“My daughter is very young, only 6 years old, should I sit and observe her dance class? Her dance studio advises against it?”
– Linda, dance parent from Oregon
Thanks Linda, that is a great question.
My answer would be to watch only the last 5 minutes. Here is why. Often when you sit and watch dance class, you can be a disruptive distraction for your young dancer. When they know that you are watching, their focus can often move away from the teacher and the class. This can lead to your dancer concentrating on your approval or what you are doing, wondering why you are looking away, asking to leave class to ask/give you something, or even acting out to see your reaction. This can be a terrible problem for the teacher and the rest of the class. The frequency of dancers suddenly with shoes that are too tight, bathroom emergencies or hair crisis’ rises significantly when there are parents watching. Years of experience has proven this theory repeatedly!
I find that the most productive dance class situation is one where the parents drop off their young dancers and return about 5 minutes before the end of class. At this point, dancers are often at the point in the class structure where they have worked on a combination or short routine. They are very proud and excited for you to view it. It helps the dancer put on their “best” performance instead of losing focus or steam in those last few minutes, which can often happen at the end of an hour class.
Now, if you are not ready to completely “drop off” and drive away yet, then I advise getting out of sight. i.e. wait outside, watch from the car and/or sit in a place that is out of your young dancers view.
Your dancer’s studio has a good policy, it truly is all for the best.
Well after a tremulous 6 months of working way to hard at way too many jobs, I’m back and excited to continue this blog. Sorry I’ve been missing in action!
Lets further the art of dance together… ASK MS. SONYA, I want to help!