Where Should I Enroll My Child, Recreational Or Competitive Dance?

There are two important decisions to make when enrolling your child in a dance program: choosing the type of dance and choosing between recreational and competitive classes. Both of these has its own benefits. It’s important that you consider the preference and abilities of your toddler before picking any of these two. So you ask, where should I enroll my child, recreational or competitive dance?

Not all kids are excellent dancers. There’s a chance that a couple of kids on the studio are just there for fun and recreation. And at a very young age, there’s nothing wrong about it. Parents sometimes opt for recreational dance to cut the pressure out of the classes. Still, competitive dance classes aren’t to be underestimated, especially if you want to see your child on a weekend recital.

So to help you decide which one suits your child, here are some points:

Recreational dance

Recreational dance classes are one of the top options for parents who just want their toddlers to have a little exercise and fun. The children learn basic dance steps in a light and relaxed environment without being pressured to learn within a certain timeframe. Still, there’s structure in recreational but it rarely includes a recital or performance in the end.

When your child starts schooling, he or she will be asked to dance during a P.E. class, gathering, and other events. Recreational classes will help them learn some grooves without the pressure of not meeting expectations. Since it’s called recreational, the purpose of the classes is for entertainment and enjoyment. So where should I enroll my child, recreational or competitive dance? This could be a determiner.

where should I enroll my child, recreational or competitive dance

Amateur instruction will do well on this type of dance class. If you can’t afford a studio, you can look for recreational dance classes offered on local gyms and centers. These options are more affordable but still offer fun for your child.

Recreational classes can fall into any type of dance. It could be ballet, hip-hop, jazz, creative, and more.

Competitive dance

After reading what recreational dance is, you might shy away from the idea of competitive dancing. If you want your kid to be exposed to proper techniques and sophisticated training, this is the type of class you should choose. Competitive dance classes will require the kids to perform in front of a crowd at the end of the program as an examination of what they learned.

Kids who are enrolled in a recreational dance class can be transitioned to a competitive class. You can talk to the instructor to assess if your child is ready for the change.

Competitive dance classes offer more structure, sportsmanship, and discipline. The students are subjected to the pressure of learning the dance for the sake of contests and aesthetic performances.  It’s usually the choice of parents whose child considers dancing as his or he sport. However, take note that this will require an extra level of effort for your child and you as a parent. Where should I enroll my child, recreational or competitive dance? Read on.


Recreational dancing

-The child is taught in a relaxed manner since there would likely be no recitals or competitions at the end of the program.

-The kid would experience less stress and pressure since he or she isn’t expected to produce a solid output in the end.

-It allows the child to feel free in terms of self-expression and creativity.

-The best choice for very young kids who have short attention spans.

-Fewer rules for the kids to follow so they will enjoy more.

-A flexible choice for parents, especially those who can’t commit to supporting a competitive class for their child.

where should I enroll my child, recreational or competitive dance

Competitive dancing

-The child is taught with precision, discipline, and structure. Where should I enroll my child, recreational or competitive dance? Competitive classes might be best.

-It helps develop the attention span of toddlers since they have to follow a more complicated set of instructions than that of recreational dance.

-Parents who want their kids to be competitive dancers in the future find better teaching on this type of dance.

-It instills the dedication to the child since they have to practice regularly, even at home.

-It boosts the confidence of a kid since he or she will be exposed to a highly charged setting with a crowd watching.

-The child gets to be corrected and hear feedback from the teacher which is helpful in building his or her character.


Recreational dancing

-It offers less structure which can be a little off for parents who want their kids to develop discipline.

-The feedback from the instructor is very friendly and won’t teach the kids precise techniques.

-If your goal is to improve the attention span of your child, recreational dance classes may not be the best choice. So where should I enroll my child, recreational or competitive dance? Think closely.

-The child doesn’t get the sense of dedication since there are no recitals or performances at the end that will push him or her to do better.

Competitive dancing

-As a highly structured class, it might be a risky choice for toddlers.

-Your toddler should have a long attention span to pick up instructions.

-The pressure and stress might cause tantrums or difficulty encouraging the little kid to attend the program.

-Unhealthy competition may arise within the group of students and the parents.

-It could be very demanding for the parents too since the child has to rehearse at home.

What to pick?

This part depends largely on what you and your child want to achieve. Of course, recreational classes would always be excellent to introduce your child to the idea of dancing. Transitioning them can take place once they get older or when they mastered the basics of the dance they are enrolled in. so where should I enroll my child, recreational or competitive dance? Recreational classes are light, more like of playschool before sending your kid to pre-school. It lets them absorb their environment and get them used to instructions.

where should I enroll my child, recreational or competitive dance

However, there are parents who prefer to jump in straight to the competitive dance classes. More likely, their kids are more mature for their age and can engage in lengthy instructions. A competitive dance class can also be your choice for your child if you want him or her to learn with discipline at a very young age.

So what should you pick? If your child is playful, full of energy, and always jumping around, I bet you should start him or her with a recreational class. This way, they can relate to the environment without the culture shock of being subjected to strict teaching right away.

Again, this is a matter of choice and the personality of your child. There are kids who do well when sent to a competitive dance class right away. To be safe, you can bring him or her over to each of these dance classes and see where the kid seems to be hooked the most.

Which is safer?

One of the major concerns about competitive dance classes is the safety of the kids. Since it will deal with teaching precise techniques, some steps might be physically challenging for the child. Teachers will usually know about this and tone down the instructions a bit. So where should I enroll my child, recreational or competitive dance?

Recreational classes also have its own share of safety risks. Running and jumping around are susceptible to bad falls. And even though the dance floor is made to cushion force, bumps can still send a kid crying.

Safety risks can be minimized by the presence of multiple instructors within a class. Also, parents should watch over and take part, especially if the kid is an insuppressible ball of energy.

Take note that competitive dance classes have more sessions per week so your kid will learn faster. This means a bigger financial commitment for you and more attention from your child. Make sure that his or her physical status is capable of meeting this demand. As you know, some kids have special conditions.

How to know if my child is ready for any of the two?

If you’re keen on figuring out if your child is ready for competitive and recreational classes, you have to keep a hawk eye. Kids who have short attention are best enrolled in a recreational class, but you can still bet on a competitive program to improve his or her focus. Here are some considerations before picking the type of class:

where should I enroll my child, recreational or competitive dance

Consider the intensity

Competitive dance class is the most rigorous between the two. Where should I enroll my child, recreational or competitive dance? If your kid can handle this kind of program, then you can bet on it and see how your child will perform. Recreational will always be a default option if you’re worried that your kid won’t catch up fast to a stricter mode of teaching. Aside from the classes itself, keep in mind the frequency of sessions too. If your child has other activities, choosing a competitive program might be a bit challenging.

Ask the teachers

If your kid has been in a recreational class for some time now, you can talk to the teacher and ask if he or she thinks your child is ready to be transitioned. It’s not usual to transition a toddler right away to a competitive dance class, but if they exhibit promising moves, you can consider it. The teacher is the best person to ask if enrolling the kid on a higher level of the class would be a good idea.

Calculate the cost

Since competitive dance classes would be frequent than recreational ones, expect that the cost would be bigger. Some studios offer a package pricing while others stick to a per-session rate. It’s important that you’re financially prepared to support the dance class. Remember that aside from the studio fees, clothes and shoes will also eat your money away. Affordable studios would be the best options if you’re cash-strapped.

Level of commitment

One of the crucial points to consider here is how long your child can stick to a program. If the kid isn’t really keen on attending dance classes, you can test his enthusiasm in a recreational class. It’s easier and more laid-back than competitive ones. The last thing you want to happen is to pay a non-refundable fee only to bring your child home in the middle of the class.

So where should I enroll my child, recreational or competitive dance? Aside from the child, you should also ask yourself if you can commit to the dance class. You’ll have to bring and fetch the toddler, and if the studio is quite far, it could be a challenge.


Are the classes held three days in a row? This can be a good thing for the child’s memory, but if they feel worn out with the sessions, you may want to look for a program held in between days. It will allow your child to unwind and look forward to the dance classes. If you’re a working parent, it would be best to pick a dance class that suits your schedule. Regardless if it’s a competitive or a recreational one, scheduling is crucial.

where should I enroll my child, recreational or competitive dance

Physical abilities

Is your child frail or have physical inabilities? If so, pushing him to attend a competitive class might be making their situation worse. Always consider the capabilities of your child before choosing a dance. Remember, it’s them who will be dealing with performance, not you. If you’re really keen to send him or her to a dance class, opt for a recreational program instead. It will still be fun without taxing the body too much.

Assess the challenges

If the challenges overpower the benefits, you should opt out of the dance class option. For example, if competitive dance classes will bring more inconvenience than benefits, you should consider choosing recreational ones for now.

Set the goal

If the end goal is to prepare the child for professional dancing in the future, you can choose a competitive dance class. Given that you consider the other factors mentioned above, this will serve the purpose you intend to achieve. The same goes for recreational dance classes.

So where should I enroll my child, recreational or competitive dance? By now, you should have a potential option.

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Where Should I Enroll My Child, Recreational Or Competitive Dance?

by admin time to read: 8 min