It’s your first day of dance!
There’s excitement floating in the air. It’s your child’s very FIRST dance class! You want to be prepared, but have no idea what to expect. You’ve scheduled your first trial class, but have the lingering question...What should I bring? Here are the top 5 things you should bring to your first day of dance:
1. Proper Clothing
When you schedule a trial class the front office should tell you whether or not they have a dress code, and what to wear on your first day. If they don’t, or you are a walk in, come prepared to move. Don’t wear loose fitting clothing. The instructors need to be able to see the dancers lines in order to properly place them in the correct level. Don’t wear restrictive clothing like jeans, a skirt, and as cute as it might be, please don’t bring your 3 year old to class in that dress up princess ball gown! Not only can the teachers not see their lines, but now EVERY 3 year old in class is going to wish they had that princess dress on. And 3 year old chaos ensues…
I always suggest that first time students wear dance attire (leotard and tights) if they have them, or a comfortable t-shirt and leggings. I also tell the little ones to bring clean socks to wear if they don’t have any ballet slippers, and wait until you get a dress code slip before going out and buying any type of ballet slipper. And for Heaven’s sake, please do not go to target for your dancewear. I know, the price tag is very appealing, but you get what you pay for. Just saying…
2. Water Bottle
Dancing is exercising! Hopefully your studio is equipped with a water fountain of some sort, but don’t count on it. YOU NEED TO HYDRATE! Bring a water bottle with only water in it. No juices or fancy additives. Just plain old fashioned H2O. Ask your instructor before class if they prefer the dancers to keep their water bottles in class with them, or outside in the lobby. I have my younger dancers keep them in the lobby, as they can be a distraction in class. My more advanced dancers bring them in with them, as their movement is usually a bit more strenuous.
3. Hair ties, brush, bobby pins...the works
It doesn’t matter what type of dance class you are taking. Keeping your hair out of your face is a must! And if your child is taking a ballet class, you will want to put their hair up in a proper bun.
Bring ALL of your questions! Especially if you are taking a trial class and have not yet registered for the season. Choosing a dance studio is like deciding on what type of car to buy. Is it right for you and your children, is the studio mission something you believe in, do the parents in the lobby seem happy and relaxed, are the kids enjoying their class, is the environment one that you would want to be around every week ...etc. Don’t be afraid to ask the parents and students in the lobby if they enjoy taking class at the studio. And if your timing is right, see if you can attend the studio’s performance before registering for classes. How a show runs is usually a direct reflection of how the studio runs. Is it organized and fun, or is it chaotic and unentertaining?
Be sure to also ask questions like: “Is there a registration fee, and how much?”, “What is the monthly tuition?”, “What are the performance fees?”, “Is there a dress code?”, “How much are your performance costumes?”. Knowing how much your semester for dance will cost in the beginning will help you to budget throughout the year. There should be no surprise charges if you know ahead of time. Ask for a general information packet with all the important dates throughout the year, and guidelines for the studio. By asking all of these questions, you will also find out exactly how organized the studio is.
5. An open mind!
Last but not least, you AND your child should come in with an open mind ready to have a great experience. Above all, the child should be having fun while learning correct technique. Each class should be a balance of structure and fun. If your child had a great experience and is learning from day one, you know you’ve found a valuable studio.