Making Good Parenting Decisions: whether and where to enrol your child in Tiny Toe dance classes.
The selection of hobbies and activities for the Pre schooler has reached phenomenal proportions and as a parent you could surely spend every hour of every day doing something meaningful with your child. How to choose from this bewildering array of events which will ultimately suit your child best must be difficult. Here are some suggestions on finding out whether dance would suit your child and also some information on the huge benefits dancing can have on their physical and mental development.
If your child always moves to music, sounds and stimuli they will definitely enjoy dance classes.
Dance classes particularly appeal to toddlers who are naturally well co ordinated, have good muscle formation and a lot of energy.
If your child is entranced by watching dance or listening to music then they will probably feel very comfortable and confident in a dance class.
Little children who love make believe games, fairy tales and creating their own stories will love a creative dance class.
Many toddlers have difficulties in socialising or joining in group activities and a good pre school ballet class can do wonders to gently help build self confidence and self esteem in a structured and quiet atmosphere.
Research has shown that dance classes and in particular ballet classes are excellent for building the strong brain connectors that are essential for a good academic outcome and for establishing good concentration levels.
Good ballet classes even for the 4-6 year olds will help establish discipline in following instruction which will help them when starting school.
A good dance class builds a greater understanding for learning the dynamics of group activities as opposed to being the centre of attention.
Attending regular dance classes will greatly help the naturally shy child in particular when the class is encouraged to try a step one at a time.
Choosing a dance class for a 3-5 year old is fraught with difficulties. Always, always observe one or more classes, ask other parents and listen to your inner instinct. Some of the following examples take place daily all over Australia:
In some dance classes one sees the toddlers herded in large numbers into a studio, loud often inappropriate music is played while the kids are screaming and shouting and literally running up the walls and climbing the barres.
Make sure you find a dance school where class numbers for toddlers are well below fifteen, the best is between 6 - 10 children. Listen carefully to the music chosen and try and ascertain whether the teacher is teaching 'musically' or just ignoring the rhythm.
There should be no screaming and running amok - a dance studio is not a playground nor should a good dance class resemble a kindergarten activity.
Unfortunately there are dance classes where children are forcibly ripped away from their Mums, who are not allowed to watch the class, then treated to almost military discipline within the studio in order to keep the class quiet. Try and find a dance school where you can accompany your toddler into the studio or at the very least observe them from a doorway or internal window and where the teacher is firm but gentle with these vulnerable little people. Then there are the dance schools where teenage dance students with little or no training take the toddler classes. They are often hanging on their phones while shouting at the children and the result is less than optimal.
Ensure your teacher is certified, qualified and optimally has had a career in dance. I feel that teachers who are themselves parents are often a much better choice for Pre schoolers.
There can be huge differences in how the very basics of danced ballet in particular are taught and it is erroneous to think that the first few years don't matter ' as long as the child is having fun'. In fact if the FUN factor is the mainstay of the parental decision making it might be better to let the child simply enjoy dance in a kindergarten setting as opposed to choosing a dance school based on the level of fun.
When choosing a ballet school for toddlers experience as a professional ballet dancer in a ballet company, certification as a ballet teacher, a long and successful background as a teacher should all have priority over the fun aspect. If all the former have been ticked off THEN turn to the fun factor and always trial as many classes as possible to observe a structure and development in the class as well as gentle discipline and eager little students.