improve our facilities and provide ongoing training to our staff to ensure we are always providing our students and parents with the best experience possible. We invite you to compare all of the features and options to see why more families are choosing our school for music and dance classes.

Click here to view music & dance studio comparison checklist

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