Well now it's 2016, the festive season has passed and we're looking ahead to Easter! Another busy time of year for dance schools!
With a few weeks off school, the last thing you want is your children to be sat around staring at the TV for hours on end. So why not get them active and on their feet with a dance class or dance event week?
On Dance Near You, there are dance schools around the UK looking to recruit new students all year round. So whether you're looking for dance classes in London, or dance classes in Manchester, we can certainly help you!
Why should I put my children in a dance class?
The list of benefits to learning to dance is pretty endless. Most importantly, it's a great way to exercise. Maybe sport isn't their thing, it's not for everyone. Dance is a great way to keep fit in a fun and different way.
Dance is more traditionally popular with girls, mainly because men tend to see it as quite a feminine activity. This is a terrible stereotype. Dance can be enjoyed by all ages, experiences and genders. However what has been shown is young girls are not getting enough exercise. Dance is a great opportunity to solve this problem. Regular dance classes will improve long term health and increase the chance of them maintaining a healthy and active routine as they grow.
The most important feature of a dance class is the fact they're just great fun! The social experience of being able to have fun with other children the same age make dance classes a popular hobby for children. This is also great for confidence. Dance classes encourage creativity and free speech, so do your self-esteem the world of good.
Plus, they're suitable for all ages. Even toddlers dance classes exist these days, with basic classes teaching early movement to young children. Classes don't even have to be graded, they can dance just because they love it.
How do I pick the right dance school?
Once you've decided to enrol your child in a dance class, picking the right dance school is also vital. The needs and expectations of a parent can vary depending on how old their child is. Generally, children benefit from learning a mixture of dance styles from different dance teachers.
The first thing to consider is what do you want your child to achieve from a dance class? Is it just a new way to socialise and get some exercise? Or do you see as a formal style of dance training that involves exams and competitions? Different schools have different programs, so it's worth doing your research before going along.
How old are your kids? Older children tend to specialise in one style rather than learn a variety, whereas younger kids will just try a bit of everything and see what sticks!
Think about what's easiest for you as a parent. When will you be able to take them to a class? How much can you afford to spend on lessons? Don't forget there are some added costs such as dance shoes, dance kit and possibly examinations.
It's also important to think about what suits your child in terms of their learning. Do they like to be free spirited and creative? Or do they respond better to direct instruction and more structured learning? It's important to speak to the instructor before signing them up. Some classes are more active than others and for beginners they will need to focus on learning.
How do I choose the right dance style?
Choosing the right dance style is another important decision. As mentioned, younger kids tend to try a bit of everything, but as they get older they usually specialise in one they enjoy or excel at.
There are a number of dance styles that are particularly popular with kids. Tap and Ballet are traditionally the most popular. A tap dancing class is quite old fashioned in its style, but does now incorporate a lot of modern music to make it more relevant. Tap is great for improving rhythm, timing and co-ordination.
Ballet is the most popular dance style for children. It always has been and it probably always will be. In some cases, it's the gracefulness and the elegance that is appealing, in other cases, it's being able to wear a tutu. Ballet is a great learning process. There are different difficulties in terms of moves and speeds, and the rhythm of ballet helps you to gain better co-ordination, flexibility and balance. It also gives the chance to express themselves creatively, which is important at a young age. Ballet also makes you very light on your feet, quick and agile. This can make it a great supplementary activity to any young boys of girls looking to improve their sporting performances in football or rugby.
Thanks to shows like Britain's Got Talent, more modern styles of dancing like hip-hop, funk, jazz and street dance have become more popular. Funky dance classes are creative in a very different way and can turn anything into a dance move or routine. They are high energy and full of positive vibes, so children really do enjoy them!
Find a dance class for children
Once you've considered the above things, simply search your postcode on the Dance Near You Homepage. This will help identify dance schools, dance studios and dance instructors in your area. You will be able to contact them to find out more about their dance classes and the school in general.