As a parent, you want the best for your dancer. When you sign them up for dance classes, you want to ensure they are getting the best experience possible. As parents, you play an equally important role in the dance experience as your child and his or her teacher. Many parents ask, “What do I need to do as a dance parent?” Let’s examine a few ways you can help make your child’s dance experience a positive one.
Promote 100% Effort and Participation in Dance Class
By promoting hard work, participation, and perseverance, your child will attend their dance classes with confidence and drive. They’ll make new friends, participate fully in lessons, have more fun, and in turn, get the best dance education possible.
Be Organized for Dance Class
As a parent, if you’re organized, your child is too. When signing up for dance classes, make sure you ask about important dates to remember during the year (like recital, holiday breaks, picture day, and fee due dates), confirm class days and times, and make a list of any dress code requirements your dancer may have. Plan to get to each dance class a few minutes early so your dancer has time to get his or her shoes changed, go to the washroom before class starts, and get settled into class. Dancers who rush into class late often miss out on important announcements and valuable warm-up exercises that prepare them for the day’s exercises.
Help create a positive atmosphere by ensuring you and your dancer come to the studio with positive and respectful attitudes, and prepared to follow the dance studio’s code of conduct. Respecting teachers and Studio Directors, and other dancers and parents, helps create a positive atmosphere for everyone at dance class. Time and again we hear dancers say they love coming to dance class because their extended family is there. A respectful, positive environment helps dancers feel safe and secure, and allows them to develop their dance skills at an enhanced rate.
Remember Dance Class is FUN
It’s ok to want your dancer to be the best. A little push, and some friendly competition is a great way to help dancers succeed, especially for those who are dancing at an elite level. But it’s important to remember why every dancer started taking dance class – it was fun! As a parent, remembering that dance should be fun is a key element to your child's life-long love for dance.
Get Involved in the Studio Community
Get to know your Studio Directors, office staff, and child’s teachers. Even better, get to know the parents of your child’s dance friends. It’s a great way for you, as a parent, to develop your own dance social circle, with parents whose children share the same interests as your own. If your studio has social media like Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, follow their pages to get up to date news. Also, be sure to sign up for your studio’s enews so you never miss a class note or announcement.
Be Proud of the Hard Work Your Dancer Puts In
It’s always exciting for a young dancer to show their parents what they’ve done in class - be it a new skill, their recital dance, or simply modeling their costume. As a parent, when you can show your dancer how proud you are of them, they feel encouraged to continue to grow and excel. Whether it is a little or big thing that your dancer is excited about, get excited with them, and always be proud of their hard work.
Remember It's Not Like TV
There are many dance TV shows that portray dance parents as bossy, mean, overly competitive, and worse! While those shows make for entertaining television, it’s not reality! Most parents in a dance studio are friendly, supportive, kind to all the students, and simply want what’s best for their child. Remind yourself, and your dancer, that while TV is entertaining, dance class is real reality and not reality TV. Make it fun, happy, positive, and supportive for all!!