Dance lessons can be an awesome way to encourage your child’s personal growth! At The Dance Corner, we’re not just teaching dance steps in our classrooms—we’re developing curious, compassionate young leaders and equipping them for success.
We know that it can be a challenge sometimes to know what to do to offer support and encouragement for your dancer—especially if you are still new to the world of dance! Here are four of our best tips for making the most out of your child’s class experience at The Dance Corner:
Talk about dance at home
Although many of our young dancers take just one or two classes per week, dance is usually on their minds every day! Read dance books together or listen to music and try some dance moves in the living room. This helps keep your child’s mind engaged about dance in an extra-fun way—because they can share it with you!
Ask your child to teach you what they are learning
Since dance lessons are built on structure and repetition, teaching someone else can be a fun way to practice. Even if your child is still working on remembering their steps, this can help exercise their memory! (Plus, it can be pretty cute.)
Find out what your child likes best about class, or what they find challenging
Gain insight into what your child loves about dance—and what they think is hard—by asking them about their class. Do they have a favorite step? Have they made some new friends? What do they like about their teacher? These answers can help you understand what your child’s experience is like.
Voice your support
The way you praise your child can be very useful in helping them get the most out of dance class! Use phrases like, “I love watching you dance!” or “I can tell you’ve been working hard.” or “Did you try your best? That’s what’s most important.” Your child’s confidence and enthusiasm will continue to grow with this kind of encouragement at home and at class.
We hope these four tips come in handy as your child progresses through our dance season and of course, we’re always happy to help with any class curriculum or programming questions you might have. We’re so thankful you’ve chosen The Dance Corner for your child’s education in dance!
The recital is known for creating special memories—both for the dancer and for their family and friends. It is a sentimental moment in time for many parents, watching their child perform in front of an audience! For most of our dance families at The Dance Corner, it marks the closure of one year’s journey in dance and “sets the stage” for the next.
After the recital, costumes become special mementos, yearbooks become keepsakes, photos become scrapbook centerpieces, and the recital video often become your household’s most-watched entertainment! The time may have passed, but the souvenirs remain … along with the personal growth each student has achieved.
One comment we often hear from parents after the recital is how their child won’t stop talking about it! The excitement lifts them up long after the curtain has come down. We love hearing about this kind of enthusiasm, and we hope you’ll keep the dance conversation going at home. This is an excellent time to listen to what your child has to say about what they liked best or what was challenging. Being able to reflect on the experience and communicate that to others is another awesome skill to develop!
Sometimes the memories made at recital aren’t the ones you’d expect. Maybe your dancer became distracted at one point onstage and made a silly face that made everyone laugh, or maybe they forgot a step during the dance and seemed discouraged. Live performances can be a little unpredictable like this, but with a growth mindset, you and your child can still choose to see the positive outcome. Like how that silly face was sweet and entertaining, and grandma loved it. Or that forgotten step? What a way to show perseverance!
The lifetime memories made at the recital enrich our students’ knowledge and understanding of what a performance encompasses. They create context for other performing opportunities, such as in theater or music, and they build the kind of confidence only experience can deliver.
Performing onstage is an incredible opportunity for dancers to share what they have been learning in class, and to showcase their progress from the beginning of the year to the end. Learning how to dance is a gradual process, and some skills take years to fully master—but however big or small the steps are, it is a major accomplishment for anyone to perform in front of hundreds of people! All the hard work is worthwhile when a dancer experiences the high fives and smiles and congratulations that the recital brings from classmates, family, and friends.
Whether it’s a young dancer performing for their first time or a teen dancer performing at the end of her senior year, recital achievements are incredibly special to celebrate. Lifelong memories are made from those achievements—and for many dancers, a true passion for dance is ignited!
Dance is the ultimate performing art, and dancing onstage at the performance serves as a powerful tool for building a child’s confidence in themselves—a confidence that easily carries over into a dancer’s home life, schoolwork, and friendships.
So how can one special event create such a big difference? Well, it’s not just about that day. It’s also about the process leading up to it, followed by the culmination of all that hard work.
In our experience at The Dance Corner, a rise in confidence begins with effort in the classroom. Our students begin learning new steps and choreography, and as they make the effort to execute those skills, their confidence builds. With compliments and corrections from the teacher, each dancer becomes more determined to improve.
In some dancers this confidence boost comes easily over time, but in others it can be more daunting. For example, sometimes there is a student who feels down on themselves when they aren’t learning a step or concept fast enough. We teach them that everyone learns at their own pace, and with their continued practice and perseverance, they’ll make progress. And when that student begins to see their effort paying off, their confidence soars! Overcoming that temporary “slump” actually helped them see that they can rely on themselves and be stronger for it.
As we get closer and closer to the performance and the choreography for the routine is complete, we will oftentimes see a spike in confidence along with their excitement for the big day. The more they practice, the more assured they become. They can also begin to picture themselves performing, and that visualization inspires them from the inside out.
Of course when performance day is finally here, sometimes shyness, nerves, or anxiety can make a child’s confidence waver. But if they’ve already built up their “confidence muscles” in class, they can quickly conquer those fears and dance onstage with no worries at all. We’ve seen many students over the years who’ve overcome their stage fright—and then never want to leave the stage!
One of the most magical confidence-boosting moments for a performer is hearing the audience applaud, knowing that family and friends are there! It tells the dancers they are appreciated for dancing their hearts out. It is such a rewarding feeling to realize that your hard work has paid off, and that the audience loved your performance.
The pride our students feel in themselves at that moment is well-earned. The sense of accomplishment after getting out there and performing is a triumphant feeling like no other, and it’s not an exaggeration to say we’ve seen it transform lives. The confidence our students develop is truly one of the most valuable benefits there is when it comes to performing!
This dance season has been like no other, and we wanted to take a moment to express our gratitude to YOU, for believing in the transformative power of dance. Through thick and thin—through the unpredictable nature of living through a pandemic—you have allowed your child to dance; to soak up the benefits of movement, self-expression, teamwork, and social-emotional growth. We are grateful for you!
When so many parts of our dancers’ lives were inconsistent, you kept this door open for them. You were willing to take the necessary steps to make dance possible, whether it was changing up your schedule, wearing masks, waiting in your car, adapting to an outdoor classroom, or going virtual. We know these are not small sacrifices! But we are thankful beyond measure that we have been able to continue to serve your family.
As the months ahead still remain a bit uncertain for our world, we know that because of your support, dance can continue to be one thing that IS certain. Whether we see your dancer once a week or for several hours, know that teaching them is the best part of our day. Dance teaching is a joyous profession and our students bring us so much joy!
We hope that you, too, experience joy from your child’s dance experience. We often hear about dancers who put on their own performances in the living room or choreograph to their favorite tunes. Some parents tell us how their child will teach steps to other family members or shyly demonstrate what they’ve learned in class. In whatever way it happens in your house, we hope you see the same spark in your child that we do.
The Dance Corner is proud to uphold high standards of dance training, but the most special part of our work is watching our dancers develop into amazing human beings. It may sound cliché but it’s true: Dance has proven time and time again to help our students become stronger, healthier, and more confident in themselves. And now especially, it’s provided a boost to their resilience, showing them just how buoyant they really are; that they can learn and grow in dance class, no matter what the class looks like.
So thank you, families, for your belief in us—for understanding the benefits of dance and seeing the advantages in the whole health of your child. Thank you for making it possible for us to keep our doors open (even when our facility doors had to be shut). We appreciate all you do.
Just a few decades ago, as competitive dance emerged as a leading influence in the dance community, the structure was virtually the same across events. There was one level of competition and three possible outcomes: first place, second place, or third place. First place would net the winner a trophy, while second and third place winners sometimes received ribbons … or nothing at all.
Gradually over time, competitions began feeding into the growing societal mentality that most, if not all, participants should walk away with some kind of special recognition. Awards grew beyond gold, silver, and bronze to include descriptions like “titanium,” “platinum,” “high gold,” “elite,” and more. It became harder to discern which award, exactly, meant “first place.”
In order to make every child (and parent) feel good and want to return to the event, competitions were diluting the value of winning. Out of this shift, we now see a pretty confusing set of categories and awards across events! And it’s becoming more and more common to see a waning work ethic among young dancers, who don’t see any reason to work harder if they’re just going to win anyway.
At The Dance Corner, we know that real life is NOT like this! We know that life beyond dance competitions is different. Not everyone will get into their first-choice college; not everyone will get every job they interview for; and not everyone will succeed in every relationship. Everyone doesn’t always win at everything … and that’s actually OK, because there is always something to learn.
We understand that as dance educators, if we don’t push back against the “everyone gets a trophy” mindset, then it will have a negative impact on our students. It’s important to us to teach them that even though they may be recognized at a competition, those results do not equal their worth or potential as human beings. They are so much more!
Our philosophy on competition is that it provides an incredible performance experience for our students, allows them to work towards a goal, and exposes them to unique scholarship opportunities. We LOVE providing this outlet for our students! But we also want to emphasize that “winning” is not the most important part, because winning at many competitions means something different now than it used to.
Success, at The Dance Corner, is all about hard work. It’s about making your best effort, bouncing back when something goes wrong, being a good friend, treating others with kindness, and building teamwork. We believe that a commitment to dance develops all of these qualities, which is a personal reward much more fulfilling than any triple-platinum, high gold, elite plastic trophy can ever accomplish.
It’s a common question to hear from dance parents and students alike: What purpose does the dress code actually serve? We’re glad you asked! The Dance Corner’s dress code was established for a few very important reasons:
The number one factor in establishing a dress code is for all students’ safety in class. A basic leotard and tights, along with hair pulled back and the appropriate shoes, ensures that there are no extraneous clothes or jewelry that can become hazardous. The dress code also helps teachers see that students are using the right muscles and alignment in order to learn the correct movements in class.
At The Dance Corner, we want every student to feel good about trying his or her best in class. Following the dress code helps us make sure that everyone is appropriately covered … but not so covered that their movement is restricted! We know that kids can sometimes feel self-conscious, and we want to encourage their confidence by helping them feel comfortable with what they wear in the studio.
A dress code is one way students show respect for their peers and their teachers. It demonstrates an understanding of how a dance class operates, with minimal distractions and the ability to move easily for any combination of steps or choreography. It shows that the students are prepared to learn and are willing to save their fashion statements for outside of class.
Because leotards and tights also often serve as a versatile base layer for costuming, it makes sense that students become accustomed to them during class time. Just as swimmers wear swimsuits and basketball players wear jerseys, dancers wear leotards and tights to have the freedom of movement required to practice correctly and efficiently.
Everyone benefits with the dress code in place: dancers can learn comfortably and instructors can teach efficiently! At The Dance Corner, we take pride in our dress code and are happy to help you with questions at any time.