Dance Family is Forever

I bet you could find a hundred ways to define family. Oxford Languages defines family as “a group of one or more parents and their children living together as a unit” or “all the descendants of a common ancestor”. However, I don’t choose to define family by bloodline. To me, family is the feeling of loyalty, selflessness, love, and genuine care of others. This feeling can come from anyone and anywhere! Not only have I found family in those I live with or those I grew up with, but I also find family in the Red Door community. 

 

Working at the front desk I get to meet and learn about a lot of different people. I truly love hearing their stories and learning about their lives. We get to know the parents, but we also get to really know the kids. I would have never learned about a few of the small businesses in town, seen some of my favorite elementary school teachers, or found some student’s hidden talents if I didn’t sit at the front desk every day. I started my venture with Red Door taking dance classes after graduating high school in 2012. It was just a few short months later that I became a full-time employee. Over the last 9 years, I’ve made many bonds with parents and dancers that I consider like family. I love going to the grocery store and seeing familiar faces. It really drives home that sense of community. It brings a smile to anyone’s face when you walk into a building and see a familiar face or two. But, I don’t only get that feeling walking through the grocery store. I love walking into the studio and seeing the smiling faces of the kids (and parents pre-covid). There is always a warm welcome from the entire Red Door family- staff, dancers, parents, and even siblings. 

 

Going through the shutdown made everything a little more difficult, but we weren’t going to let anything stop us from seeing our people. Drive through Easter parades, virtual dance parties and snail mail kept us together during the toughest of times. I can’t wait for the day that I walk into the lobby and see all the smiling faces again! I’m so thankful that we’ve all been able to stay connected in the ways that we have! 

 

I’ve been fortunate to celebrate some of my biggest milestones with all the members of our Red Door family-like graduating college, getting married, and now having a baby (SURPRISE)!!! There really is no greater support and love. I’m so excited to watch the community continue to grow as new members are welcomed in. I will forever be grateful for my Red Door family!

 

4 Signs Your Child Will Benefit From Dance Classes

Dancing provides a fun, exciting way for children to exercise and socialize with their peers. If your child is especially energetic, enrolling them in dance classes can provide a productive and rewarding outlet to help them express their creativity. If you’re unsure whether this is the right choice for your kid, here are several indications that dancing may help them.

When Should You Enroll a Child in Dance Classes?

1. Trouble Sitting Still

Children with plenty of energy may find it difficult to sit calmly and focus while attending school or doing homework. They may sway back and forth or move their legs constantly, which can indicate that they are a physical learner. This is a learning style that means your child can understand concepts easier when they use their body and hands. Dance classes give your child a way to explore their senses through movement, allowing them to direct excess energy toward mastering a new skill.

2. Fiddling With Objects

Kids who frequently take toys apart and put them back together may be visual-spatial learners. These children have a strong ability to recognize patterns and memorize new information. This is similar to physical learning, as many visual-spatial children grasp concepts by physically moving and interacting with objects. Since dance involves learning choreographed moves, putting them together, and mastering a routine, these children can become skilled dancers after starting lessons.

 

3. Moving to Music

If your child wiggles, shakes, or sways when you play music, these are early signs of an interest in dance. Your young one might also nod their head and tap their feet, as many children have an amazing sense of natural rhythm. This can help them hit their marks on cue while taking dance classes. High-intensity physical movement to music may also make energetic or hyperactive kids more focused and relaxed in normal settings.

4. Showing Interest In Creative Expression

Dance involves using bodily movements to convey emotion, communicate concepts, and tell stories. Dancing can function as a valuable creative outlet for kids, allowing them to use excess energy while getting in touch with their artistic side. If your child shows an early interest in drawing, writing, or other outlets, dance classes can help enhance their creativity.

 

When your little one wants to enroll in dance classes, contact Red Door Dance Academy in Wylie, TX. This dance studio offers instruction in tap, ballet, jazz, and hip hop to kids in a comfortable, supportive environment. They provide lessons for children as young as 12 months, so even your toddler can get in on the fun. Call (972) 836-6733 to ask about enrollment, and visit the website to view their available classes.

4 Ways Parents Can Help With Ballet Classes

When your energetic child needs an outlet to help them learn and grow, consider enrolling them in ballet classes. This activity improves coordination, teaches rhythm, and introduces your child to new friends. Once you find the right dance school, here are several strategies for keeping your little one on track and inspiring them to keep attending.

How Can You Encourage a Child in Ballet Classes?

1. Get the Right Outfits

After signing your child up, talk to the dance studio about what items they need for class. While some studios require students to wear tights and leotards, others ask children to wear form-fitting clothing and ballet slippers. Baggy clothes can hinder your child’s movement and make it difficult for the instructor to check their lines and posture. Investing in the equipment they need will help your child be more successful.

2. Schedule Timely Drop-Offs

To maximize class time, your child should arrive on-time to each lesson. This way, they can warm up with the class without interrupting the instruction, allowing them to prepare for the day’s choreography and dance routines. Often, children will want to arrive a few minutes early so that they can socialize with their friends and engage with their new dance community.

3. Inspire Practice at Home

Back home, talk to your child about their ballet classes and the various moves and routines they are learning. Encourage them to continue their training even when they are not at the studio, as this helps them memorize the routines. Celebrating your child’s progress by being a captive audience will also motivate them to keep progressing.

4. Encourage Rest & Hydration

As a physical pursuit, your child should prepare for ballet classes as they would for playing a sport. Help your child maintain a steady bedtime routine so that they have enough rest for class. Provide lots of water for them to drink throughout the day, as well as fresh fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. This will help them maintain high energy levels during class.

 

If your child wants to attend ballet classes, contact Red Door Dance Academy in Wylie, TX. This studio helps young dancers throughout the Greater Dallas area learn valuable skills and life lessons from dedicated and compassionate instructors. They specialize in hip hop, tap, jazz, and boys dance classes. Call (972) 836-6733 to discuss enrollment with a team member. Visit the website for more information about their classes.

The Importance of Dance for Young Children

Most parents love the idea of sending their little one to their very first dance class. The allure of the graceful movement, the idea of the grand stage, and the prospect of a future professional dancer is enough to open up a google search and find the closest local dance school. In truth, most dance students don’t grow up to be the professional dancer in Swan Lake, so why dance? Better yet, why start dancing at such a young age and can it actually help get them ready for school? 

It is widely known that children learn a lot through movement in early development. Dance and movement is a major factor in helping teach young children how to negotiate the world. Studies have shown that physical movement paired with pretend imagery can help children actually enjoy learning as well as aid in increased focus, retention, speed, and even math and logic concepts.

When children are learning to move to music, they are counting actual numbers and dissecting the rhythm and beats of music. Movement actually helps spark the growth of new brain cells! When kids learn to chassé by thinking of a horse chasing his friend, they are using areas of their brain essential to problem-solving, recall, and body-awareness as well as reinforcing verbal and social cues.

Dance has emotional benefits, too. Children participating in dance classes learn emotional regulation, sensory processing, discipline, and social empathy- the ability to sense and understand emotions in others. The nature of a well-planned dance class allows for children of all abilities to work at these developmental skills at their own level. 

We know that movement helps aid in learning across all areas of development, so why not just pop some music on at home and let your kiddo wiggle around the living room? While that is definitely encouraged in normal everyday play, a class setting and, more specifically a ballet class, provides more learning and social opportunities than just imaginative play at home.

French terms learned in a ballet class help kids connect verbal cues to physical movement. While working on a technical skill, a dance student is using cognitive recall to bring back to memory what they did the week before. In moving around in a dance room, a student is learning body awareness and spatial reasoning. When waiting in line or waiting for the music to start, even small children are learning social skills. The rigorous nature of ballet creates a disciplined student who can problem solve, has mind-body awareness, and is enhancing their sensory processing skills by connecting movement with auditory input. Ballet offers many long-term benefits that kids would profit from attaining. 

Children move the instant they are born and continue to learn through moving as they develop in the early elementary years. Studies show that encouraging creative movement at an early age helps produce adults in the workforce who are better at problem-solving and peer interaction. Dance class is a safe, low-stress environment that offers students multiple opportunities for understanding and exploring their world and their emotions! Let them twirl in their tutu and know that you are helping them grow their brains and create life skills that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.

 

Our Schedule Saved Me

This year has been pure havoc…amiright? Everything…and I mean EVERYTHING…has been affected in our lives. We have all had a lesson in flexibility and patience and fortitude…I could go on. But, for me, there has been a shining light that has kept me steady many-a-day through these “unprecedented times:” my Dance Schedule.

 

I have been lucky enough to have a safe haven at Red Door Dance Academy during the last 11 months that has been key in keeping me from going over the edge at least half a dozen times. In a world that changes constantly, sometimes several times a day, my schedule at work with all my dancer babies has anchored me. 

 

I truly believe that my mental health has benefitted from having my daily rituals for teaching and movement to keep me accountable, organized and happy.  Humans crave schedules and community. 

 

We all need people that depend on us to show up-especially during covid (I refuse to capitalize it because it doesn’t deserve it) when literally nothing is certain but uncertainty.  Red Door has risen to the challenge by keeping us on a routine and building a thriving community of #reddoorstrong families that depend on each other for our mental health.  

 

Knowing that I have somewhere to be at a certain time with a group of kids, on Zoom at first, and now in person, has been my metaphorical helmet that protects me against crashing into the chaos that covid creates. Yes, some days are hard-really hard-but I know I will feel better once I log in/walk in for classes and talk to my dance students and I always do.

 

We get to share this experience and help each other through it. And my dancers definitely do help ME through it because they expect me to be in classes WITH them! 

 

That has been the greatest gift I could ever have hoped for in a situation I never imagined would be reality. Reliability. Community. Family. Thank you to all my Red Door Family for getting me through this insanity!