Thursday, January 31, 2013

Setting Realistic Expectations for Dance Students

Learning how to dance can be a magical time for both students and their parents. Together, they can celebrate special moments as the child progresses through their dance lessons. Learning new steps or dance techniques and performing in public are all events to be acknowledged. However, pushing a child to continue dance lessons when they have no interest, or pushing them to achieve to a certain level at an accelerated pace are all setting the student up for failure.

Let’s take a step back and look at the process of learning how to dance. Once a professional dance studio has been selected, the parents, student and dance instructor can discuss a schedule and training that fits thee child best. Selecting a style of dance in which the child is interested as well as one that has music that makes them feel good will aid in their success.

As their lessons progress, parents will soon see that there will be physical progress in the execution of their child’s dance technique. The parents should understand that learning to develop dance techniques as well as performance choreography are an important parts of the students training; however, the development of a positive outlook on his or her unique movement abilities and developing a positive body image are key aspects to dance training.

Dance students should be focused on attending the dance classes to learn and to take on the responsibility of being a good student. Some noteworthy points students should take into account are that:
  • Students are expected to make every effort to regularly attend all classes and to be on time.
  • Students are expected to put forth their best effort and attitude in all dance classes.
  • Students are expected to be well rested and well-nourished for each day.
  • Students, and parents, must adopt a realistic idea of how much activity provides for a quality, non-injurious dance training regimen.

In return for the efforts of the parent and student, dance instructors should be highly qualified to teach students. The dance teacher should hold a degree in dance, be certified to teach dance, or have danced with a professional company.

The dance studio itself should be a warm and inviting place. The floors should be cushioned to absorb the shock of jumping and the studio should be clean and well-maintained. Additionally, in an effort to give students a chance to refine their skills, the dance studio staff should concentrate on seeking and offering performance opportunities locally and out of state for students of all ages and abilities.

Learning how to dance requires the efforts of not just the student, but the dance instructor, the dance studio staff and the parents. Each party should know what is expected of them in this equation so that they can all celebrate their achievements together.

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 two to adult in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip-Hop, Lyrical, Tumbling, Cheer, Musical Theater and Voice as well as adult classes. For more information about Wagner Dance and Music or to sign up for a class, visit or call 480-892-7179.

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