We are constantly asked what is the right age for a child to start dancing, how early should I or can I put my child into dance classes and how will I know when is a good time to start them in dance. Depending on the studio classes can start as early as age 2. But that doesn’t always mean you should enrol your child just because they reach the age requirement. Here are some things to consider to ensure your budding ballerina's first dance experience is a great one.

What is your childs attention span: usually classes for this age range run between 30-45 minutes. When your child is playing with others or interacting can they keep their attention on one thing for this period of time. Or are they easily distracted?

Will your child leave you mom? Some classes for this age are a mommy and me program, which for the younger ages 2-4 is a great option. But some classes are just the child and the mom’s are not permitted in. Can your child leave you easily or will it be a struggle everytime? It’s not productive for your child or the other children if they are crying the whole class, every class.

What are you hoping your child will gain out of the experience? For any of the classes at this age it will be a creative movement class in which the goal is to get the dancer to move with the music. Although some very basic ballet positions will be introduced the class at this age is not about learning the technique of dance but rather learning to move with music. For this age the main goals are to introduce some structured atmosphere, introduce music and movement and to interact with other children.

Some of the best classes I’ve seen run for this age are “princess” themed classes in which each class they dress up as a different princess. You want a class that is constantly changing as this will keep the attention of the dancers. Programs that last 6-8 weeks are usually a good starting point. This way your child is able to try it out and you aren’t committed for a long term if your child decides they don’t want to go back.

Also check the dress code before signing up. At this age most studio’s are fairly lenient on dress codes requiring dance wear but not strict specifics so that the parents can keep to a lower budget incase the child does not continue, however some are very strict right from the beginning and this is something that is better known before registering. You can also make a visit to your local dancewear store to see what they offer and get pricing. At Gabie's we are always happy to welcome potential dance moms and dads to the store to see what is required and what options are available. Knowledge is power so ask lots of questions and don't forget to ask other mom's or dad's if they attend classes and what their experiences have been like. 

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