When joining a dance studio, you might come across a standard rule that no spectators are allowed in the dance classes. As a first-time dance-parent, this can be a bit unsettling, as you are not familiar with the studio or instructors, and you want to make sure that your child will be ok. We definitely do empathise with parents regarding this concern!
Below we have listed our Top 5 Reasons why we don’t allow spectators in our dance classes.
Although spectators mean well, they always tend to form some sort of distraction. Be it two moms having a discussion, or a mom giving their child an encouraging wave during class. All of these things direct the attention away from the instructor.
Although you desperately want to see what is happening inside the classroom, it is vital for our young dancers to focus during class. For children, distraction is contagious – we, therefore, try to minimise all outside interference in order to maximise the concentration and participation of the entire class.
It is natural that, when placed in a new situation, most children tend to cling to their parent(s) for security and reassurance. We have observed time and time again that when parents are allowed to sit inside the classroom, their children become bystanders – preferring to stand near their parents and watching over choosing to participate in the class. By simply stepping out of the dance studio you allow your child the opportunity to be independent and join in on the fun with the other kids. We have also observed that new children make friends and integrate into the group quicker when their parents aren’t in class.
Although this is never intentional, parents in the class automatically undermine the authority of the instructor. In the past when we have allowed parents to observe the classes, we noticed time and time again that the children focus more on the affirmation of the parents than that of their instructors. Similarly, parents sometimes “over-encourage” their children, regardless of the corrections given by the instructor.
A dance classroom is not just a safe environment to learn new things and have fun, but also to learn discipline. Our instructors have spent countless hours not only training in their relevant dance styles but also training how to be the best instructors and coaches for our students. The instructor is the absolute authority on the dancefloor and should be afforded the appropriate respect by parents and children alike.
In the same way that seeing someone every day can blind you to gradual changes in their appearance, being in class every week doesn’t allow you the opportunity to fully appreciate your child’s actual dance progression. Allow your child the opportunity to surprise you with their growth at our parent’s viewing days, competitions and our studio showcases.
We hope that these reasons give a bit more insight as to why we don’t allow spectators in the class. Although this article is focused on kids and parents, the reasons are transferable to all of the classes that we offer. We understand the first time in a dance studio can be quite daunting, but by your second visit, you’ll feel right at home!
We have, of course, had a few experiences of a child crying on their first lesson when their parent(s) leave the classroom. In some instances, all it takes is a little encouragement to dry those tears and the children continue the class with minimal disruption. However, if your child is inconsolable and our instructor is not able to calm him/her down, we will allow him/her to step out of the class for you to help soothe them. As a parent, you know your child the best. If your child is not able to participate in the rest of the lesson, we are happy to accommodate with rescheduling your free trial to the next week when they will hopefully feel more at home.
Make sure that you prepare your child before class for the fact that you will not be able to be in the classroom during their lesson.
It goes without saying that you should always check that any instructor or teachers that your child will come into contact with, is cleared by the Sexual Offences Register & Child Protection Register. Any employee that works in the vicinity of children needs to be cleared by this register. This clearance needs to be done every 2 years. Five6seven8 Dance Studio ensures that all their employees undergo this process, so we can place our parent’s minds at ease and know that we have their best interests at heart. Read more about the registrations here on The Guardian’s website.