That first experience in the dance studio for both parents and children can be overwhelming. The children come in curious, eager and perhaps a bit uncertain on what to expect, while, parents may be wondering if their child is ready and will this be a positive, learning experience for them?
Research has shown that the best way to provide comfort for children while also creating an optimal environment for learning is through a structured classroom. At Dance Incorporated, we ensure that each and every one of our classes provides this sense of comfort, allowing children to naturally grow and thrive.
So what is a preschool dance class like?
A preschool classroom is a wonderful opportunity for the 3-4 year old to appreciate the love of dance. It allows them to learn about the rhythms of music, new ways to move their body whether they are dancing like a butterfly or marching like a soldier, and simply embrace the joy of music. Creative exploration is an essential facet of our preschool classroom to both learn new techniques and tap into their growing imagination. As the weeks progress, they will adopt new terminology and techniques beginning with the fact that happy toes are also called a tendue while sad toes are known as a flexed foot. Overall, it is a fun, learning experience where their self-esteem and confidence will flourish.
It is perhaps their first time away from parents or unstructured play. Yes, our dance classes, even for our preschoolers are structured. Young children, in particular, thrive in having routines and clear expectations. When they walk into the classroom, the children learn that this is the time for them to dance.
By providing simple guidelines, like no running in the classroom, we ensure your child is safe. However; safety is not the only value that structure provides. This environment helps increase attention span, learn about turn taking, and how to follow an instructor’s lead.
Over time, the children begin to anticipate the next part of the class and prepare for it. This calm environment creates a wonderful opportunity to focus on learning developmental skills from how to point and flex their foot to co-ordinating movements. Our teachers watch their development, slowly adding more challenging movements to advance their learning. Over time, the children learn how to bend their knees in a beautiful plié, leap off the floor as they sauté and progress to more complicated movements like skipping. Don’t worry, the steps do get harder. However; for a three year old the multiple steps involved in skipping is challenging. Music becomes the third teacher as the children learn how to match their movement with the rhythms of songs.
Through the loving, care and attention of our dance instructors, the children will continue to grow and thrive. Their self-esteem will flourish, and the dance classes will be full of smiles, songs and the joy of movement. I truly believe that it is that magic combination of our talented teachers and the structured classroom that helps fosters that life long love for dance.