If your little one loves to move, Boston offers a range of dance classes for children. We listed them below by neighborhood.
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Little Lovage Club - dance and movement for ages 6 months to 4 years old.
Star Dance School - ballroom, competitive ballroom, latin dance, hip hop, ballet, modern, jazz and break dancing for ages 2+.
Mini Movers Studio - creative movement, ballet/lyrical, jazz-hop, musical theater, story movement, cheer and caregiver and me for ages 2.5+.
Jose Mateo Ballet Theater - ballet for ages 3+.
4-Star Dance - jazz, tap, modern, hip-hop, ballet, and afro. For ages 4+.
Roxbury Center For The Performing Arts - pointe, lyrical, jazz, tap, ballet, hip-hop, contemporary and more. Boys start at 3 years old and girls can start at 2.
Uptown Dance Center - tap, jazz, hip-hop, ballet, and tumbling. For ages 3+.
Originations - jazz, tap, hip-hop, African for ages 3+.
City Ballet of Boston - motivated dancers ages 8+.
Urbanity Dance - hip-hop, modern, jazz, contemporary, improv, pointe, and more. For ages 1+.
Boston Ballet - ballet for ages 16 months+.
Juliana's Dance Workshop - ballet, tap, jazz, modern for all ages.
West Roxbury School of Dance - jazz, tap, ballet, lyrical and hip-hop for ages 3+.
Why Is Dance Good For Kids?
Dance has a ton of benefits. It's an art form that combines listening to music, counting the beat, memorizing steps, and following directions. Children can also gain self-confidence learning how to do different moves with their own bodies. During this process they work hard to master balance, spatial awareness, coordination, rhythm, flexibility, poise, and more. Different dance forms also strengthen different muscle groups, expand movement vocabulary, and contribute to a child's embodied memory. In short, dance does a ton for children's physical development and long-term wellness.
What Makes A Dance Studio Unique?
Dance studios are often filled with mirrors and special flooring. Full-length mirrors are fun because they allow little dancers to see themselves. And the special flooring makes it easier for dancers to smoothly and safely move across the floor. Some studios are also designed for better grip and sound quality.
What Happens During a Dance Class?
Dance classes usually start with a warm-up. This is when little dancers stretch and prep the body to minimize injury and soreness. The instructors typically have a dance choreographed in preparation for a dance recital. So students will learn specific moves and practice them week after week, before their big day.
When Do Dance Classes Start?
While there are summer sessions, most dance classes follow the academic school year. This means they start in September and end in June.
Are There Any Class Requirements?
Most dance schools require young children be toilet-trained. This is so the instructors can focus on their craft -- teaching dance. If your child is still wearing pull-ups, please do not feel pressure to rush this milestone. Kidz Bop is a popular kids band with a few dance tutorials online. Their YouTube channel offers easy-to-follow videos featuring the latest songs. You can also try Just Dance. It's an interactive game and another fun way to get the whole family moving at home. You can try free tutorials online or get the latest version here.
How Long Are The Classes?
Kid classes usually range from 30 to 60 minutes.
Can Parents Attend Classes?
Movement classes that are specifically designed for babies (with a caregiver) will let you attend. Once your child graduates to a dance school, instructors frequently won't let you in. Even if a parent thinks they are not a distraction to their own child, dance instructors often feel a parental presence can be a distraction to others. If you are not ready to hand over your child, I can totally relate.
Watching your child dance can teach you so much about how they interact with another adult, other kids, as well as how they learn a new skill. Unlike other sports where you may be able to sit on the sidelines or watch your child participate through a clear window, dance is often a closed-door operation. Meaning, their studios are not designed to allow parents to watch. If a dance studio is not flexible with their parent in the classroom policy --- run!! Just joking, check-in with your child to see if they are okay with it, if not, it's totally okay to explore other options.
What's Important to Know About Dress Code And Dance Uniforms?
Dance schools will often give you a list of what they expect students to wear. Some schools prefer pink leotards, while others prefer black. Attire will also vary depending on the dance style. For example, tap has a shoe, ballet has a slipper and West African dance is done barefoot. Since children grow every year, you can ask your dance school/studio if they have a shoe exchange. Sometimes parents donate their child's outgrown shoes to the incoming class. You can also find dance shoes at Target or thrift stores like Savers. Because dance shoes are a seasonal buy, your best bet may be Amazon. Not only do they have a wide selection of dance shoes and leotards, they also have hard to find items like brown tights.
Can You Recommend Any Books About Dance?
Yup! These adorable stories introduce young readers to real and imaginary characters that fell in love with the art. Some even turned dance into a career, opening up dance schools and performing live in front of audiences.
We hope this list was helpful!
Until next time...
Love The Journey,