First of all, your child should not be taking dance class just to fulfill your childhood dream of becoming a great dancer. She may not have that desire. If, however, your reasons for taking your child to dance class are so that she can get some exercise, meet new friends, and learn poise and gracefulness, then there are ways you can make sure you are getting your money’s worth.
Make sure the instructors are long on encouragement and short on criticism, especially if your child is very young. Little ones need to know it’s OK to make mistakes.
Make sure your child has all the proper equipment and accessories—leotards, shoes, tights, etc. There is nothing more frustrating to a child than trying to learn ballet in tennis shoes.
Ask if there is a dress code. If there is, make sure your child adheres to it. If there isn’t a code, notice what the other children are wearing and dress your child accordingly. If the class is informal, your child does not need to come looking she is ready to dance the main role in “Swan Lake”. On the other hand, if all the children are expected to wear leotards and tights, don’t send her dressed in sweat pants and a sloppy t-shirt.
After EVERY class, ask your child if she had fun. If she hesitates before saying yes, gently probe to see if there may be any problems. If there are, the sooner they are addressed, the quicker they can be resolved.
Encourage your child to participate fully. Don’t let her sit in the corner and not join in. If the instructor tells you this is what’s happening, ask your child if taking dance class is truly something she wants to do.
Watch your attitude. If you give the idea that you resent having to take her to dance class, she may feel guilty about enjoying the class.