Picking Up the Steps: An Introduction to Dance Training

Posted on by SDSouthard

Heather Vaughan-Southard, fellow EC3 parent and the dance instructor at Pleasant View Magnet School, has recently written an article for GreenSpotBlue.com (a parenting Web site), that might be of interest to all EC3 parents of kids who like to move. It discusses the importance of dance education for kids and what to look for and expect in a studio.

Here is a snippet from the beginning of the article:

Dance education, like any other type of education, seems to be divided into two main approaches:  holistic or test-oriented. In this case, however, the test tends to be the end-of-the-year show, most commonly referred to as the “recital.”

As a dance educator, the word “recital” makes me cringe. To me, it implies a demonstration of acquired skills, which could also be referred to as “tricks,” to an outfit dripping with sequins referred to as a “costume,” and a production with little care to the design of lights, sound, set, or choreography to express more than a picture of the product that has been bought. The treatment of dance lives more in the arena of athleticism than artistry and education and, well, kids are learning stuff but what “stuff” might be up for debate when you pay close enough attention.

The key for deciding how, when, and where your child should start their dance education (and they should, regardless of gender!) is to first decide what kind of experience you’d like them to have and then find a venue that may offer those type of experiences. As in everything else, there is good, bad, and ugly, but with the right information you may either (A) be able to find the right place or (B) make the most of what is available.

You can read the rest of the articles (and her suggestions) here.

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