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How to Decide if Dance Class is right for your Child

Choosing whether a dance class is appropriate for your child involves much thinking. While this can be a fun and rewarding experience, there are other aspects of involving your child in extra-curricular activities that should be considered. Many questions are likely running through your mind. This guide should serve as a help to answer some of those questions.

Know The Schedule First
Dance classes will meet regularly and before committing your child to them, you should know the schedule. Some will meet for 30 minutes at a time, while others may meet for longer periods,even hours at a time. Some may be more days per week than your child or family can handle. This information should be thoroughly considered before signing your child up for dance classes.

Considering Schoolwork
Some children will tire easily when taking dance lessons, so if your child tires easily, it would be best to choose dance classes that are offered on the weekends or school holidays. Sending a tired child to school too often could lead to poor grades. Also, if your child often has a large amount of homework, dance classes during the week could prevent your child from doing a thorough job on that. If your child is in home school, this is likely not much of an issue, as the assignments can usually be scheduled around dance classes so that your child will be fully alert during school time.

Enjoyment
Enjoyment of dancing is a very important factor when considering dance classes. This may seem obvious, but it isn’t always so. If your child does not already enjoy dancing, putting your child in a dance class may not be the best idea. Instead, consider immersing your child into something he or she enjoys better. While dancing can certainly be enriching and fulfilling, not everyone will enjoy it. Never force an interest on a child.

Commitment
Before committing your child to dance classes, be sure it is something your child can make a commitment to. If your child is the type who easily loses interest in activities, dance class may not be the best option. Listening, behaving, and following instructions are all essential to a child being successful at dance lessons. All of the above are things to keep in mind when making the decision to allow your child to be involved in dance. A child does not have to be a perfect dancer to take a dance class, only willing to learn and follow directions.

Availability
If dance class scheduling may conflict with other items on your family’s schedule, it is probably not the right time to involve your child in dance. Once your child signs up for these classes, he or she has made a commitment to be at classes as well as performances. Each child’s role is important to the class and one child missing can ruin a show. This is not to say that emergency situations aren’t acceptable because they certainly are. Just remember that your child should be available for every dance appointment, wherever possible. If you know your child is likely to miss more than a couple rehearsals, dance class can wait until your family can better commit to the schedule.

Fees Associated With Dance Class
Most dance lessons will have a fee as well as the cost of outfits for each performance and other small fees. If your funds are not very flexible right now, do not commit your child to dance classes. If you are unable to make a payment and your child can no longer attend, it could be embarrassing or disappointing for your child. To avoid this, pre-pay for dance fees, wherever possible and set aside funds so that if an unexpected fee comes up, your child will be covered.

Check With Your Child’s Physician
Even if your child is healthy, it is important to check with a physician before starting or stopping any physical regimen. Dancing can be very strenuous on the body, so physician approval is extremely important. Before enrolling your child in a dance class, be sure your child has a physical and any other examination the physician recommends.

Considering Illnesses or Conditions
If your child has asthma, a heart condition, another medical condition, or a disability, consider that before signing your child up for dance. Speak with your child’s doctor/s and make sure it is alright for your child to take the classes. Also be sure that should a problem arise, the staff at the dance location will be able to accommodate your child’s needs. Children who have illnesses, conditions, or disabilities may also require special accommodations in order to participate in a dance class. For instance, a child with asthma will need an experienced staff member available in case of an asthmatic episode. A child in a wheelchair will need to be enrolled in a dance class that is equipped properly to allow a wheelchair during practice and performances. Be sure the facility and staff are prepared for any special needs your child has.

Self-Consciousness
If your child is afraid to dance in front of others or is easily hurt by constructive criticism, dance classes may not be the best option for your child. Instead, think about letting a family member help the child learn to dance.

Extra Benefits
If your child enjoys dancing and is in need of an opportunity to meet new friends, dance classes could be a good idea. If your child isn’t very popular in school, dance classes could provide your child a chance to start over with making friends. If your child is schooled at home and enjoys dancing, dance classes could provide your child with an extra place to make friends, as well as provide your child with some extra physical education. Being involved with extra-curricular activities, such as dance classes can help a child overcome shyness, improve flexibility, and can be a wonderful addition to a college resume. Dance classes are also a great way to expose your child to other cultures. There are many extra benefits to involving your child in dance.

Conclusion
These are just some of the many things to consider when enrolling your child in a dance class. Before getting your child involved in any extra-curricular activity, be sure that it is right for your child, as well as for your family. Weigh all the factors before committing your child to dance classes. Doing so will ensure that if your child does join, he or she will benefit.