So you've enrolled your child into dance classes for the first time?
Here's all you need to know to help transition your child into their first week of dance classes...
Step 1 - Take your child to see the studio before they begin classes
Not only is this great practice for Mum or Dad to do a trial run finding the studio and sussing out car parking but also a perfect opportunity for your child to see what room they will dance in, where the toilets are, where they will leave their bag etc.
You can even use dance lingo and call it a 'dress rehearsal'!
This experience will help to give your child confidence to attend their first class, and ease the nerves.
*We're open this week Tuesday to Friday from 4:30pm-7pm at our Narre Warren studio if you'd like to bring your child to have a look around.
Step 2 - Organise what they're going to wear, in advance
Whether your child is 4 or 14, finding an outfit at the last minute can be stressful!
What will everyone else be wearing? Will I fit in? Should I have organised the proper uniform?
Keep in mind that most students in the class will be dressed in the correct uniform. If you have enrolled in the class, consider organising the correct uniform before classes begin so that your child feels that they look the part and that they fit in.
If your child is trying the class first before you pay for term, you may not have organised the uniform just yet. Explain to your child before the class that the other students may be dressed in the 'proper' uniform but that the teacher will know that it's their first time and that there is no problem dressing a bit different to the others for their first lesson.
*Uniform stock on site is limited. If you wish to purchase uniform, we highly recommend visiting a few days before your child's first class in case some items aren't available and you need a plan b'.
Step 3 - Set expectations in advance
Let your child know that you're excited about them starting their dance class and help them understand what the expectations of the class will be. Comments such as 'You will get to dance with kids your age, like the kids you see at Kinder', 'I think you will learn steps like Emma Wiggle in your class', and 'your teacher will show you what to do' will help put your child's mind at ease and set them up to feel more ready for their first class.
Step 4 - Teach your child their teacher's name
Your child's teacher will be their 'go-to' person in their dance class instead of their parent. Teach your child their teachers name and show them a picture (view Teacher profiles/photos on www.backstagedanceacademy.com.au). This will help the student familiarise themselves with who the teacher is and feel comfortable communicating with the teacher during class.
Step 5 - Arrive early
Classes generally run on time. Be early to ensure that your child has enough time to get ready, use the bathroom and enter the class with their fellow class mates.
Arriving late to class can be daunting for the student and they miss out on introductory activities where they get to meet the teacher and put their nerves at ease.
Arriving late to class can also be disruptive to the students in the class, especially once the class is settled.
Step 6 - Pack a drink bottle
In each dance class the teacher will pause the class for a drink break. Be sure to send a bottle of water into the classroom with your child so that they feel prepared.
* We sell bottles of water and BDA drink bottles at the Narre Warren studio.
Step 7 - Don't push or rush progress
Having your child start dance classes can be very exciting! First pair of Ballet shoes, first concert, new dance friends...so many memories to be made! Keep in mind though that each child is different and progresses at a different rate. It is completely normal for a student to want to stand still in the class to observe the whole class before starting to participate. Some of the most creative and confident adults started off a shy students or students who like to analyse the situation before participating.
Tip: Allow 3 weekly classes to see how your child goes before deciding to not proceed with the term.