*Disclosure-I was given a pack of Mabel’s Labels to facilitate this review. All opinions are my own*
One of the best things I ever did was sign Avery up for dance class. She started around a year old in a wonderful little baby class, and she’s been dancing ever since! It has helped her with motor skills, learning to follow directions and listening to a teacher, she’s made so many friends, and it has helped her build confidence!
When we started, I had no idea what to expect. I know a lot of moms of first time dancers feel this way, so I wanted to put together a list of tips for Preschool Dance Moms and their tiny dancers!!
Tips For Preschool Dance Moms & Your Child’s First Dance Class
-Talk to other dance moms! See what studio they go to, and which classes. What do they like, and what’s not so great. Most studios will let you try out a class before you commit to a full session. It’s a good idea to do that, especially if it’s your child’s first class!
-Ask about studio rules and requirements! Do they have an annual recital? When is it, and are preschoolers required to attend? What is the attendance policy? Do they allow you to make up classes you’ve missed? Is there a specific “uniform” your child needs to wear like white tights, black leotard and pink ballet slippers, or can they wear whatever they want? Are parents allowed in the studio, or do they need to sit our in the lobby area?
-Arrive to class on time (or a little bit early!) I know that Avery feels overwhelmed if she has to walk into a class that has already started. Don’t we all feel that way, when we’re late to a meeting or other event? All eyes on you, and not for good reason! It also can be disruptive to the teacher and other students. We try to arrive 5-10 early, which gives Avery time to settle into the environment, chat with her teacher and friends, and get her shoes on.
-Respect the teacher and the studio! You’re paying them to teach your child. Respect their process. If your child cries in class, let the teacher handle it. They will let you know if your help is needed. Don’t go into the studio unless you’re invited. Moms coming and going into the room can be a HUGE distraction. It’s fine to take pictures through the window, or from behind a potted plant…..
….but your tiny dancer is learning to be an independent lady! I know you want to watch every arabesque and Passé, trust me, I do too, but your child will be more than happy to show you her moves after class. Plus, don’t you want to be surprised by their skills at the recital?!
-The right shoes! I know kids feet grow so quickly, and you don’t want to buy expensive shoes just to have them grow out of them the next week. The ting is, you want the shoes to be comfortable, and perform the way they should. Some of the super inexpensive ballet slippers are very slippery, and don’t provide any more traction than socks. You don’t want your child falling every time she does a Plié. You also want to make sure they FIT! Imagine having to dance for an hour in shoes that were a size too small? That would be PAINFUL and you probably wouldn’t have fun, and may not want to go to class again. Also, shoes that are much too big can be a safety issue, or cause blisters from their feet sliding around. Avoid the desire to buy a size or two up. Go to a dance store, and have your child fitted.
-Potty before class!! Inevitably, one child will have to use the bathroom during class, and then the potty train will form. I never knew that having to go to the bathroom was a contagious thing, like yawning, until my daughter started dance class! If one has to go, they all, suddenly, have to go. It can be quite an ordeal to wriggle out of a leotard, tutu and tights, especially if you are not there to help your little ballerina. Try to get them to go right before class starts.
-Don’t bring toys to class! I must confess, we are GUILTY of this. Sometimes, it’s easier to let Avery take a small doll/toy/item to class, and later put it in her bag, than it is to rip it from her angry little fist. As we all know, preschoolers can be easily distracted, and bringing the newest FROZEN doll to class can send everyone into a tizzy.
-Label everything! Avery goes to her class with her bag, tap shoes, ballet slippers, and her street shoes. All tiny pink ballet slippers look the same, and it’s easy for a pair to end up in the wrong bag. I love Mabel’s Labels Preschool Shoe Labels for this purpose! The labels have your child’s name on them, so they don’t get mixed up, and they help teach kid’s left and right! They just match up the halves of the image to know which shoe goes on which foot!
They are waterproof (great for those sweaty dancer’s feet! (EW!) and stick down perfectly! And, they are adorable (You can get all different designs, Avery chose the kitty cats!) You can get these labels on their own, or in the Little Kids School Combo pack, a great deal at $42 for 104 labels & tags!!
The Little Kids School Combo pack from Mabel’s Labels comes with everything you need to label any number of items! Dance shoes, school shoes, leotards, backpacks, everything!
- 40 Mini Custom Name Stickers: 38mm x 8mm (1-1/2″ x 5/16″)
- 50 Tag Mates™ Stick On Clothing Labels: 21mm x 10mm (13/16″ x 3/8″)
- 12 Preschool Shoe Labels (6 sets): Varied
- 2 Personalized Mini Tags: 30mm x 20mm (1-1/4″ x 3/4″)
-Remember it’s supposed to be FUN! If your child cried the entire class, or gives you a hard time going into class, then maybe she just isn’t ready yet. That’s ok! Don’t force her. Take a break and try again later! Of course, kids all have bad days, so don’t let one meltdown cause you to quit. See if the teacher has suggestions to make it work!
Are you a Dance Mom? What tips would you add to this list?