We all know how daunting firsts can be. Even if your little dancer has been twirling all over the living room or begging to sign up for ballet lessons, the first day of dance class is no different than any other first. When all is said and done, your dancer is probably going to have a fabulous time in class. Most kids do!
Still, there are few things you can do at home to be proactive and set your child up to walk into their first class with confidence and a smile:
1. Be Prepared
Put some fuel in the tank. I know this sounds obvious but take extra care to make sure their basic needs are met. Kids don’t do well when they’re tired and hangry (neither do adults). Try to get a good night’s sleep the night before dance, and make sure they’ve had something to eat and drink before their class.
Pack their dance bag with the essentials the night before. Some dancers might need help. Make sure you have all of your uniform pieces, the correct dance shoes, extra hair supplies, a water bottle, and maybe a healthy snack.
Purchase your uniform ahead of time and be ready to go. ACBA has a strict uniform policy. Don't know what it is? Click here
Don’t forget to do your hair. Hair should be up and ready to go. Buns for ballet, hair up for everything else. Boys' hair should be away from the face.
2. Arrive Early
Show up 10 minutes early so you have time to spare. Having a few extra minutes to use the bathroom, change shoes, and explore the space is nice.
Go to the bathroom before class starts. Even older dancers need to “try.” Our time in the studio is limited and we don’t want to waste it in the potty.
Know Studio Etiquette
There are a few basic elements present in all ballet classes that are done a specific way simply because that's the way dancers do it. These rules are not ballet specific – they are valid for all types of dance classes. Brush up on your studio etiquette here.
3. Leave the Extras at Home
Only bring the essentials. Unpack the dance bag of non-essentials. It is more of a distraction than a help if the bag is giant and full of extras. Kids can’t find what they need quickly and they get caught up checking on their dolly (or their boyfriend) when there’s toys and technology in the bag.
Leave the audience at home. The first class is scary enough. Day one is not the day to bring the entire fan club. Please limit observers to one parent per child for dancers 6 and below. We encourage older dancers to be independent, say good-bye at the door.
Love on your dancer for a few minutes. Give your kiddos a good hug or two at some point during the day. Your kids aren’t going to let you out of their sight to go to dance if what they’re really craving is some attention from you.
Encourage dancing outside of class whenever you can, but don’t force it. We don’t want your child to have a bunch of homework or feel like dance is a chore.
Show interest. Dancing isn’t your jam? That’s okay. You don’t need to take your child to see a full length ballet. But, why not ask your dancer to teach you something from class or to show you their dance? Or something they learned? The possibilities are endless!
5. Stay in the loop
We’ll do everything we can to make sure you know what’s happening in the studio. Check Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, read your emails, call us, email us and/or text us with questions. The Parent Portal and website can be great resources. We are here to help you feel at home, and we know when you feel comfortable, your child will too.
Can't wait to see you in the studio!