http://wagnerdancearts.comWhen teaching kids how to dance, it is important that the studio and the teacher have a plan to teach their classes. As a parent, you want to ensure your child is receiving the highest level of attention and instruction so that they lessons are educational and so that they are not bored!
Here are some strategies that good dance teachers will use to keep students engaged:
1. Keep the class moving – A common mistake that some dance teachers make, especially with young children, is spending too much time on a single activity. For younger students, five minutes on any one thing is usually the maximum their attention span can manage.
2. Teacher participation – Children of all ages take cues from adults, especially teachers. If a teacher wants students to perform with one hundred percent energy, the teacher should be giving one hundred and fifty percent! Modeling behavior is also important to show students what is expected of them. The proper place to stand or how to make a particular movement. Teachers who practice with their students, instead of simply calling out instructions have more engaged dancers.
3. Positive feedback – Children respond well to positive feedback. A good dance teacher will continually be on the lookout for things his or her students are doing well. This praise not only raises the students’ self-esteem, it also gives the child’s classmates another chance to model the appropriate behavior. Teachers who give specific and positive feedback, more than simply saying “good job” are the most powerful of instructors.
4. Plan for the unexpected – Sometimes even the most experienced dance teachers will have to overcome distractions on the spot and get students to switch gears. Coping with perhaps an unexpected tantrum of an overly tired student, or other bad behavior, for example. A good dance teacher will limit the negative attention. Negative words like “no”, “stop” and “don’t” should be used sparingly – or only when there is risk of danger. Some children find negative attention is preferable to no attention at all.
5. Assume positive outcomes – Another great way to spot a creative dance teacher is if they have a knack for motivating the dance students in unique ways. One way teachers can keep students on their toes is to say “Thank you for pointing your toes!” or “I see some beautifully pointed toes!” – even if not all students are doing it. The number of dance students suddenly pointing their toes will increase just by saying these positive statements. Using this method for all kinds of behaviors including changing quickly, standing still, keeping their hands to themselves can be highly effective and make learning how to dance fun and educational.
About Wagner Dance and Music
Since 1989, Wagner Dance and Music, a performing arts school, has been teaching East Valley students. Our 3600 square foot Gilbert facility is conveniently located on the southeast corner of Gilbert and Guadalupe in the Big Lots plaza. We offer classes for ages 2 to adult in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip-Hop, Lyrical, Tumbling, Cheer, Musical Theater and Voice as well as adult classes. For more information about Student Appreciation Day or to sign up for a class, visit http://wagnerdancearts.com or call 480-892-7179.