Practicing at Home: Dos and Don’ts

At Backstage Dance Studio, we’ve found that many of our students adore practicing dance at home.  Parents and siblings are bound to find them twirling in the living room or tapping in the kitchen. Once students start learning a new skill, they can’t contain their enthusiasm.  They may find themselves compelled to choreograph with their friends after school and work on creating new dance moves together.  Does this sound like your child?  Is your child a non-stop mover, someone who can’t get enough dance?  And are you wondering what you can do to help foster this passion, how to encourage it in a safe way?  We’re here to help, with The DOS and DON’TS of practicing dance at home.

First and foremost, DO designate a specific spot in your house that you’ve deemed to be “dance practice safe.”  This could be a room, a hallway, perhaps a garage, but we recommend a large open space with little or no furniture.  You need a practice space that’s easy to move around in.  DON’T allow tap shoes on your easily scuffed floors or you will regret it, and DON’T allow your child to practice in pointe shoes at home!

DO challenge your child to remember the skills they’ve learned in class, but also DON’T worry if they feel like making up their own moves!  It’s essential for students to practice what they’ve picked up in class, but there’s nothing wrong with being creative, either.  Dance and the performing arts are all about creativity and spontaneity.  Resist the urge to teach the child yourself and instead, DO allow your child’s teacher to be the authority of those skills.

DON’T expect perfection with at-home practice.  Practicing at home should naturally feel different from being in class.  It’s more relaxed, it’s more carefree, and it’s more independent.  DO suggest that your child practice with music, and really any music is fine.  Music helps your child keep familiar with finding the beat and moving to it.  Keeping track of rhythm is an essential skill in the dance world!

Definitely DON’T expect perfection with at-home practices, because that’s not what it’s about.  It’s about keeping the mind in the dance world, about exploring new skills and new steps, and it’s about having some fun!  DO keep an eye on your child to make sure they’re practicing safe, but DON’T hesitate to join in on the fun.

Practicing dance at home can be nearly as rewarding as working on it in class with teammates!  It should feel comfortable and supportive so your child can unleash their creativity.  Through following the DOS and DON’TS of practicing at home, your child will grow and learn while always having a fun time!