You’ve always wanted to dress your child in that adorable tutu and enroll them in their first dance class, but now that you have the extra time and money, you don’t know what to do.
That’s okay. We’re here to walk you through the process and show you how to get your child ready for their dance lesson. Make sure you keep reading below to learn some important tips for first-time dancers!
1. Make Sure They Have Proper Dance Attire
Different types of dance classes require different dance clothes. Take a moment to scroll through your dance academy’s website online (or call to ask over the phone) until you find the recommended dress code for the class your child will be attending. Some studios may want your child to wear a specific outfit, such as pink tights and a black leotard for ballet, while others aren’t as strict on what students wear.
If the studio doesn’t have instructions on how to dress your child for their first dance class, don’t panic! Here are some tips to keep in mind.
When you think of dance shoes, your mind might jump to pink ballet slippers. However, unless your child is taking a ballet-specific class, ballet slippers might not be the right choice.
Jazz classes need slightly different shoes. While still soft and flexible like ballet slippers, jazz shoes have small heals and are usually black in color. Children in hip hop classes, on the other hand, should stick with a pair of comfortable sneakers.
If you don’t have time to buy the right shoes before your child’s first dance lesson, that’s okay. Send them to class in a pair of thick socks instead.
Tights, leotards, and tutus are a good fit for a ballet class, but they might feel a bit out of place in a jazz or hip hop lesson. For jazz, keep those tights and that leotard on under a pair of stretchy shorts and a tank top.
The most important thing to remember when it comes to a hip hop class is movability. Your child can wear whatever they want as long as it is loose and comfortable. Shorts and short-sleeved shirts are a smart choice as your child will get warm as they dance.
If you’re sending your child to a ballet class, pull their hair back in a tight bun. This will keep any stray hair out of their face, and it will keep their hair from becoming a distraction, extra weight, or even a dangerous whip as they learn to twirl and leap.
Jazz classes don’t focus on technique as much as ballet classes, so you can throw your child’s hair in a quick ponytail instead. The key is to keep it out of their eyes as they move.
Hip hop is often more casual than jazz and ballet. because of this, you might not have to do anything special with your child’s hair. Leaving it down may even be an option as tossing their hair can become a part of the dance. However, stick with what your child prefers and what your dance studio recommends.
2. Pack Them a Dance Bag
One of the most important parts of dance class preparation is making sure you have a dance bag that contains anything your child might need during their class. Grab a bag (it can be any kind) and fill it with the following:
- Dance shoes
- Extra clothes
- A brush, hair ties, bobby pins, etc. (in case you need to redo their hair in the middle of class)
- Water Bottle
- Plenty of Snacks
- Band aids (just in case)
- A comfort toy or two if your child is feeling nervous
Odds are, you won’t need many of these things during your child’s dance classes. However, it’s good to be prepared. Otherwise, a simple dance class can turn into a disaster.
3. Tell Your Child What They Can Expect
Take a few minutes to talk to your child about what will happen during dance class. If you’ve never been to a dance class yourself, look up a few videos online and watch them together with your child. This will help your child understand what they’ll do during class, and it will help nervous children feel more comfortable.
If you can, visit your studio before your child’s first class to watch a lesson. Not only will this familiarize your child with the environment, but it will also give them a chance to meet the teacher. Not all studios allow this, though, so make sure you ask about the watching policy in advance.
Keep in mind, you won’t be able to sit in the classroom when watching the lesson. Most studios don’t allow observers on their dance floor. Instead, there may be a viewing area with a window in a separate room so you can watch the class without disturbing the students.
Getting Your Child Ready for Their First Dance Class
As you’re getting your child ready for their first dance class, don’t forget what’s really important: having fun. Don’t let yourself get so focused on proper dance attire and dance bag essentials that you take the fun out of it. Dance is an art form, and it should be a time to let your child learn new things and express themselves.
Are you ready to sign your child up for a class?