Ohhh, children. So precious, so adorable, so HYPER!! Teaching children can be an absolute joy but it is definitely something that has to be executed with strategy. So if you’ve signed up to teach a dance class for kids, here are three tips to help make the class fun for them and to help you survive!
“Music Is Everything!”
When I taught my very first children’s class, I knew I had to make the class fun from the moment it started until the very end. In my preparation for this class, I had to think like a child and take my mind back to what use get me excited as a kid. And then it hit me. Disney music! That was it! I then started making a Disney playlist to use for my class and added songs from movies such as The Lion King, The Little Mermaid and of course, Frozen. When the day came for me to teach and I placed each child in their spot to begin our warm up, the first song that I played was “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King” from The Lion King, and they completely lost it! They were so excited and amped to start the class. The music that you use when you teach children is key! It grabs their attention immediately and their little minds are completely open to retain anything you teach them. It also helps keep the atmosphere of the class light and fun, which is also very important to not only make them enjoy coming to class, but it makes them excited to learn as well.
“Skip The Dance Terminology”
This tip is really aimed towards very small children. Kid’s have a very, very short attention span that you have to work to keep and one of the ways to do that is to teach using words, methods and comparisons that they not only understand but that they can relate to. For example, instead of using the term bouree, use a term like “twinkle toes” or “fairy feet”. Instead of instructing them to make their arms longer, have them imagine that they are reaching for their favorite candy or dessert. Trust me, it works every time! Luckily, children retain choreography very easily, so using nicknames in the place of terminology will really drive it home! As they get older, you’ll be able to ease them into dance terminology because they’ll be able to fully understand it but for right now, just use those “twinkle toes”, Sugarplum!
“Fluctuate The Pace of the Class”
Fluctuating the pace of the class is a way to keep them interested and excited but not hyper. By having equal parts relaxed moments as you do up-beat moments, it will keep their minds in one place and not hyperactively switching from one thing to another. Start the class with a warm up and stretch, followed by work in center, followed by a moment where you are simply sitting in a circle, pointing, flexing and stretching toward your feet. This is just an example of how to keep the mood rotating between up-beat and relaxed, perfectly creating a class that is equally chill as it is litty (insert flame emoji here).
And there you have it! Three tips to help you teach a fun, productive children’s class, that holds their attention and helps you win the title of the Best Dance Teacher Ever! I wish you all the best of luck and I will see you all next week for another blog post!