Etiquette for our little dancers is a bit different than for those with more experience! Younger children are just beginning to understand how to control their bodies and emotions, and dance class may be one of their first experiences in a classroom. With this in mind, we teach age-appropriate “dance manners” in these classes to begin building a foundation of self-respect and respect for others.
At SDC, we know how important it is for parents to understand what we introduce in the dance classroom and why. When it comes to our young students’ dance manners, here is some insight into those expectations:
Listening for instructions from the teacher
In many of our beginning and intermediate level classes it can be hard for our students to contain their excitement (and their voices) because they just love dancing so much! We teach them to recognize their “listening ears” so they can understand whose turn it is to talk: sometimes it’s the teacher’s turn, sometimes it’s their turn, and sometimes it’s their friend’s turn.
Saving questions for a certain time
Our teachers love the curiosity behind dance class questions! But there are some times during class that are better for questions than others, so the teacher may redirect questions or ask that they be saved for a specific point in class. This helps keep the class flowing and limits interruptions to the lesson plan while still creating opportunities for discussion.
Learning how to dance as a team
Dancing in a group can be a big challenge for little bodies, but we strive to make it fun by creating short phrases of steps called combinations that allow our students to practice together in unison. This emphasizes each class as a team, where everyone works together for a common result and cheers each other on along the way. It also encourages musicality as the dancers learn to count the music together, say the steps out loud, or practice listening for musical cues.
Understanding how to take turns
There are many times in dance class when students may take turns, including when they practice a step or phrase one at a time or in small groups. This is a new concept for our youngest dancers, who may not have ever encountered the expectation to wait their turn. This building-block of education helps our students develop self-control and patience, and proves useful in and out of the dance classroom!
In our experience at SDC, the etiquette our young students learn sets them up for success all year long! Dance class is full of fun and joyful moments, and it’s all possible because of the dance manners our students are developing along the way.
– Ms. Julie