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The power of pre-school indpendence

You're looking for a fun new hobby for your pre-schooler to enjoy but may be apprehensive about how they'll get on. Every week we get enquiries from new parents wishing for their little ones to try out a class yet worried as to how they'll get on. This is only natural and we like to reassure you that we have little nervous souls join us all the time and 99% of the time they fall in love with the class no matter how they reacted week one.

SETTLING IN Our job as teachers is to make everyone feel comfortable. We read the children and use different teaching techniques or enlist the help of our assistant teachers or older members of the class to help with the settling in process. Sometimes an extra hand to hold is exactly what they need whereas for some they'd rather sit back and just observe what's happening in the room. On week one you'd sometimes think we don't get much from them, maybe they're too nervous to join in, perhaps a little apprehensive about what may be asked of them. But rest assured, them simply staying in class to soak up their new environment is a big step for some of these little minds and should be celebrated as a win, and not a failure.

SHOULD I STAY... or should I go? The answer... go! Imagine for a moment that you are starting a new job and you're nervous about the new office. Or you fancy taking up a new hobby, going back to the hockey field after a decade off. Now imagine your parents are watching you while you navigate your new space. However old we are we don't particularly like to be watched. When you stay with your little dancer you suggest to them that they might need you, therefore that makes them a little more apprehensive. You don't give them space to explore their new environment and get to know their new adult as they feel like they should be with you. And they feel under pressure to 'perform' before they even know what is expected of them. Class isn't a show, it's not a finished product, it's a series of building blocks which will one day result in something spectacular. But until the point where they are ready to 'show off' the work in progress should be respected and trusted as a process.

THE MAGIC... over your little one's journey in their first term and year in dance their relationship will their teacher, teaching assistant and classmates will develop and they'll start to explore creative ideas and feel safe to express themselves. You can be assured that their confidence will grow and their imaginations will flourish and that once shy little beginner will take their first, perhaps tentative steps into the bright lights of theatre stage and they will SHINE.

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