There are many dance schools in Auckland. So, how do you choose the right fit for your kid?
It depends on what you want to gain from the lessons. Dancing for kids can be just a casual activity to improve their social skills and flexibility. Or it can be on a competitive dancing level that takes the same amount of effort and skill as professional sportt.
Casual dancing implies taking a weekly dance class (jazz, hip-hop or ballet). It is a low-commitment activity that can still boost your child's self-confidence and body-awareness.
Almost every dancing school provides the once-a-week options with difference dance styles. The most popular choices are jazz and hip-hop. Both girls and boys are welcomeand you can start classes at any age. There are beginner level classes for teenagers, and even adults.
It's also the cheapest option. Depending on the age of your child and the dancing level it will cost you from $90 to $160 per term. The class length also varies from 30 min for preschoolers to 1 hour for teenagers.
Competitive dancing requires a lot of commitment. It can be compared to professional sport - to progress you have to train nearly every day. The minimum number or classes per week is 3 or 4. You have to consider if you have the time to drive your kid to the lessons 3 times a week for years to come.
This is reflected on the cost as well. Competitive dancing can get quite expensive. And it's not only the lessons' cost that should be considered. There's also the cost of exams, outfits for productions, masterclasses and workshops.
Your expences for 1 term only can look like this:
If you want your child to do competitive dancing, they should start early. The best age to start is 5-7 years old.
But there's a lot of pros here as well. Competitive dancing is great for kids, especially teenagers as it really helps with self-confidence and social skills. Also, at the age when most kids feel alone, it is invaluable to feel part of a close group.
Here's what a 14 years old girl has to say about her competitive dance lessons:
I enjoy Irish dance because it challenges me through choreography, skills and mentality which is very rewarding in the end when you achieve your goals. I also really enjoy going to dance class itself because I meet new friends and form bonds that I wouldn’t of made so otherwise. One of my favourite aspects of Irish dance is performing, whether it is competing on a big stage or simply performing at St Patrick’s day events, dressing up and showing off all of your hard work is an amazing feeling. Irish dance has taught me many lessons such as, perseverance, confidence and how to move your feet as fast as Cheetahs!Polina
And it's worth a lot to have your child so excited about something!
While most of the schools provide the most common dance options like ballet, jazz or hip-hop, there's some in Auckland that give your child an opportunity to learn about another culture as well. Some options here:
These, and other, cultural dances are as fun as they are culturally educational.
For some kids that like dancing, but find dancing lessons a bit boring, musical theatre can be a good option.
You dance and perform at the same time!