A lot of people ask me how they can get their kid interested in dance. Personally I don’t see a problem, as most kids love movement, and it is not a matter of getting your kid interested in dancing, it is finding out what type of dancing will suit your kid best.
All young children have natural energy and a natural tendency to move. I have yet to see a child that doesn’t enjoy moving his or her body to music. The trick is to nurture this love, and encourage your child to explore movement. For young children a creative movement class could be the answer, as they are encouraged to explore how their bodies move in an imaginative way with or without music and fun props.
A love of dance and music is something that all parents should encourage in their children. From before birth it is claimed that classical music played each day develops the brain. It has also been proven that musical children are better at mathematics and other problem solving skills are developed.
Similarly encouraging movement and the exploration of movement has many benefits. Muscle tone and coordination are improved, balance is tested and confidence is built. There are many pre school activities that your kid can partake in to help him develop control of his body, and dancing is one that he or she is sure to enjoy.
At this level, the dance training should never be too formal. Children must be encouraged to use their imaginations and move in a free and natural way. A few ballet basics and stretches can be touched upon, but the emphasis at this age level should be on fun and exercise. Trying to work on technique at too young an age will put a lot of children off taking formal dance classes later on, as they will associate dance with hard work or even worse boredom.
Here are some ideas to foster a love of dance in your kid.
1. Play all sorts of music at home, even the stuff that you don’t necessary like. Your children will then learn to appreciate all different types of music.
2. Tell them stories and let them act them out in front of you with movement in their bodies as you read. Encourage them to use facial expression and big and small movements with their bodies to tell the story.
3. Let them do a dance for you to some music that they like, or tell them to put on a dance show for you. This will also help them to develop confidence.
If your kid doesn’t enjoy ballet class, he or she may enjoy a modern, hip hop or ballroom class more. There will always be a dance form that your child will love, you just need to find it.