School is out, (Hooray!) and that means a lot of extra time with your child sitting around at home. It can be tough to keep the kids active and entertained during the summer, which is why there are so many benefits to adding a little dance to their open summer schedule. See below to learn just a few reasons why your child should be enrolled in a dance class this summer.
1. To Stay Active
It makes total sense. When school is out, your child has so much time extra time in their schedule. It can be difficult to ensure that he/she is staying active and not just hanging around the house, scrolling on social media and texting their friends. One or two dance classes a week is the perfect way to keep your child active. Not only do they get to spend time outside of the house, but a dance class also give students the opportunity to see their friends during the summertime, while getting in some much needed physical activity.
2. To Try a New or Different Class
If your child has never danced before, it can be overwhelming to sign him/her up for a session that runs 9 or 10 months, without knowing if they will actually like the class and want to continue it. This is why summer is the perfect opportunity for kids to try a class. Most summer sessions run for only 4, 6 or 8 weeks. So, students can try a class and determine if it’s an activity that they like and want to commit to long-term.
The same goes for students who have previous dance experience. There may be a student who has done ballet for the past 2 years, but who wants to try a tap class. Summer is the best time to try out this new class because the session is long enough for students to become familiar with the specific genre, but isn’t so long that if they don’t enjoy the class, for some reason, they are obligated to continue for such a long time.
3. To Continue Learning and Improving Skills
Just like any other activity or subject that your child is studying, consistency is the key to success. During the school year, dance educators spend the entire session teaching age and level-appropriate curriculum to students, and it’s incredible to see the progress that students make during that time. Once the annual recital happens (usually in May or June), students who take the summer off lose that consistent training. Along with that, they lose important aspects of class like vocabulary, flexibility, and strength. This is why it’s so important for students to continue dancing over the summer. Even if a student takes just one or two classes a week, it truly makes a difference in how quickly they progress.
4. To Prepare Them for Success in the New Season
In many dance programs and schools, when students choose not to dance over the summer, unfortunately, they are limited in which classes they can take in the fall/spring session. As previously mentioned, if students take off during summer, they miss out on consistent practice and therefore, may need to spend more time in the new season reviewing skills and vocabulary from the previous season. Program directors and teachers work very hard to place students according to age, ability, and potential. As dance educators, we want every child to be placed in a class that challenges them, but doesn’t overwhelm them, which is why we always take into consideration when a child was last enrolled.
5. Because Many Summer Programs are Flexible
As mentioned above, there are a variety of summer program options that can easily fit into your child’s schedule, and the benefits are worthwhile. It’s important to point out that directors and teachers, of course, want your child dancing over the summer, so they are willing to be flexible in order to make a class work for your schedule. For example, if your child’s studio offers a 6-week session, but your dancer will only be in town for 3 of those weeks, you may be able to register and pay the 1 class fee, but instead of taking 1 weekly class for 6 weeks, he/she could do 2 weekly classes for 3 weeks. This is why if you're ever unsure of what's available, it’s always recommended that you reach out to your studio’s director because there may be an option for your child that you’re not even aware of.
These are just a few of the benefits of taking a dance class this summer. Remember that often times, there are a variety of programs available, so you’re encouraged to check out the class options in your area to find something that suits you and your child. Happy dancing!