23 answers

Dance Class or Gymnastics?

Dance class or gymnastics for my 3-year old? How do I know which is best for her? She loves to dance around and she tumbles all over the house. I want to encourage this energy in a positive way, but how do I choose? HELP!!

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Hi T.,

As a mother of two girls, I would suggest if it is possible let her try both. This way, you will know which one she likes better. Most places will allow you to do a free trial class. So, allow her to take a free class in both and see which one she likes best. My oldest liked dance in the beginning. However, after he first dance recital.. she was excited about her performance but did not want to continue. However, they both love gymnastics and cheerleading. Although, gymnastics and cheerleading is expensive, it is such a joy to watch them. I hope this helps!

2 moms found this helpful

take her to a class of each and ask her what she would like more. we did "nastics" with my then 3 year old she LOVED it!

More Answers

Hi T.,

As a mother of two girls, I would suggest if it is possible let her try both. This way, you will know which one she likes better. Most places will allow you to do a free trial class. So, allow her to take a free class in both and see which one she likes best. My oldest liked dance in the beginning. However, after he first dance recital.. she was excited about her performance but did not want to continue. However, they both love gymnastics and cheerleading. Although, gymnastics and cheerleading is expensive, it is such a joy to watch them. I hope this helps!

2 moms found this helpful

One thing you want to consider is the fact that unless the instructors at the gym are VERY well trained and experienced in working with young children, there is a high risk of injury for very young children in gymnastics. That would not be a problem with dance class. I think both classes are good for little kids but you really want to make sure the people working with your little one at the gym knows what they are doing. I have a friend who is a chiropractor and he has treated numerous kids who were hurt during gymnastics. Just something to consider.

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I agree with the other mom, give each a try...I will say this, my girls were in gymnastics and had a wonderful time, it was a bit expensive, but I remember my mother paying quite a bit for my dance classes, outfits and so forth...let her try each one out and ask her. Three year olds can make decisions, although don't be surprised if she wants to do both!!! It also depends on what is most popular in your area...where we live, cheerleading is king so the dance classes tend to be more advised....hope this helps and enjoy!!! They are so cute to watch at that age!

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I am not sure about your area, but in MO they have a class for youngsters that splits half the time in tumbling/gymnastics and the other half dance. Check around to see what is offered. The some YMCA's offer dance/tumbling

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Check to see if you have a Little Gym in your area. They offer a split class that starts at 3. It is not over priced in our area and is a non-competitive facility.

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I am just going to say what a lot of other mothers are already saying. Your daughter sounds a lot like mine did; loves to dance and tumble. After a few lessons, we realized she only loved to dance at home on her own and wasn't to thrilled about the dance lessons. Gymnastics on the other hand, she really enjoys it. My son on the other hand surprised us completely. He loved playing soccer and basketball so we put him in, he was okay with it. Out of the blue we were offered a free trial sessions at a martial arts academy and he loves it. The excitement he exhibits for taekwondo we were sure he would express for soccer or basketball. My point is let her try various things, you never know what she'll end up loving.

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T., do you have the option of both? When I was younger I took a class that rotated between ballet and tap each week. The last 10-15 minutes if there was time, they worked on acrobatic skills, rolls, cartwheels, backbends, walkovers, working up the skills to eventually be able to do front and back handsprings. I started at 3 and at 8 if you could do a backbend down and up, you were eligible for the acrobatic class offered on Saturday afternoon. It had me going on 2 different days, and then 3 when I turned 11 and started jazz and pointe.

There are still some family run studios that offer things like this. Most corporations probably won't. I totally loved my time there and was sad when it ended. It lead me to accomplish things like dancing professionally for Chicago's Von Heidecke's Ballet Studio with the Nutcracker and cheerleading varsity through HS. I know things are expensive today, but hopefully you can find something to encourage both routes and she can pick when she gets a little older.

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The Little Gym offers (or used to) a combo class where it was 15 minutes ballet and a half hour of gymnastics. A good starting point for little ones.

2 moms found this helpful

Why don't you check out the classes offered and see if they will let your daughter take a free class? Most reputable places will allow one free class to see if the child is interested. Then, let your daughter decide which one she likes best. Personally, I think three is a little young for dance classes. Above all, whatever class she chooses, it should be fun; otherwise she'll quickly loose interest.

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I let me daughter choose after watching videos of each. She choose dance. Also I found the she couldnt do gymnastics till she was 5 after I started looking into it so she is at least doing 2 years of dance LOL She is about to start her second year of tap and ballet and loves it. Let yours decide by herself either by watching you tube videos or take her to some classes and let her watch other people.

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We have a great place here called My-Gym. It incorporates free play, dance and tumbling. My girls have gone since the were 2 and have now advanced into the structured gymnastics classes. It has been great.

1 mom found this helpful

I had the same question, I enrolled my 3 yr old this past july in a 4 class clinic, one hour a week. ages 3-6, each week they did a different style dance, ballet, gymnastics, jazz and tap. More than anything I wanted her to get envolved in something and socialize with other kids. I am a stay at home mom and she is pretty shy around kids her age. Anyway, she did really well in the ballet and gymanstics class. And we are starting her ballet class tonight. Check out this web site www.starmakertalent.com. The instructors are awesome. And they offer 3 yr old stuff. Which isn't that common, after some research I found. Have fun!

take her to a class of each and ask her what she would like more. we did "nastics" with my then 3 year old she LOVED it!

Most places allow a free trial class. I would suggest taking her to one of each, and then find out which she prefers. Be sure to tell her she only gets one choice, or you may have tears if she wants to do both!

A.

Try My Gym Children's Fitness Center. Some offer dance classes in addition to gymnastics. Great for beginners as well as those who are becoming a little more advanced. They really offer a wide variety.

Hi~
I suggest that you call around to all the classes that you'd consider enrolling her in and ask if you can bring her to one class for free (or for a small fee) and check out the 'feel' of each one (according to the attitude of the instructor[s], parents, the building, parking, cost, etc, etc) and see which one best sparks her interest, also.

My girls have taken both. My eldest son has been in gymnastics.
What we did is this we put them in gymnastics for a session then in dance then back in gyymnastics. My son we did this with gymnastics and swimming lessons. We started all this at 3ish. They stayed with it a while then picked gynastics then quit altogether.

The little gym, or gymboree would be a good choice. She is not ready to choose or stay focused. Just let her have fun. By 6, she will tell you what she wants.

I would contact the plces in your community... I was able to attend a free gymnastics class with my (then) 16 month old.
I was all set to sign up, and then I heard about another studio...I had to pay to take one class, but it was so much better! We ended up signing up for the remainder of the year and can't wait for the new year to start.
Also, when visiting, see what the dynamics of the children are, what the makeup policies are, etc. You'll find your favorite spot by visiting and observing.
I think Gymnastics for little ones is a bit more unstructured and free than dance class...maybe!

If you have a Little Gym in your area, they offer a class that offers dance and gymnastics in one hour. They do ballet and then tap for a certain amount of time and then head to the gym equipment for the last part of class. That might give her a taste of both at the same time so you can see which she likes best. Check them out at www.thelittlegym.com. Both of my children have attended The Little Gym (not the class I have mentioned) and really enjoyed it. Only downfall, is that it is fairly expensive in my opinion, so we don't keep it up year round. I took my daughter when she was 2 to a gymnastics class that turned out to be very rigid. I find The Little Gym to be a very relaxed atmosphere without the pressure of trying to figure out if your pre-schooler will be the next Mary Lou Retton. Good Luck

Do have a little gym near you. My two older ones went there and they were able to incorporate dance and gymnastics. They went there from when they were 2 & 1 yr old till they were 6 & 5 and now they have each decided, 1 does olny gymnastics and the other one chose dance. If not the little gym maybe some place that can do both.

T.,
Most places will let you try the first class free to see which she likes best. However, if she is like my daughter was, she liked both. My daughter is a very active child and did better in gymnastics at that age. When she began ballet at 4 1/2 she had difficulty with attention span. Gymnastics was faster pace and kept her attention.
Hope this helps!
L.

At age 3 my daughter was the same way. I found a dance studio that had tumbling classes in addition to dance classes. She loved it! She tumbled for a few years but decided she loved dance more. She's almost 13 & this will be her 10th year of dance. She has learned so much & made so many close friends. She is very involved in dance which keeps her busy, & that keeps me busy too. I love to watch her dance. She has so much confidence & is in really good shape. People can tell she is a dance just by the way she carries herself with such poise. Good luck & if you decide on dance just remember that ballet is the heart of dance & nearly all the dances have ballet moves in them.

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