Did you know that the desire to dance is likely an innate human trait? One 2010 study found that babies as young as five months old liked to bop along to music. The study suggested that the babies’ desire to “move rhythmically in response to music” was a natural predisposition, rather than a learned behaviour.
What this tells us, is that while very young children may lack the coordination to pull off complicated dance moves, they can still enjoy dance classes which cater to their abilities and attention spans.
So what is the earliest age you can enroll your child in dance lessons? And what types of dance are best suited for their age? Let’s take a look below.
At What Age Can My Child Benefit from Dance Lessons?
As a general rule, toddlers make their first forays into dance at about 15-20 months. Once they are stable on their feet and showing an interest in dance, your toddler can enjoy and benefit from very simple dance classes. Let’s be clear, by simple we definitely aren’t talking three-hour choreography sessions with a militant dance instructor; at this age, any dance classes you enrol your child in should be all about fun. At Creative Dance and Movement, our dance program is targeted at 2-5 year olds and the chief goal is to encourage a passion for music, movement and dance rather than the development of precise technical ability. Dance lessons can benefit toddlers in so many ways including:
- Improving coordination
- Increasing flexibility
- Nurturing creativity and
- Building self-confidence and social skills
If you’re wondering at what age your child will be ready to learn actual choreography and to participate in structured dance classes, it can help to assess where your child is at developmentally.
If your child is able to focus effectively, is capable of and willing to follow directions and isn’t bothered by gentle corrections, then it’s likely they are ready to venture into structured dance classes.
Many children’s dance studios offer dance classes to children as young as three; children this age are capable of learning basic dance moves. Often though, they need to reach about five years of age before being expected to learn more complex dance techniques.
What Type of Dance will Suit My Child’s Age?
When you think of very young children’s dance lessons, you’ll quite likely be picturing little girls in pink tutus. The reason for this is simple, very young kids (about 4 years and younger) tend to be able to perform basic ballet moves, however most other dance styles are generally still a little out of reach because they require more coordination. By five years old however, many children are ready to tackle a wider variety of dance forms including jazz, modern dance, hip hop and more.
When selecting dance lessons for your child, it’s well worth thinking not just about their age and physical abilities but also their personal preferences. Some children will take to ballet like ducks to water and stick with it throughout their childhood, others will gravitate towards the rhythm and energy of hip hop or to the self-expression offered in contemporary dance.
At Creative Dance and Movement our inspiring program has been developed specifically for 2-5 year old children and is designed to boost confidence and to encourage engagement, fun and the development of teamwork skills.
Contact us today to find your nearest class.