When should you begin dance education for your children?

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August 22, 2014 by Nicole

Although you can certainly start dancing at any age, some parents are eager to start their children in dance as young as possible. It’s a very personal decision for families, but there are some great reasons to start young! Not to get a “head start” or jump on other kids, but because children possess a natural creativity and if nurtured properly, that can be retained throughout their lives and turned into a marketable skill for all their future endeavors.

There are programs for the youngest dance students out there that are designed to engage a young child’s natural sense of exploration, movement, experimentation and imagination with age-appropriate movement and class styles.

If considering one of these programs, two important questions to ask are:

  1. What are they learning about dance?
  2. What are they learning for life?

The Creative Movement Academy at CCD is one such program and is designed to teach young dancers ages 2 through 7 how to harness and apply their natural creativity as a tool for long-term success.

academy

The school’s faculty have created an exploratory curriculum, exposing these young dancers to a range of styles and experiences that empower them to make informed choices when they are ready for higher-level, discipline-specific classes.

Additionally, and the thing I love most about the Creative Movement Academy, is that these students are not only primed for dance education but they are learning and practicing life skills at the same time. Academy dancers get to practice 3 primary elements used by all great achievers: Co-Creative Process, Experiential Learning, and Character Development.

The Co-Creative Process
Academy students are validated as important contributors to the development of in-class dance works, giving them the confidence to freely express their ideas and inherent creativity. Through this process, students learn valuable skills in self-expression, critical thinking and collaboration that provide the foundation for future success in dance, academics, leadership, sports and other artistic endeavors.

Experiential Learning
Often children are told they can become anything they dream, but less often are they told how to get there. Academy students practice the art of information-gathering, using the world around them as a limitless resource for continuing education; to emphasize this concept, students are given practical learning experiences with field trips to performances, behind-the-scenes tours, and participation in semester-end student concerts that provide real-world encounters in the arts and life.

Character Development
All great leaders are of good character, actively using their talents to positively impact the communities in which they live. Academy students learn how to ‘act with good intention,’ using the classroom environment as a practice ground for building skills in thoughtfulness, respect for others and follow-through. Each lesson involves character-building exercises, inspiring young students to proactively share, listen and collaborate in arenas that extend beyond the classroom community

Contact the Center for Contemporary Dance to learn more or to register.

Are you considering a program for a young dancer? What is/was important to you?

About the author: I’m a professional communicator with a love of dance, entertainment and constant improvement. You can find me on Google+, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

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