The dance class is a hard world to maneuver for dance parents. Unlike some sports and activities, it is hard for the average dance parent to know if their child is doing well in dance class. A dancer’s ability to perform can be very different from their technical ability in class.
Most teachers and choreographers will attempt to make everyone look their best on stage, so the end of the year recital does not give a good indication of your child’s progress or if they are in the right level.
Speaking of being in the right level, moving up to the next level is NOT an indication that your child is winning in dance class. Just as staying in the same level is not and indication that your child is failing in dance class.
Observation week is coming up for some students at My School. Class observations are a great opportunity to see how your child is doing in dance class.
Of course, you must remember that your dancer is on a journey. so celebrate THEIR accomplishments. Every child in the class will have strengths and weaknesses, so use this opportunity to discover your child’s strengths and learn how you can support them in their weak areas.
Look for areas your child is winning and commit to celebrating those areas with them. They will know where they need to improve; what they need from you is approval, appreciation and support!
Here are 11 signs that your child is really winning in dance class:
- Your dancer knows what they need to be working on and remembers the corrections the teachers give.
- Your dancer appreciates corrections and feedback from the teacher and quickly applies what the teacher says.
- Your child shows progress, they are not still struggling with the same corrections and steps they were months ago. They show improved mastery of placement, artistry, strength and flexibility.
- Your dancer IS struggling with new steps. This means they are being challenged and presented with new material. (Not all teachers want parents to see their child struggle at observations, so you may not get to see this)
- There is never an exercise that is “too easy” for your dancer, they know how to challenge themselves and use the exercises to train and condition their bodies. Is your class too easy?
- Your dancer knows the terminology and can easily pick-up and perform combinations.
- Your dancer knows and understands class etiquette. They know how to line up, make formations, transition to different parts of the class, enter and exit the dance space and maintain a quiet, respectful learning environment.
- Your dancer knows how to prepare for class with dress code, hair code and pre-class warm-ups.
- Your dancer respects their teacher and classmates and sets a good example for others to follow.
- Your dancer does not judge other dancers or compare themselves to others, they know that their biggest competitor is yesterday’s version of themselves.
- Your dancer has good days and bad, but their overall love and passion for dance remains.