Dance Classes - Albany,OR

Updated on July 23, 2011
A.H. asks from Albany, OR
13 answers

Do young kids normally have a niche for dance, gymnastics, etc or does it take a while to get into it? Like my daughter loves dancing but didn't mesh with the "structured" type class, but it was only a 3 day class too. It's more like she wants to do her dance rather than learning the new dance but she'll learn the new dance if she has to. That might have sounded so confusing. Are there any moms whose 2 year olds that picked up classes or sports structured stuff or are the more structured things for older kids or does it just take a couple weeks?
She seems to be really into dancing, music, and soccer but I don't know whether to seek out classes that are for her age group or not. For those who have done classes for 2-3 year olds how did it go?

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So What Happened?

We went to a mommy and me dance class and it was pretty structure is what I meant, sorry. I was wondering if kids have to take time to adjust to being in a class setting instead of dancing around at home. Wow, mommy l that is harsh... there was a lady today in the class kinda like that but it was like watching a dog competition the way she clapped and said commands to her little girl, made me kinda mad. I always keep in mind her age, so no worries there. I just want to embrace what she is showing an interest in :)

Thanks moms, I will try to look at different places and find something that clicks. It seems more structured than it should be and it was only 3 days, that doesn't give them time to even adjust to a new place/teacher. I love the classes b/c she gets to interact with lots of kids with a common interest, but I know she can't be taught with the same thing older kids are which seemed like what they were doing. I will definitely keep dancing with her and things at home. We love dancing around her room and the den. It's so cute.

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answers from Seattle on

We did a mommy and me dance class earlier this year but it wasn't for us. I don't know if it was the format of the class or the teacher, or maybe it was just too many kids (and parents), she just never really took to it. On the opposite we did a music class that she LOVED.
If she likes to dance I would try a different setting and see if that works out better. We do give it an entire "session" (usually 8-12 weeks) before we make a call.
My daughter still loves dance, she want to do Ballet (which she is too young for), so we will try a different place this fall. I think we will just look around until we find something that "clicks".
Good luck.

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answers from Honolulu on

Each child is different.
ULTIMATELY, you should go according to your child's interests or talents or proclivities.
Then, they will enjoy it and prosper.

Some girls, may be enrolled for dance classes or gymnastics when young like this.
It is not a have to. Just because all the other girls/Moms are.
BUT.... straight on formal Gymnastics or Dance classes, will NOT BE like that of older kids. It is merely for movement and rhythm. Or Mommy & Me type classes. Toddler level.

Formal dance/gymnastics classes do not enroll kids this young.

At this young age... highly 'structured' classes... may not mesh per their age. At this age, they don't even have a long attention span nor concentration span nor motor-skills.
Thus, MOST classes for 2-3 years old, are more 'movement' type classes and/or with Mommy.

If she just likes playing around and dancing, this does not mean, she wants to take a structured class on it nor 'lessons.' Maybe when older... but at this age, they just like to play-dance.

At that age, my daughter did take dance class. Toddler dance class. SHE told us, she wanted to. She did it for about 1 year. Then got interested in other things.

ANY dance or sports classes... has to be in line with the child's age. AND the class should be comprised, of kids that same age. IF with other kids who are older... the classes will be geared more toward the older kids. Hence, it will be more 'structured.' Thus, it may not be suitable for a 2 year old. Know what I mean????

Classes you enroll your child in, should be for kids that age and geared for kids that age. Because, their motor-skills and attentions spans, are not like that, of older kids. And the Teacher, has to be used to teaching, younger Toddlers.

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answers from Seattle on

Don't worry-your daughter is normal, it's just our world that isn't! It is completely inappropriate developmentally to have classes that are structured for her age. I know, everyone does it and my kids reads at 3, I get the pressure. But as a teacher who has worked with young kids for years, I have to stand up and say no. There will be plenty of time for a structured class in a few years and then she will get alot out of it, not only learning wise but have fun as well. I did Arena Sports soccer with my daughter at this age and it is one of the few programs that is structured but was more, not always, appropriate. The "coaches" made it fun. Also, lower your expectations as well. She is not going to sit the entire class, focus the whole time, and come out of it showing tricks and skills. She is too young and at her age it is all about experience and moving through space, and seeing what others are doing. I see so many kids now that have had tons of classes and are not prepared for school. They have no manners, no respect for teachers, cannot listen, cannot ask questions politely, and their parents have paid all this money to simply keep them busy. My suggestion is look for parent child classes for her age, library story times, check out Bellevue College's Parent Education parent-child classes, or Kindermusik. I didn't do the last one myself, but have always heard it has been a great experience from others. And make sure you have time for playdates and time at home for her to dance and learn with you. I hope this helps! You sound like a wonderful mom with a very joyful, energetic little girl! All, the best, L.

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answers from Portland on

It sounds to me like you've found a dance school with an inexperienced instructor. The instructor might be using a cookie cutter for her lesson design (what we do for the older kids' classes is the same as the younger ones), not factoring in the difference in development and maturity.

I definitely agree that "Mommy and Me" classes are the way to go at this age (my daughter is 26 months). She does attend half day daycare/school that has a structured schedule, but the children are encouraged to participate in activities in a way that they want. In the first couple of weeks, ALL the new kids go through an adjustment phase where they watch activites from outside the group, or just plain do something else in the room while the "old timers" paint, sing songs, do yoga, whatever. Within a couple of weeks, the transition is complete and they are engaged in most of he activities. I would say sports classes are the same way- they need time to figure it all out before diving in.

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answers from Chicago on

At the age of 2 there is really no structure the kid is going to be able to follow except for getting them to point there toes and twirl when you ask lol. but they look adorable on the stage in the little tutu outfits. stick with it. she may or may not actually go on the stage at the end there is always a couple who freak and refuse. but 2 is really way to young to expect a child to do structure sports and dance. a 2 year olds dance "routine" will last aprox 2 minutes at the recital. and that is after a year of ballet lessons going once a week from september thru may

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answers from Oklahoma City on

Most of the things you listed don't allow kids under 3-4 1/2 to participate.

Dance shouldn't be started until about 3, Soccer is not allowed until 4 1/2, other stuff they can't really do until they can read very well, music takes reading notes and reading very well is a pre-requisite.

There are classes out there that are called dance, soccer, T-Ball, etc...but they are really just playing like you are playing a real game or play classes at this age...which is still important.

In our combo class for 3-4 year old's they do half an hour of tap and half an hour of gymnastics. They might send on class (about 20-30 minutes) wearing Leis and doing the hula. Of course they are NOT learning to Hula but to follow directions, understanding they have arms that go somewhere and do something. Like the go to the right and move like the ocean or they go left and make the motion of the sun setting....they learn to follow the teachers instructions, this age it should be playing, it should be less structure, the teachers should be patient and kind, they need to have the ideas set in advance of what they are going to do to make learning fun and exciting.

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answers from Eugene on

What kind of dance are we speaking of. It is totally inadvisable to have a child under five years of age study dance. It's not good for the body and once a week is plenty.
Until she is older like 8 years of age her body isn't developed enough for modern dance or ballet.
Many deformaties can occur do to over stressing a young body.
Now Yoga is known be be okay for children 3 years of age and up. Once a week and practice at home.

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answers from New York on

I only did Mommy and Me with my kids at that age. My son was not even ready for soccer at 4.5. But some kids are. I used to babysit a girl who loved dance and went to 4 dance classes a week when she was in Kindergarten. She still loves to dance as a hobby. It depends on how the class is set up too. My son did "Happy Piano" at his preschool and he likes it but doesn't really play music much. The notes are color coded on the keyboard and they sing little songs to learn about the music. I think is is a great start for when he is a little older and ready for more formal lessons. I would say look far an age appropriate class for dance or gymnastics.

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answers from Houston on

She sounds on target for her age, and really most schools don't even have kids that young in dance. Many kids don't really get into structured learning of specific activities until they are a few years older than that, like closer to 4-5 and even older for some if they are interested.

I was 2-3 when I started tap/ballet. They created a class just for my age range b/c I begged for it as I watched my older sister. Most girls in the class just liked to twirl and leap and sway to the music, not much of a structured dance routine at all.

My sons was extremely disinterested in soccer when he was 4, then the next season we put him in and he really took to it and enjoyed it. So just keep exposing her to things for the fun of it. A child was on my son's team and she would be scolded if she wasn't perfect or goofed off or cried if she got hurt, she was only 4!

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answers from Portland on

Check out your local library for story times for toddlers. They often have stories, songs, and movement. It is somewhat structured, but the kids often get to move around.

We really liked My Gym, but alas, it closed. We also really liked taking a tumbling class at our local recreation center. The instructor showed the toddlers and parents a skill, but there was a little circuit that the kids went through (to some extent). It was very casual and you worked with your own child while the instructor helped at the specific station for the skill she was teaching. All of the skills that were involved were skills that toddlers do pick up at some point. A child might be able to do the skill or might not quite be there, but could give it a try with your help.

Any class for this age should be specific to what this age will be able to do (kids do learn at different rates), one toddler might be able to jump and another the same age might not. Look for classes that gear toward motor development for the age.

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answers from Washington DC on

She needs a class that is about "creative movement" or a "princess fairy tale" type of "dance" class that combines movement and music with stories and costumes. She is far too young for anything like a real dance class and no decent teacher or studio would put her in one. She's also too young for you or a teacher to expect her to learn many steps in sequence just yet.

Look for inexpensive toddler's movement classes at your recreation center. Also try the "Music Together" classes, available around the country -- they are for kids from about one year to five years old and are terrific at developing music appreciation and movement while the kids (and their parents, who must participate) have a LOT of pure fun. I highly recommend Music Together -- we took many sessions of it.

My daughter is now a serious dancer at age 10 but from about 2.5 to 4 had a simple "Tiny Tutus" class and then at about 5 took the pre-ballet class at a dance school (still mostly fun but introducing some concepts of ballet in an entertaining way). Many dance schools don't start real ballet until eight, though some start as early as six. But please don't worry if at age two she isn't focused on one activity yet! Way, way too young! Meanwhile, check out Music Together in your area and do some short-term, parent-participation movement classes. Even mom and kid yoga is good as long as they're moving.

If she likes to dance around, encourage that a lot at home with music, simple costumes and videos that have kids dance along. Put on videos of real ballets for short periods and she might like to watch them for a few minutes at a time. At five or six if she's still dancing, enroll her in a longer-term but age-appropriate dance class with a well trained teacher.



answers from Seattle on

You know, it is probably an age thing to be honest with you. Most kids age 2-3 really don't focus for long. I would try to find a class geared toward her age that is somewhat structured yet allows for the freedom.

My daughter really hasn't followed the structure until this past 6 months and she is 4 1/2. We have gone to the Little Gym from the time she was about 20 months old in a parent-child class where they do follow a routine, yet the children are allowed complete freedom to do their own thing. They encourage the child to participate, but realize at this age, it isn't going to happen. And the great thing is, they expect the kids to not participate, and I think it is harder on the parent to watch your kid off doing other stuff, while the majority is following the teacher. Once they move up to the 3 year old class, it is a bit different. It is a non-parent involved class, however, there is still freedom and the routine is geared around that. By the time they are 4, they are all about the structure.
If you haven't tried the Little Gym, give it a try. Just remember, even though your child isn't participating or doing their own thing, they are watching and listening and keeping track of everything going on.


answers from San Francisco on

Two to three is really young for anything structured. Until about age ten, you want to expose your child to many varied experiences. I was careful about structure because I didn't want to dim their love of learning. Too much structure can do that.
If they find something they love, stick with it as long as they're interested. They don't need to specialize until they're approaching their teens. The early years are about exploring and discovery. The more experiences the better. It will gradually become clear what her interests and talents are.

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