So your little one loves to dance? They have so much to gain from a dance class, so how can you help them to settle in when they get there? I have a few thoughts that may help and most importantly, enjoy the experience with your little one, and try not to worry if they don't fall straight into line.
1. Find a class that is designed especially for preschool children. Your little one will only progress in their chosen form of dance if they enjoy going in the first place. Class should be exciting and fun with lots of ways to engage your child.
2. Don't commit until you have tried it. A good dance school will let you try at least a few classes before they ask you to commit for any longer period. If your child isn't ready for classes yet and you need to find that out without having already bought all of the kit!
3. Talk to the teacher by telephone, any good dance teacher will find time to chat to a new parent, and there is nothing more reassuring than to talk to someone and feel that they really understand your child.
4. Excite your child about going to class, tell them about what will happen and if you aren't sure ask the teacher. A lot of the uncertainty is taken out of a first dance class when a parent has told the child what to expect. Things like "The music might have to be a bit loud so that everyone can hear it", and "I'm so excited to sit with the other mommies and watch you dance" can help a little one to understand what is going on.
5. Don't worry if they don't settle straight away. Particularly with preschool children. Many children will run back and forth to their parent in the class, and many preschool classes will allow a parent to join in until the child is settled. Talk to the teacher if you are worried, you will generally find that your little ones teacher is very used to that settling in period and will be able to help. But even 2 and 3 yr old's will generally settle if the parents are persistent about bringing them back into class and are matter of fact.
Most importantly of all, don't be frightened to make the decision that your child isn't ready just yet, even if they have been attending a few weeks. Talk to their dance teacher, they will be able to help you to find the best time and way to help your little one settle in and should be quite happy for you to decide to try them again at a later point.
Happy Dance Class!