Now that the New Year is here, a lot of students are returning to dance classes or starting a brand-new style or class. A few common questions we get asked at Omaha School of Music & Dance are: What do we need for dance class? How do we prepare ahead of time?
Starting something new can feel overwhelming, but there are a few simple things you or your child can do to prepare and calm any pre-class jitters!
3 important things you or your kiddo need to do before the first dance class
1. Check Your Studio’s Dress Code
Following a dress code for dance class is crucial to learning how to move your body correctly and minimize injury. And every studio has a different dress code they want their dancers to abide by, which is usually communicated upon class registration and in-studio.
For example, we at OSMD ask our ballet students (regardless of age or level!) to come ready to dance in a leotard and tights along with the correct ballet shoes. Ballet skirts are OK, but track pants are not. We have this dress code rule in place in order to allow both our instructors and students to check for proper body alignment, which is really hard to do if the ballet student is wearing a baggy t-shirt. Proper body alignment is very important to check, adjust for, and maintain to help ensure the injury does not happen.
Regardless of class style, all OSMD dancers are asked to have their hair pulled back out of their faces, so they can spot freely and see what they’re doing in our floor-length mirrors. We also just love to see everyone’s faces!
2. Have the Correct (and Properly-Fit) Dance Shoes
While also part of the dress code, we want to specifically call out how important it is to have the correct dance shoes the teacher (or studio) requires for each class. Some instructors and studios will give just a guideline for acceptable dance footwear, like “must be a tan slip-on jazz shoe,” while others require a specific brand and model for class consistency, such as “must be Bloch jazz shoe style #S0495L in Tan.”
This may seem a bit like “overkill,” so why is checking in with your studio to get dance shoe guidelines or requirements that important, and why are we at OSMD bringing it up? First and foremost, our rockstar dance teachers care about their student’s health and well-being. If a student wears improper footwear (or NO dance shoes at all) to dance class, the risk of slipping, getting stuck or tripping increases tenfold. Second of all, it’s extremely hard to learn how to properly hold your foot, turn, leap, rise en pointe, and make tap sounds without the correct footwear, which will inevitably stunt progress and growth.
SO! Always check in with your dance studio for the dance shoe guidelines/requirements for each class you or your kiddo is enrolled in. You can always order your shoes online (and we’ve listed a few of our go-to’s below!), but it’s a good idea to physically visit a dancewear store to at least get fit for the correct shoe brand, type and size—ESPECIALLY if you’re new to a certain style of dance OR your child’s feet haven’t stopped growing. Dance shoe sizing usually runs differently from street shoe sizing, so your aspiring ballerina likely won’t wear that Skechers size 6 in her new pointe shoes.
BONUS! Online dance shoe resources:
- Amazon (this takes your straight to Bloch, but feel free to look at other brands)
- Dancewear Solutions
- Discount Dancewear
3. Come to Class with Your Best Foot Forward
Ever heard the phrase “they just sucked the life out of the room”? This can easily happen in any dance class if you, your child, or anyone enrolled comes to class in a poor headspace.
In some of our other blog posts, we talk about how those who have a similar interest and passion for music and/or dance form a community. Any dance class your kiddo (or you) takes instantly becomes a community, and it’s human nature to feed off each other’s emotions. If you enter the dance studio in a bad mood, it can easily affect the other students in your class. So, no matter what happened during the day before class, a positive attitude is one of the most important things you can bring to the lesson with you—as well as a gift you provide to your fellow classmates. We even take the “fake it ‘til you make it” attitude, so long as your kiddo or you come to class ready to learn and focus on dance.
Where Can I Find Dance Studios in Omaha?
Only at Omaha School of Music & Dance will you and/or your child learn from a full-time, university-taught dance teacher who lives and breathes movement. Their passion for dance is clear, and it transfers to their students. Each week, your dance instructor will review what was worked on the previous week and move on to the next lesson to keep you learning and progressing.
Interested in group or private dance classes at Omaha School of Music & Dance? Here’s how you can register: