Many types of dance can be enjoyed by kids of all ages. Even dances as complex as ballet and tap have classes where very young children can learn the basics. Dance is a great way to get kids moving, and can make the perfect hobby for an active child who likes to move to music. Kids looking for information about dance can learn most quickly at children's classes. There are also books and websites available that teach children about dance.
Most types of dance can be enjoyed by children. Around the world, there are classes in ballet, modern, tap, street dance, ballroom dances, Irish dance and folk dances that can be taken by children. When trying to work out which type of dancing would suit their kids best, parents should consider each child's personal preferences, whether they would enjoy dressing up, and whether they would like the chance to perform. It's also worth thinking about how much of a time commitment dance will be: Some types of dancing will involve weekly classes, while others could involve more, particularly if there are regular exams.
Most dance schools, large and small, provide classes in ballet, modern and tap for kids. Children can begin learning all three forms of dance when they are as young as three or four, in classes known as "pre-primary", which involve activities such as dancing in circles, skipping and simply moving to the music. Street dance, Irish dancing and ballroom can also be taught to kids, with classes usually catering to kids aged 7 or older.
The "Angelina Ballerian" fictional picture book series, by Katharine Holabirdrnis, is ideal for children interested in ballet. Designed for children aged 3 to 6, the story books give plenty of insight into the world of ballet, while telling the tales of Angelina the mouse. For parents who want to get their kids moving at home, "101 Dance Games for Children: Fun and Creativity With Movement," by Paul Rooyackers and Cecilia Hurd, lets children experiment with dance themselves before trying out a class.
Kids who are interested in dance can find more information online. "Dance Kids," which describes itself as "the website for children who love to dance," is a brightly colored, easy to use website with games, quizzes and information about dances from across the world. The Royal Academy of Dance in the UK also has a children's website, "Radacadabra," that is specifically designed for kids. The site involves colorful characters and interactive features, and it gives information about everything from taking dance exams to different types of stages.
Dance has numerous fitness benefits for kids: It gets kids moving, shows them that exercise can be enjoyable and improves their flexibility. Learning to move in time to the music can also help children pick up musical skills that can be useful, if they want to learn to sing or play an instrument. As well, dance can make kids more graceful. Mastering new steps and performing in front of an audience can give kids greater self-confidence.
Emma Murray has worked as a writer for the past four years, and is published in student, local, and national publications, including "The Isis Magazine," "The Evening Chronicle" and "The Sunday Times" Culture Section. She is a first class graduate in English language and literature from the University of Oxford.