Dearest Dancing Families, I wanted to put together a little post with some details about one of my favorite classes to teach, Parent&Me Creative Movement!
A little backstory: my oldest child turned one right as the pandemic began, and we, like many were thrust into isolation. What a challenging and enlightening time to be a new parent. After we rounded 18 months into this wild time, I knew that one of the first dance classes I needed to offer as things opened up again was a class for kids and parents that was what I wished and dreamed for while the world was shut down. As a teacher I can say with confidence through observation, that children are not the same as they "used to be" and that there are unique needs and challenges to address. Sensory input can be intense, a group of unknown people can feel unsettling, and following directions can be confusing. All of us (adults too!) are re-learning how to relate to each-other, participate in group activities, find our voices and express ourselves!
It is typical for children to be overwhelmed in the first dance class or two. This is OK, and totally healthy. You can support your little one by holding them close, offering comforting words and observations, and assisting them in participation! YOU are your child's best teacher in this circumstance and I encourage you to follow their cues. There is no right or wrong way to participate in class (as long as everyone is being safe!).
You can expect a more outgoing child to want to explore, touch everything, move everything, and use props in novel ways, and this is also totally OK! Don't feel as though you are required to correct or redirect (once again-as long as everyone is being safe!). Take opportunities to connect with your child (and I'll suggest some along the way) you are a dynamic duo in this class, versus me teaching your child as you observe.
It can be tempting as a parent of a young child to think "they didn't participate, they must not have liked class!" but remember that new things take time, learning comes through observation and exposure, and the more often you come to class, the more confident and enthusiastic your child will become!
One of the reasons I love teaching this class is because it is magic. Seeing little ones express their innate joy through movement is such a gift! We cant wait to dance with you!