For children, dancing comes naturally. In fact, babies can start responding and moving to music right after birth!
But does this mean that babies and children of any age are ready for dance lessons? Or is there an ideal age for dance class?
If you’re considering dance classes for children, read on to find out how old your child should be.
What Is the Best Age to Start Dance Classes?
Dance classes for kids may cater to a variety of ages. But what is the ideal age for dance class?
The truth is that there isn’t one right answer.
Instead, the answer depends on your goals and your child’s needs. There’s a big difference between enrolling in dance classes for fun versus seeking serious training for your child. And age can be an important factor in both.
When to Begin Dancing as a Hobby
If you and your child are looking for a fun activity or new hobby, dance can be a great option at nearly any age.
Dancing can be an active outlet for young children who have a lot of extra energy to burn. Dancing can also be an exciting and interactive way to improve motor skills in early childhood.
For these reasons, it’s not unusual to find the dance class age range starting from toddler years.
When to Begin Formal Dance Training
If you’re looking for more serious training, age becomes a little more complicated.
On one hand, starting dance classes from two or three years old gives children a head start. Growing up with dance classes means that dancing will feel more natural, and the movements and techniques can be learned more easily.
Even in the earliest years of development, the body can start to learn how to move like a dancer.
But on the other hand, the effects of formal training are mostly achieved later in childhood.
Dance skills can be developed in early childhood, but advanced techniques may be difficult for young dancers. These techniques require maturity, both mentally and physically.
Children who are around middle school age can better specialize in different types of dance. Their bones and muscles are better equipped to handle more strenuous dancing. And mentally, they’re more likely to have the attention span and self-motivation required to improve.
When deciding the best age to start dancing, consider the outcome you’d hope for your child. Two or three years is a great age to start, though dancing at this age is mostly for fun. However, early dance experience can help create the foundation for more formal and professional training later on.
Best Types of Dance for All Ages
Whether your child is two or 12 years old, there are different types of dance styles suitable for children.
Here are a few common styles taught to young dancers.
Ballet is one of the most common styles of dance for children.
Though ballet requires precision and careful coordination, the basics can be taught to even the youngest dancers.
And while stereotypes may make it seem that ballet is only for girls, a surprising number of males dominate professional ballet, making it a great option for both young girls and boys.
Tap dance is a fun type of dance perfect for children who love to make a little noise!
Tap fundamentals can be taught to toddlers who love moving and tapping their shoes on the floor, learning rhythm and coordination along the way.
Hip-hop dancing can be taught to a variety of ages and levels because of its versatility.
Energetic tots all the way to serious teens love the energy and attitude that make up hip-hop dance.
Jazz dancing can be practiced at any age, but lessons are usually started in elementary school.
Children who have previously learned ballet, tap, or hip-hop can build on those skills in slightly more advanced jazz classes.
Is It Ever Too Late to Start Dancing?
Beginner dancers as young as two years old can take dance classes for children. But is there an upper age limit when it comes to starting?
Older children who have never taken dance classes are encouraged to try. And even if they have no prior dance experience, they can find a class suitable for their skill level.
Our Contemporary Dance Classes are one example of a class type that focuses on experience level over age. Classes are divided into beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels, welcoming students with a variety of backgrounds.
Even when dancers are grouped by age, new dancers can still learn the required skills with enough practice and patience.
No matter your child’s age, it’s never too late to start!
Is Your Child Ready?
Talking to an older child can help you gauge if they’re interested and ready to begin dance classes. But for younger children, it can be more difficult to judge.
These are some signs that your child is ready to take dance classes for kids:
- shows an interest in dance and music
- able to follow directions
- able to be away from parents (if not, try a Mommy & Me class)
- has the energy and attention span required
- can learn dance-related vocabulary
- is toilet trained
Enroll in Dance Classes for Children Today
If your child is ready to become a dancer, we can help!
San Elijo Dance & Music Academy offers dance classes for children as young as two years old. We specialize in a variety of styles, from ballet to hip-hop, and we work with beginner dancers from step one.
Get started with a free trial class today! Find more information on how to sign up here!