Getting into the world of dance can be intimidating. Unless you were a dancer yourself, working to understand the terminology and knowing when to get your child involved in dance is confusing! That's why we're tackling one of the most frequently asked questions that new parents have when it comes to getting their children involved in dance. 

When is the best time to start dancing? Keep reading to find out! 

The Best Age to Start Dancing for Fun 

First, we should mention that there is never one right answer to this question. Every child is different, and no one knows your child better than you do. If you feel like your child is ready for dance, no matter what age they are, sign them up! 

Kids that take dance classes before the age of seven usually do it to learn motor skills and to have fun. Before this age, it can be difficult for them to apply what they're learning to how they're moving their bodies, so more serious dance typically has to wait. 

That's not to say that dance classes at early ages don't have their benefits! There's never a bad age to teach your children the importance of group activities and moving their bodies. 

The Best Age to Start Dancing for Serious Dance 

best age to start ballet

The best age for kids who want to start learning to take their dance seriously is between 7 and 9 years old, depending on how mature they are. This is usually the time when children have the ability to sit still and pay attention in class and they can connect how their learning translates to their movements. 

If your child is interested in applying to a more serious dance school, starting them by the age of 8 is a good idea. This allows them to get 2 or more years of solid experience, including pointe, before they would apply for a ballet theatre school. 

Dance Classes for Kids Under 7 

Generally, dance classes for kids under 7 are designed to introduce your child to the basics without the pressure of perfection. They will learn how to listen and focus, and their instructors will teach them how to develop healthy bodies and minds. 

There are dance classes for all age groups in many studios. Baby ballet classes can start as early as a year old and involve parents and kids working together to discover the joy of dancing, singing, and socializing with others! 

Kids who take dance early are going to be familiar with how the studio works, what the dance class rules are, and they'll be more prepared to take their work seriously. 

Can You Be Too Old for Dance? 

The short answer to this question is no! There is no perfect age to start dancing. Dance is for all people and all bodies! 

There are limitations when it comes to taking dance to a professional level. Many professional theatre schools have age caps and previous dance experience expectations for children of those ages. However, if you have an older child who wants to begin dancing for fun, that's no reason to hold them back. 

Most schools offer classes for children as old as 17. 

Additionally, some larger cities even have classes for beginner adults who want to try dancing as well! It can be tricky to find the right school that teaches true adult beginners, but the reward is worth the effort. 

Encouraging Your Child to Stick with It 

stick with ballet

One of the biggest benefits of starting dance class early is that your child will learn to incorporate dance into their daily life. When dance is already a part of the schedule and they know what to expect, you'll get much less friction when it comes time to get ready for dance. 

However, if you're finding your child is having a hard time getting motivated anyway, there are a couple of things you can do to make sure that dance remains a part of their life! 

First, you want to figure out why they don't want to go. There could be a problem you aren't aware of, like disagreements with a fellow dancer. When you know the issues, you're better prepared to help your child handle them. 

Once your child has trusted you with the issue at hand, you should take steps to remedy it. 

Ensure they have kid's dancewear that fits well, they're comfortable on stage, and that they're finding the right motivation

No matter the age your child began dance class, everyone has periods where they're feeling unmotivated. The issue likely isn't that you started too early or too late. 

The Benefits of Starting Dance Early 

There are tons of benefits to getting your child started in dance early. 

The more they move and exercise, the better their hearts and lungs will function. They'll gain more muscle strength, endurance, and coordination as well. Plus, young children are flexible, and the more they train that flexibility, the more likely it is to follow them into adulthood! 

In addition to the physical benefits, kids who start dancing young have more physical- and self-confidence, they're better at motivating themselves, and they develop social skills faster! 

Find the Right Type of Dance for Your Child 

Ultimately, if you want your child to enjoy dance, you've got to find the right style of dance to suit their needs. Young kids may do great with tap, jazz, and hip-hop. Older students might like the more serious study of ballet! 

It's a good idea to let your child experiment with different styles of dance so they can connect with movement that feels right to them. 

Girl's Long Sleeve Ballet Leotards

It's Never Too Late to Learn Dance

No matter what age your child is, it's never too late to learn to dance. Just because an activity may not lead to a lifelong career doesn't mean that it isn't an activity that is worth doing both for physical health, social maturity, and fun! Kids of all ages can learn the joy of dancing. 

If you're interested in learning more about how the dance community can welcome you and your child, visit our community page today!

February 16, 2021 — Stelle World