How To Be A Good Dance ParentDec 12, 2022
In this blog I will be discussing how to be a good dance parent. Some of you might have been a dancer or maybe continuing dance as a professional or dance instructor or studio owner raising a child or maybe you do not have any experience with dance. I believe we all have the same goals, and that’s to raise a child to be their best. To learn how to be respectful in any situation and to hopefully enjoy what they are doing…
Growing up I was never picky about activities and always tried different things. Sports, art, music but I always danced. I do enjoy trying new things but dance has always been my favorite.
When having my two kids, I have tried to raise them where we will try something and if they don’t like it, we will wait till the end of the season and then try something new. I have to say it’s been hard to find what they really enjoy. I mean, I get it sometimes we don’t feel like doing an activity after school or on the weekends because they are tired or need a break and my kids might be like, I just want to go home today… And then I question everything like should I pull them, do they really want to quit, but I don’t want to react too fast. I see my son having fun at his jujitsu lessons and my daughter having fun at gymnastics or dance class… My son lately has really been enjoying theatre and looking forward to the next performance. My daughter also does theatre as well which I think goes great with the dance/gymnastics combination.
As a dance instructor I try to make sure my students are having fun and that’s the main thing. If they want to be serious then I can turn into coach mode and guide them on a path of being a professional dancer. So as a parent, first thing is make sure they are having a fun time.
To be a good dance parent, we shouldn’t question every move of the instructor on why is so and so in the front all the time etc. There are many reasons that child might be up front. Now, as an instructor for recital I do let every child be in the front line. But I also go by the child so if a child really doesn’t want to be up front then I won’t force them. If a student has missed so many practices and they don’t know the choreography then they might be in the back more often. Sometimes placement is determined by height, it just looks better when lines are symmetrical. So, there are many reasons why. It’s also good to learn that in the real world, not everyone will get a chance to be up front. If your child really wants to be up front then use that as a motivator for them to work harder.
Make friends with other dance parents, if you end up staying at the same studio for years, these relationships are so special! I still keep in touch with my dance friends and their parents!!! Oh the memories!!! I don’t remember ever having parent drama like you see on t.v. Again, I still keep in touch with all my dance friends parents and they all chipped in. Helping our dance teacher, helping with hair or makeup, carpooling to the studio. We truly were a family.
It is a tough business sometimes when, we all want to win at competitions, and it’s ok to have sad feelings when we don’t win. But, this is building character. And we should be supportive of our children’s friends and congratulate them. It’s hard. Be happy for the other child that won, but it’s ok to feel a little disappointed your child didn’t win, that’s normal. They need to be respectful and learn from these experiences and I hope my children learn to do better next time.
My children recently auditioned for a musical on the big stage in our county. They did’t make it, a few other kids did. And it’s an important lesson. I wish my kids made the cut but, all they can do is learn from this and get better every time they audition.
Make sure to respect the rules, whether it’s a particular dress code or hair needs to be in a bun. Respect the teachers time and get your child to class at least 10 minutes early. Not too early because that is obviously abusing the studio, they are not a daycare.
Do not gossip about other children.
Be realistic with their schedule. I hate seeing so many kids taking classes every day of the week all night after school and on weekends and not having down time. Now, I will say every kid is different and some really want to be at the studio everyday. That’s great but it’s not realistic for every kid. Let your child be a child!!! Don’t rob them from that.
I think about my experience and I didn’t practice every night and practice every weekend as a child… When I was in high school then yes, I was definitely dancing more but I still managed to be apart of sports after school and had a part-time job while still dancing. And guess what, I still danced professionally. If your child is meant to be a dancer when they grow up, it will happen. Don’t compare your child to others… Just focus on what is best for your child, your family, your sanity!
Here are a couple links for Dance Parent Shirts!!!! I do make a small commission on any orders using these links.