Your Best Dance Point

Dance Lessons: Should the Kids or Parents Decide?

Parents often wonder if they should enroll their kids in dance classes on their own or wait until their child shows an interest in dance.  Often, children will not approach their parents and ask to be enrolled in classes. Instead, they will wait for a cue from mom and dad.  Thus, it is okay for parents to enroll their children on their own, but they need to follow some guidelines to make sure their children make the most out of the opportunity.

First, approach your child and explain that you are going to enroll her in dance classes.

As you do this, talk to her about the benefits of dance classes.  Tell her she will be in class with other girls her age, which means she will make more friends.  Also, tell her she will get to show off her dancing skills to others.  Get her excited about the idea of going to classes and learning new moves and techniques.

After you explain the benefits of dance classes, you need to give your child a sense of control.

As every parent knows, children do not like to be told what to do. Instead, they like to feel as if they have a say in the matter.  Because of that, you need to explain to your child that she will take the classes on a trial basis. You will pay for a set number of classes, and she will finish those. Then, if she wants to take more, she can. If not, she can choose a different activity.

After she starts taking the classes, you need to monitor her progress and make sure she is having fun.

If she seems bored, burned out or upset, talk to her and find out what is going on.  Ask her if she has a problem with dance classes, or if she doesn’t like her instructor or fellow students.  If the problem is with the instructor or students, consider enrolling her in another class. However, if she simply doesn’t like to dance, have her finish out the sessions you have paid for and then allow her to do something else.

In most cases, the child will enjoy dance classes and sign up for additional sessions.

At that point, they are making their own decision and making a commitment to dance.  If, however, the child chooses to do something else, they still will have learned about the importance of honoring a commitment by making it through the initial set of sessions.  Thus, even if your child decides to leave dance, she will still learn a valuable lesson.