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Beginning at a very tender age – often around just 18 months old – some children start to show an aptitude for dance.

Beginning at a very tender age – often around just 18 months old – some children start to show an aptitude for dance. Does your young child sway or bob up and down every time you play music with a good beat? Once they reach an appropriate age, you can look into replacing these wiggling movements with coordinated dance steps. But just when is the right time to sign up your child for dance lessons?

According to dance teachers and early childhood development professionals, the answer is 3 to 5 years old. By this age, most children are:

  • Completely toilet trained. This prevents dance instructors from having to run out mid-dance to change diapers.
  • Accustomed to following instructions in a group setting. Most children are enrolled in preschool or daycare by age 3, so they are more likely to be attentive in a dance class setting.
  • No longer overcome by “separation anxiety,” which is common in young children. This makes it easier for parents to drop off their kids at a dance studio without tears or drama.

For the above reasons, it’s best to wait until your child turns 2.5 to start dance lessons. In the meantime:

  • Be patient. Your child probably lacks the coordination and attention span required to thrive in a dance class until he or she gets a little older.
  • Encourage dance at home, and don’t be afraid to join in the fun! Turn on your favorite music, and have a dance party in the living room. Invite your child’s friends over to twirl around, wiggle, jump and sway to the music.

When the time comes, deciding which dance class to enroll your child in shouldn’t be too challenging. Just follow these tips:

  • Pay attention to your child’s favorite music and preferred dance moves. This can help you determine which type of dance your child is most interested in.
  • Take your child to local dance recitals. Seeing more experienced dancers strut their stuff can help your child decide what style he or she wants to learn.

As for timing the exact enrollment date, it’s usually best to start in the fall. Many dance studios – including Dance Academy USA in Cupertino, CA – have a schedule that coincides with the school year. This means new classes begin in August.

If your child is turning 3 this year, consider signing up for Creative Dance Classes for 2.5- to 3-year-olds, or choose our Shining Star program for children ages 2.5 to 6 years old. Classes begin in August, and registration is now open! If you have an older child who wants to take classes, that’s fine too. We offer Intro to Dance Classes for 4- to 6-year-olds and Combo Classes that combine tap/jazz or ballet/jazz for 6- to 9-year-olds.

To learn more about our classes and dance instructors, please call us at (408) 257-3211 or email us at today.

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