Not sure which class is right for you? Check out our guide to class levels and find your perfect fit! #DanceClasses #FindYourLevel”

Where do I start?

If you are a parent who has a child who wants to dance and don’t know where to begin this is the place to be! You most likely have asked on Facebook where you should sign your child up and got TONS of responses. You have started looking at the dance studio’s websites. Now you’re hit with all these classes to pick from on their site. The hard part is that each studio lists their classes by different names, levels, or ages…oh my! Now you’re overwhelmed. 

Let’s see if we can make this easier…

Most younger children, 2-4 years old, are pretty easy to find a class for. Most 2 year old classes will either be a “Mommy/Grown Up and Me” class or a child only class. That choice is up to you and what you’re looking for. For the 3-4 year olds most of the time you are deciding if you want them to do a ballet and tap class or just a ballet class. Also, look at the studio and see if they do more of a dress up creative movement type of class or a mix of technique, songs, and props. This is also all picked by preference. You are the only one who knows what you are wanting out of this class. However, a class that teaches technique isn’t always one that’s super serious and wants your child to be super focused all the time. In my honest opinion having some of that discipline helps your child as they go through preschool and into Elementary school.

Now the next few ages/levels get a little harder at picking classes. You start getting into ballet, tap, and jazz class options. Also, all the different levels for all those ages. The first question you start with is: “Has your child danced before?”. If your child has never danced, you will want to look for a Level 1/beginner class. Usually there are some for 4-5 year olds and most studios do a 7-9ish age beginner/Level 1 class. Most places require you to do all the classes in that combo class. You won’t find many places that have single 30-minute classes to sign up for except during the summer. Make sure you go in knowing that. Even though your child says they just want to do ballet I can guarantee it’s because they haven’t tried or heard of any other dance genres. 

“But what if they danced when they were 2 or 3 or 4?”

To me they are still considered beginners. You will still pick a beginner class no matter their age. Let’s be honest they learned the basics in tap and/or ballet at age 2 or 3. Your child probably doesn’t even remember the dance steps they did back then. Only the “fun” things like playing with wands or scarves and dancing on stage in a costume. However, they will have some memory of the steps they first learn and will be able to catch on a little faster since they have been introduced to them already. 

Now if your child has had at least a year of ballet and tap and possibly jazz and are 4-6 then you should look at a Level 2 class. Always talk to the front desk or one of the teachers about where you should go for them to get the most out of their dance training. 

Some studios offer acrobatics or hip-hop classes as an extra class option. Most of these classes are based on age. Acrobatics is the mix of dance and tumbling on mats at gymnastics. They learn tricks but also work on flexibility and learn how to put those tricks together with dance moves into a performance piece. We run these classes by age, and then within that class have multiple levels. So, the class is catered towards each child’s strengths. If they need to continue to work on a level 1 trick, they can do so while others are working on a next-level trick. This way children are with others their age and others on the same maturity level. Always make sure that wherever you go, your teachers have training. Ensure they teach the technique to build on and not just teach the dancers cool tricks. If your dancer doesn’t have the arm strength, they shouldn’t be taught how to do a front handspring before handstands. Hip Hop is always a fun class! It is a class people can join as a beginner at any age. There are so many different styles of Hip Hop that the teacher always has new steps and tricks to teach them. 

All this information is also based on joining class at the beginning of the dance year which is August in Georgia. If you decide to sign up between January-March your child will probably be put in a class a level down then if you signed up in August since the current class will have had a half of a year of learning new things. If you decide to join mid year check for studios who offer a 6/8/12 week session of classes. These are also really good for beginners looking to dance!

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