Many kids start a creative dance class between ages 2 and 4. Some teachers, however, will accept slightly younger children provided they have the ability to mimic the teacher's moves. Baby dance class is a casual group where young children learn to work in a group setting while enjoying the company of peers their same age.
Informal Physical Movement
Classes for this age group are geared more toward movement accompanied by music rather than formal steps. You child will never be pressured to do ballet moves, as children this young cannot focus on a single activity for more than a few minutes. Moreover, they have not yet developed enough coordination for some of the poses.
Improved Balance and Coordination
Your son or daughter will improve their gross motor skills and hand-eye coordination. The kids learn how to tumble, do somersaults (with a parent's help), and dance to a rhythm. They learn to leap over small boxes while maintaining good posture and gracefully moving their arms. Younger kids tend to imitate the older ones.
The social skills your child will learn include patience while waiting in line, following directions, sharing equipment, and building friendships. Most kids look forward to learning new moves in dance class as much as being with other kids their age.
Boys enjoy baby dance class as much as girls. They enjoy walking on the low beam, jumping on the trampoline, hopping on one foot, and dancing to the music. Teachers catering to this age group change the activity every few minutes. It keeps the kids interested in a semi-structured atmosphere.
Parents should expect to accompany their son or daughter to each class until they are at least 3 years old. Some teachers insist a parent be present if their child is not potty trained. The average class lasts 30 to 45 minutes and meets once or twice each week.
If you are on a tight budget, choose a dance class that does not have a recital at the end of the season. Recitals require the purchase of an expensive costume and perhaps a fee to cover other expenses. When selecting a school, be aware that some classes simply request the child be dressed in casual clothing that allows freedom of movement. This is less expensive than buying leotards and tights that the young ones outgrow quickly.
If your baby is walking but you are not sure if he or she is ready for dance class, ask to attend one session. You might have to pay a small fee, but you'll find out if your child is ready for group activities. Some kids are ready at 15 months while others need longer.
For more information, contact a professional studio, such as Jazz Unlimited Studio of Arts, and ask about their baby dance programs.