For kids and toddlers, dance class may simply be a weekly activity. However, with the company of a parent or guardian, the practice of dance can continue all through the week!
Dancing outside of class helps your child to further foster an interest in dance. It can also elevate their dance skills and coordination.
If little ones are preparing for a performance, practicing at home allows them to come away feeling happy and proud of themselves. They know that they can do their best-come showtime. Don’t believe us? Check out a seriously cute example from our YouTube channel).
What’s more, dancing at home with your little dancers also means extra family bonding time. It shows that parents are supportive of what the kids are doing and care about their growth.
Here are four tips for making practice at home, a fun activity for parents and dancers alike…
Instructor communicating for dance teaching practices
Speaking with your child’s dance teacher is a great way to begin your at-home practice. The instructor is familiar with how your dancer learns. Often dance teachers will post videos of specific routines online for the purpose of at-home practice. Communicating with your teachers ensures that you will collect the appropriate material to practice. It also provides an opportunity for positive reinforcement in class.
Dance studio schedules
It is important that your dancer knows ahead of time when at-home practice will occur just as they would know when their dance class is. Carefully arrange the schedule of dancing practices among other things the little ones need to do, such as homework, sports, and relaxation time. By planning ahead, it is something that they can look forward to! Post a calendar where your dancer can see it, and remind them in the morning if you have practice time scheduled for later that day. Keep a consistent routine to help turn practice into a habit.
Dance class reward system
Children are very goal-driven so give them something to work towards. Create a chart where dancers can track their progress. Perhaps after five completed practice sessions, a small reward is given. This could be a trip to the ice cream store which means additional bonding time.
For bigger goals, say 10 practice sessions, a larger reward could be given. Maybe a new tutu? Talk to your dancer about what would motivate them. As each reward is reached, the opportunity to discuss progress arises. “After 10 practices, look how much easier it is to shuffle!” Meanwhile offering positive encouragement and praising your child for doing something well throughout the dance sessions is simple yet effective in keeping your kids motivated!
Kids and toddlers fun playlist in dance classes
While practice is a time to focus on improving and memorizing, dancing together should feel like fun, not a chore! Obviously, your little one enjoys their dance classes for kids and toddlers, so at-home practice should be the same. Create a fun playlist (your dance teacher can help with song suggestions), set aside a special dance space in your home, backyard, or at community parks, and perhaps even put on your favorite dancewear.
Let your dancer be creative: once you’ve practiced steps and routines from dance class for 10-15 minutes, encourage your child to show off their favorite moves, or create a small piece of choreography together. Giving your toddler the freedom to use their imagination will keep dance practice interesting, engaging, and fun. It will also be interesting if parents incorporate the classics or pop music into dance practices, such as Swan Lake or Nutcracker for dancers from toddler ballet classes, Selena Gomez or Taylor Swift songs for dancers from toddler hip hop classes, etc.
Every family is different, so take the time to see what kind of routine works best for you. As your dancer begins to improve and make progress in their kids and toddler dance classes, you can be proud and celebrate your hard work together.
Think of all the fun you can have as you move and groove together throughout the week…who knows, maybe as a parent you’ll be inspired to take a dance class of your own!