Tips for Parents of New Dancers

We believe an important facet of dance education is teaching parents about dance as well. Information periodically will be emailed to the address you provide upon registering.

* Uninterrupted Time

For all dancers there is a time to perform and a time to be self absorbed, learning about the body through the pleasure and freedom of movement for movement’s sake. Classes are closed to visitors and parents are asked to wait outside the classroom. Staying out of sight allows the children to feel free to take risks with movement, to focus on their feelings and to perform for themselves, not others. Concentration, focus and understanding is easier for students when a class can proceed without interruption. We make every class focused by closing out the outside world to make dance the center of attention.

Parents are invited and encouraged in the classroom when we have our scheduled Parent Day held twice a season. One usually Dec or Jan and another in May.

* The Best Dance Introduction

We want every child’s introduction to dance to be a positive one, and this means respecting each student’s independent learning styles. Some children learn by watching, and others joyfully jump in and try something new. Whatever your child’s learning style, we will work to make him/her comfortable with initiating this new activity. We believe in giving a child time to learn the beauty and impact of dance. After developing an appreciation and sincere love for the art, it is easy to teach children dance discipline and technique. Never interrupt a class to correct your child or give him/her “pointers”.

* Try to be on time.

Children feel uncomfortable and will not participate as well when arriving late. Each class is designed with a pre-warm-up and exercises which graduate to more challenging work. When you miss the beginning of class, your child’s dance experience lacks continuity and sets bad habits. Learning to dance is learning self-discipline and self-discipline begins with arriving to class on time and being prepared for the lesson! If you are bringing your child to class, please be on time.

* Learning When Ready

Often a child needs to know what is expected of him/her, or needs time to adjust to a new space or teacher before feeling safe or comfortable. We never force or push a child to dance, because a great dance experience is born of an individual’s desire to participate. Select repetition exercises, a familiar class format and careful explanations will eventually make joining fun and easy for every child. If your child needs time to just watch when new exercises are introduced, don’t be alarmed. He/she is still learning, just taking their time, deciding how they feel about the experience. We feel patience and encouragement will always lead to a healthy love for dance. We do not pressure performance. When it’s the child’s idea to dance , it will come from the heart!

* Respecting Dance and the Classroom

From the first moment class begins, we teach them to honor and respect dance. Proper dance class etiquette is observed and respect for others is encouraged. Listening and following directions is the first step towards learning. Students are expected to participate in all the activities and are not allowed to wander around the room or distract others. Learning to dance is not about “discipline” but is about self-discipline. Self-discipline is the path to success in all areas of life. We are firm about proper behavior in class because with focus and self-control we create an atmosphere where creativity can surface and bloom.

* Do not allow children in the classroom unattended.

If you come early for class, and the room is empty, please do not allow your children to “play”. It is important we send the message that every moment in the classroom is spent on education. When children play in the classroom, they get confused messages regarding proper classroom behavior.