Is your child the next Fred Astaire? Have they worn holes in the living room carpet from practising their moves? Have they finally found something they deeply care about in the form of dance?
If you ask any professional performer, they will likely tell you that no one is a natural dancer. No one can flawlessly move through every type of dance without ever receiving any form of training. Instead, your child might show some indicators that they have a flair for movement and expression!
If you’re wondering if your child is looking at a future career as a dancer, these signs might be familiar…
I Got This Feeling
Pretty much every child likes to get up and boogie – just look at the kid’s party DJ market. But some children just dance through life. You might find these children love to wiggle and bounce in their car seats along to your music.
Later they may be the ones who organise impromptu dance routines with a group of friends and beg you to watch them perform in the back garden.
But it isn’t just the bold and confident young people who find freedom in dance. It can often be the more shy or introverted children who will move and jump around to their favourite songs in their room, looking for a way to express themselves.
How can you spot this kind of passion in your children?
Well, like Justin Timberlake, they’ve got that good soul in their feet. Whether they are bopping down the aisles in Asda or making you sit and watch another ‘show’, children are drawn to dance.
A lot of times, a love for dance comes from the enjoyment of music, so even something as small as moving their head to a new tune can be an early indicator that your little one could find some fun in dancing.
They tend to go on to have a deeper connection to it. It’s more than an interest; it’s something deep within them. If you can see a smile on their face while they dance or string together a set of movements to go with their own internal rhythm, then they have a love for dancing that can be nourished and amplified.
Better, Better, Best
Dancing is hard. No matter if you like breakdancing, ballet or ballroom, each variety has its own technique and moves that you need to master.
This fact can be enough to put a lot of children off dance classes. It will take a fair amount of dedication to get them to the point of even being able to follow choreography, knowing how to move their body in certain ways and turn all of that into a performance an audience can enjoy along with them.
A talented dancer isn’t necessarily the one who picks things up easily. It’s the one who wants to work on things until they’re right.
In the case of the performing arts, the biggest natural skill you can have to your benefit is dedication. If your child follows through on every hobby, never gives up on their latest interest or has persevered through their subjects at school, this could be a sign they were born to be on stage!
Dance is a complex performance art – there are times when it’s expressive and free and all about emoting. And there are times when it’s about being technical and precise. In both situations, every dancer needs to have the self-motivation and perseverance to see themselves through rehearsals and eventually through stage shows.
Talent can take work and isn’t a natural skill for many of us. That’s why when it comes to performing, it’s more important to be dedicated than to be effortlessly talented.
I’ve Got Rhythm
At the core of all dancing is rhythm. An ability to keep time with the music, to move to the beat. It’s hard, and for most people, it requires training, but those that naturally find the beat have an easier time learning to dance.
When it comes to dance classes or even performance training, there’s an element of structure and a process to follow.
For example, a ballet dancer will take themselves through a set of warm-up moves before every rehearsal or show. They do this to loosen their muscles for each group of movements, like jumps, lunges, spins and squats. It can be difficult to move between each type of movement when you’re also trying to follow the cadence of a song or the cues of your stage mates.
Having a good ear for rhythm is a major help, as you’ll always be able to pick out the background beat and time your steps and turns along with it.
So, if your child, grandchild, niece or nephew is often drumming their fingers or tapping their feet along to the radio, you can be fairly certain they’ll have a fun time learning to dance with a theatre training company that will build on their natural rhythm.
If your child has a great sense of rhythm, then they will take to dancing like a duck to water. But if they don’t – that doesn’t mean they won’t go on to become a talented dancer; even Fred Astaire, who is known as ‘the greatest popular-music dancer of all time’ said of himself; “I never yet got anything 100% right…” and he did ok!
Is Your Child A Dancer At Heart?
If you think that your child or teen has dance potential, then performing arts classes are the best way to harness and grow that talent. A talent for dance could also mean they have an affinity for performing arts as a whole – so joining a theatre company could open them up to even more experience and opportunity.
Let your child find out what it feels like to be part of a theatre company that encourages dancing, singing and acting regardless of natural talent. Find a local Theatretrain centre using our online tool here.