We absolutely love it when our students say they want to practice their recital dance at home. Their enthusiasm is contagious, and then everyone in the class wants to practice at home too!
But as a parent, how should you go about encouraging this? Is there such a thing as too much practice? We’ve got all your practicing-at-home answers right here:
Should I make my child practice their recital dance at home?
The short answer here is no. We don’t believe practice should be forced, or it can become completely unenjoyable. But we do think it’s helpful for you to encourage it! You might say, “Why don’t you practice your dance for 10 minutes and then we’ll play freeze dance together … are you in?” (Of course, then you have to follow through on your promise to freeze dance!)
When my child practices, there seem to be a lot of forgotten or rushed steps. Does this mean she’s going to be a mess at the recital?
Nope. Keep in mind that the recital dance is a group dance, and so practicing at home is completely out of context. Your child is well-oriented with her group in the studio classroom, so remembering everything at home by themselves is a challenge. Remember also that every child develops memorization skills at their own pace. It will “click” for them in time!
What if my child expresses that they’ll be nervous on stage?
Know that this is completely normal and expected for nearly every dancer. Reassure them that it’s OK to feel nervous (that most people do) and their familiar classmates and teachers will be with them during the show. Talk with them about building up the courage to do their best, and remind them that you’ll be smiling and clapping for them from the audience. Remind them that you’ll be proud of them no matter what.
Should I practice the steps with my child?
Not necessarily. We recommend that children practice on their own in order to build their self-reliance and confidence, without mom or dad swooping in to help. Practicing for the recital is not like studying for a test, where you might be able to cram the material into a short amount of time. We want the recital to truly reflect all of our students’ abilities and progress, not what they drilled at home.
What else helps with practicing at home?
Listening to the recital music is really helpful, even if it’s in the car on the way to school. Knowing the music is key to understanding the counts and rhythms in choreography, so the familiarity can make a big difference in your child’s learning curve and confidence. Also helpful? Encourage your child to ask questions in class if they’re not sure about a step! Our teachers welcome their communication so we can make sure everyone feels prepared.
The excitement for the recital is HUGE for some dancers and a little scary for others. Keep the conversation going at home by supporting your dancer’s efforts to practice without any added pressure. We want to keep their spirits high and their insecurities low!
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