Is your toddler experiencing separation anxiety? If so, this will probably turn dance class sessions into a fit of crying and tantrums. This is the reason why the mommy and me dance class is offered in different studios and companies. It allows the child to learn and interact with other people together with a guardian. Being called mommy and me, this doesn’t mean that only moms can join their little ones. Even dads and official guardians can groove with the toddlers.
A mommy and me dance session is usually a ballet-based routine where kids up to the age of four can join. It’s used as an introductory class for toddlers so they can adjust and improve their motor skills before joining a bigger dance class. A mommy and me class is also a great way for teachers to build the trust between their young students. And as the little movers got used to the setup, they can now join other classes without a guardian.
So what exactly is a Mommy and Me Dance Class?
A Mommy and Me dance class is where a parent or guardian joins a child in his or her dance lessons. Take note that not every dance class can be a mommy and me type. Studios offer a separate session for this where the adult will also dress up for the class. Since this is usually a ballet class, guardians may also be required to wear leotards, tights, tutus, tap shoes, leggings, and the likes. This depends on the requirements the studio imposes.
It’s important to remember that this isn’t just an observation interaction. Guardians are expected to dance along and be part of the program. Although not all parents are willing to take this extra mile, doing so will bring benefits to your child.
Aside from ballet, a mommy and me dance class could also be in jazz, ballroom, hip-hop, and other modern types. It depends on what the studio has to offer.
Who can join?
Again, this depends on the studio where you plan to enroll your child. Some studios can admit a child as young as one to four years old. Basically, anyone from that age bracket can join. If you’re lucky, some dance studios can accommodate older kids of about six years.
A dad, mom, uncle, or aunt can join as long as they are the consented guardian of the child. As long as you’re willing to move and your child likes it, the two of you can join the program.
Where can I find a class?
There are studios like XtremeDance in Florida, Bella Ballet in Maryland, and Miller Street Dance in North Carolina that offer this class. There are dozens more in different cities and states that you can explore to see which one is nearest your area. Just remember that each dance studio will vary in lessons and length of classes.
Simply searching online will give you endless options for the type of class and school you can enroll in. You’re free to compare the lessons and package as well as the fee. If you have the time, it’s best to contact them and see what the studio can offer.
What should I prepare for?
Remember that this mommy and me dance class will require a set of outfits for of you and your child. Some studios have a schedule on what to wear depending on what class you enrolled into. Be ready to wear leotards, leggings, tutus, and different shoes if need be. This is all part of your child’s development, after all. You’ll surely have fun as well once you see your little one learning new things.
There’s nothing to worry about wearing this stuff since all the parents in the class will do the same. You can also use this class to unleash the inner dancer in you.
-The mood of the child
Above all, it’s important that your little kid wants to go to the class. It’s hard to determine this for a one-year-old. However, you should come up with a routine that will perk the toddler up before heading to the dance class. You can start by giving her a reward for being a good dancer in class. It’s important that you introduce the dance with a very encouraging approach.
When tantrums and crying starts, you should have a backup plan to get things going. A little pep talk or a promise of a reward afterward would work.
Each mommy and me dance class will have varying fees. It’s usually based on the total package of the dance lesson that can last for a few weeks and about 30 minutes per session. Some studios charge $40 for a 30-minute session but remember that this can vary on the location and how upscale the studio is.
Some studios may offer a discount if you’re enrolling more than one kid or if you’re availing a family package. Usually, the fees shouldn’t be too pricey if the class is composed of many students. Anyway, you can canvas from different studios before choosing one.
What are the benefits of joining this class?
One of the top benefits of joining your child in a dance class is you get to guide them in the adjustment period. In such a young age, they would probably have issues interacting with other children and adults. With you grooving with them, they would have an easier time following the teacher’s instructions. You will also prevent the occurrence of separation anxiety when the child is enrolling in an independent dance class in the future.
Studios offer this class so parents or guardians can help their child develop a sense of community. This is aside from the other benefits listed here.
If you’re a full-time parent, enrolling in a mommy and me dance class is a good way to bond with your child. It’s an excellent change from the usual home-bodied routines many parents have nowadays. Aside from developing your child skills, you also develop their attachment to you as their parent. This has a direct impact on their relationship with you as they grow up.
Your child will find it happier to be with mommy or daddy since you are joining them on their activities. Dads who are always tied at work can take this opportunity to develop the emotional bond with their kids.
When you take the lead, your child will look up to as their role model. This makes the job of the dance teacher easier. As the adult, you’re expected to be the second in line when it comes to encouraging your baby to follow the steps and sequences taught in class. As you know, a handful of kids left alone with a teacher or two can be quite difficult to handle.
Being a role model to your child develops a deeper connection between the two of you. Even if the program is only weeks-long, it’s enough to set yourself as an example.
Are you worried that your child isn’t learning enough at the dance school? Joining the mommy and me dance class would be your chance to monitor the progress of your child first-hand. You’ll see where your kid is lacking in terms of following directions, motor skills, and attention. This is the part that you’ll work out with the teacher and at home.
This is a way to see how your child is coping with instructions and how he or she performs within a group. It’s a reference for the behavior and abilities of your child.
-Improving child skills
If there’s one benefit of dance classes, it would be improving the motor skills of a child. The reason why studios are starting with the age as early as 1 is to allow your child to enhance his physical and mental reflexes. Dancing develops the muscles of a child and it also helps establish a longer attention span as well as discipline. All these benefits will manifest during his or her daily routines.
Another big thing is building your child’s confidence. If you want him or her to grow up with a high self-esteem, a dance class would be an excellent avenue.
-Interaction and relationships
At a young age, a mommy and me dance class will help a child develop his trust in other people. Children can have trust issues and they rely on their parents’ approval if the person should be interacted with. With a parent or guardian present, it would be easier for the child to develop friendship and adjust to the student-teacher setup.
You also get the chance to guide your little one when addressing adults or interacting with other children. As you know, ages 1-7 are the crucial phase of developing a child’s personality.
What are the considerations I should weigh first?
Choosing a studio near your place is preferable. Children can lose interest if you have to drive them within a long distance. It’s also tiring and difficult to sustain if the studio is in a different state or city. A nearer studio will save you time which you can spend doing other things at home or work.
Also, a local dance studio will allow your child to interact with the people he will be seeing as he grows up. Some of the kids enrolled in the class could be his classmates in the future. Letting them meet at an early age will make schooling a much worthwhile task.
Is the studio child-friendly? Is the teacher patient and gentle enough? Looking for the studio with these two characteristics (at least) will make the class worth enrolling. Toddlers can easily lose interest if they find the environment menacing or boring. It might not also be comfortable for you as an adult if the environment of the studio isn’t tailored for parent and child interaction.
Having a studio with hands-on and cooperating parents will be a nurturing experience for you and the little one.
If you’re working, it’s important that you first consider the schedule the studio has for the mommy and me dance class. Most of the time, there are classes all week long, including weekends, where you can squeeze in the session with your child. It’s important that you finish the program since asking a guardian to substitute might sabotage the child’s progress. You might also miss some twirls and grooves which will be hard to catch up during the next session.
Choose a schedule that’s suitable for you and your child.
Does your kid love ballet? Hip-hop? Ballroom? Remember that choosing one should depend on what your kid wants. They should be willing to finish the class based on their interest. Forcing them to take ballet if they want hip hop would only result in tantrums. That’s the last thing you would like to happen during a mommy and me dance class.
Checking if the curriculum is geared towards child development is important. Will it give your little one new skills or it will just cover the same stuff your child already knows? This is also an important factor to consider to make the most out of the program.
Ask yourself this question: Can I commit to this program and finish it with my child? Acing all the classes with your child is important. A substitute guardian during a busy day would give your child a sense of defeat and insecurity. So before enrolling him or her in a certain class, make sure that you or another guardian can be there all the time.
Now that you know the benefits of a mommy and me dance class, you can consider this as your child’s next summer activity. It allows a toddler to learn new things while grooving and making new friends. Above all, it gives you the chance to connect and bond with your child even at a very young age. Do you have thoughts about this? Let us know below!