Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter. - Mark Twain

These days, many people are getting into dancing styles like Zumba and pole dancing. These two styles require a lot from students physically.

But what about children who want to learn dance?

No matter whether it’s a course at a dance school, a dance lesson in a studio, or a private tutorial with a dance teacher, here’s our guide on how children can learn to dance.

In this article, we'll explore how people of different ages, from children to the elderly, can reap the rewards of dance lessons and tutorials that are suited to them both in terms of their mental and physical development.

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Introduction to Dance Classes

Undertaking sports activities can be hard and sometimes it’s difficult to know how much children benefit from it. Some physical activities aren’t adapted to, or advantageous for, children. This can also be said for dancing.

Dance schools and academies often have a minimum age in regards to dancing lessons for children. Typically speaking, six years old is the ideal age for kids to start learning to dance.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean younger children can’t learn to dance too.

Children of all ages can have fun dancing
6 years old is typically the age children begin dancing but younger children can be introduced to dancing too! Source: Unsplash

Instead of dance courses, younger children could receive an introduction to dancing. This is similar to music, where kids are introduced to the basic concepts of the art.

In these types of lessons, younger children won’t be expected to learn advanced postures or complicated dance steps as their muscles and bones aren’t yet fully developed. These lessons are nowhere near like the dance fitness classes you'll find in gyms and the demanding dance training students receive from a dance company as they got older.

In regards to ballet classes, pointes should also be avoided for children under six years old. Intensive dance exercises could have negative consequences for kids. Of course, younger children’s dance classes will have considered this and will focus on energetic fun instead of serious dance instruction.

Introductory lessons involve exercises to help kids develop motor skills. The principal objective is to assist children with their coordination and introduce them to dancing with some basic choreography and the type of routine that a beginner of any age would be comfortable with.

The objective isn’t to make the young learner a good dancer. Rather, the class helps the young learner discover dancing and whether or not dancing is for them. The dance class gives them a taste of dancing and develops their musicality instead of training them to dance with the professionals on Broadway or the West End.

Dance lessons should never be stressful for kids, no matter their age. Most of the program will be taught by dance teachers and will include games and performances by the children.

Discover what will happen during your first dance lesson...

Learning to Dance at Six Years Old

Learning to dance really begins once a child is around six or seven years old. Many places provide dance classes for beginners. A majority of children this age will definitely be beginners, even if they’ve already taken introduction to dance classes.

The teacher will typically begin from scratch and won’t differentiate between those who’ve already learnt some basic dancing and those who haven't. A child’s dance education will introduce them to the discipline and they'll learn various dance styles and how to move in rhythm to the music.

Look for dance classes near me on Superprof.

As children get older, their dance classes will become more technical
As children get older, they will take on more complicated roles. Source: Unsplash

From this age, the classes can become more technical but they won’t be that physically demanding. They’ll typically alternate between teaching steps and allowing the dancers to express themselves.

Dancing is as artistic as it is physical. While children’s joints might be able to manage more complicated movements once they reach this age, they still have to be careful.

Children will be encouraged to use their imagination and expand their minds. This is also the age where a child might choose between different styles of dance (ballet, jazz, hip-hop, Zumba, etc.)

Discover more about how dancing benefits the mind as well as the body!

It might be a good idea to sign up your child for a class where they can explore the different styles of dancing. They still have lots of time to choose a speciality (salsa, ballroom dancing, breakdancing, ballet, waltz, flamenco, tango, etc.) once they get older.

Learning to dance at this age is also a great way for children to burn off some of that extra energy they have. It’s also a chance for them to unwind after school and meet new friends.

Of course, if a child is being forced to go to their dance lessons, it could have a detrimental effect. They might wind up hating dancing.

It’s essential to talk to their dance teacher to ascertain how they’re progressing in their lessons during the year. Ensure you enquire about how much interest your children expresses in their lessons.

Dancing for Teenagers

Many dancers begin dancing once they’re teenagers. This may be because they’re experimenting with their hobbies or simply because their friends are doing it. But don’t worry, it’s never too late to start.

Many schools and associations provide lessons to teenagers of all levels (dance for beginners, intermediates, advanced). Therefore, they certainly won’t find themselves in lessons with children or adults.

Teenagers also want to enjoy extra-curricular activities and make friends. Modern jazz and hip-hop are dance styles typically popular with teenagers. That said, there will always be those that want to learn ballet.

Check out numerous dance classes online.

Teenagers might prefer hip hop to ballet dancing.
Teenagers might prefer hip hop, contemporary, or break dancing. Source: Unsplash

Learning to dance as a teenager is a great way to focus their energy and ensure they’re doing some exercise. A teenager’s joints are more flexible and, consequently, they can move well.

Ensure they’re prepared with the best dance accessories!

The hardest thing when it comes to teenagers is to maintain motivation. As teenagers, we begin learning who we really are. Some students begin their dance classes and instantly want to quit.

It’s part of the teacher’s role to keep them motivated. They could do this by teaching them famous dance moves or allowing them to choose the kind of music they want to dance to.

There are also many famous films about dancing such as Step Up.

However, dance lessons Melbourne aren’t exactly like they are in films. Teachers should ask the teenagers what they expect from their lessons in order to get a better idea of how to keep them entertained.

Dancing for Adults

Can you learn to dance when you’re 40, 50, or 60? Of course!

The good thing about being an adult is that your bones have fully developed by this point. Of course, it’s easier if you’re in good shape. However, this is no reason why adults can’t learn how to dance.

Adults may struggle in regards to flexibility as, over time, we all become less flexible. Just try lifting your leg above your head and you’ll see!

Dancing is a great activity for both young and old.
Anyone can learn how to dance, no matter your age! Source: Unsplash

However, as you get more fit, your classes will get easier. You must also have the right approach. There are schools, courses, and private tutorials catering to adults who want to learn how to dance.

If you live in a rural or remote area where there may be a lack of dance schools, contacting a private tutor is a great option. If you have an appropriate space in your house, a private tutor could come to you and teach you how to dance. In some cases, the tutors might have their own space or rent one in a local gym or studio.

All you need to do is believe in yourself! We tend to think, incorrectly, that it’s too late for us to learn something new and that it will take too long to catch up with those who learnt at a younger age. While it can be advantageous to learn something new when you're young, as you have more time to learn it, there are lots of examples of people who succeeded in something later on in life.

The crucial thing is to believe in yourself. Dancing is an artistic pursuit that enables you to really express yourself. Don’t be discouraged if you’re not an expert in ballet or salsa after a couple of classes. Learning something new takes time.

Salsa, merengue, cha cha, country, jazz, waltz, Argentinian tango, tap, ballroom, African, Oriental, rumba, breakdancing, and contemporary dance all take time to learn.

Like anything, you have to regularly practice dancing. As an adult, you have the freedom to learn to dance in dance schools, studios, or privately. There are positives to being an adult!

Considering the various options available to those wanting to learn how to dance, it’s clear that if you want to learn how to dance, you can. There is no longer an excuse!

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Alison

Ali is an Australian writer, community manager and art curator living in Paris.