What to Expect the First Day of Dance Class?
Ohana means "family" and that is exactly what YOU are to US! Welcome! The first day of dance class is something to get excited about! It is fun to dress up in that pink leotard, pink tights and pink ballet shoes. Somehow You just feel like a PRINCESS! Giddy with excitement! It seems that the car ride will never end driving to YOUR dance studio. Finally you arrive! Oh Boy! Here we go! Wow! This place is big! So many strange faces - all smiling and happy! Everyone laughing! Then you get to the studio and your soon to be BALLERINA retreats into your shoulder! Sound familiar! Well it is quite common! Some dancers may feel a bit nervous and/ or shy about the first dance lesson, but that is normal when trying any new activity. Separation anxiety is one of the most common issues on the first day. The best thing to do is talk about the class beforehand in a fun light-hearted manner to ease some of those nerves. Show them the "TV" that you will be watching as he/she participates in class and most importantly, that you won't leave. You will be right there in the lobby - watching. Try to arrive a little early so you can show your child around the studio, go get some water from the water fountain, potty break, etc.
You will be able to bring your child to the classroom. It is our policy that all parents must wait in the lobby while classes are in session. We keep the door closed so not to disturb the other classes or the front lobby. Please be prepared that this process may take more than one class for the child to get use to being without mom/dad.
The instructor will introduce themselves and then take attendance. The first day of class can be a bit chaotic as everyone gets to know one another, and dancers are learning the class structure and expectations of the instructor. It will take a couple of classes to get into the swing of things. Parents should not be worried on the first day if a student looks or feels a bit lost. That is what class is about...learning and improving!
If your 2 yr old starts to cry, please do not go into the class room to console your child. Our instructors and their interns are experienced in handling situations requiring the calming of students. The instructor or intern will come retrieve you from the lobby should they need your help. At this point, we recommend that you take the child to the bathroom or get some water to distract them and calm them. Then when ready, try to re-introduce them back into the class room. Most of the time, our little dancers come into the room right away and never look back. Sometimes our little dancers aren’t ready for an instructor/child class. As parents, we won’t know until we try. Please remember that it sometimes takes a few weeks in order for the child to warm up to the idea, even if they LOVE to dance.
Lastly, our goal on the first day is to get every child into the class without mom and without crying. If we have done that, we have succeeded. But please don’t be alarmed if your child doesn't come in the first day. Or if they choose to sit and watch, or just stands there holding her "prop" and stares at the instructor skipping across the floor or just wants to be held. They are simply observing their environment. They will dance when they are ready!!! We hope you all have a positive experience at our studio. Please don’t hesitate to call us if you have questions or concerns.
Footprints (Preschool) classes can be especially crazy on the first day because it is hard to teach that age group when the instructor doesn’t know all the students’ names yet. It’s also often their first class ever. Time will resolve all the initial chaos as students become accustomed to their instructor, the class intern, their new friends and the class format.
Older classes will also start learning basic warm-up combinations that may be challenging at first. They will be consistently used throughout the entire course, so that the warm-ups can be completed with ease each week. It is normal for your child to experience muscle soreness especially after their first dance class.
Overall, parents and dancers should expect a exciting experience on the first day of dance class where students start learning the basic format and rules, while reviewing material from the previous class level. The most important thing, as always, is to have fun and start falling in love with the art of dance!