Tips for Dance Teachers: Hosting Parent Observation Classes
There’s a good chance that the parents of your dancers will want to see the class perform more than once per season. In fact, Dance Informa magazine explained that many parents actually take this factor into consideration when choosing a dance studio. For this reason, many schools hold parent observation classes once or twice each month. This gives your students a chance to show off and parents a peek into the action without anyone peering around corners. If you’re thinking about implementing a regular observation period, use these tips for dance teachers to establish best practices that will make the experience positive for all parties involved.
The first step toward having a successful parent observation class is to discuss the expectations of everyone involved. This means taking a few moments to talk with your teachers, students and, of course, the parents. The Dance Exec explained that you’ll want to discuss timing, introductions and demonstrations with your teachers well in advance so they have time to prepare. Talk to your dancers about what they can expect while their parents are in the room and the opportunities they’ll have to demonstrate their new skills. With parents, you’ll want to emphasize the importance of being on time and remaining respectful in the classroom.
Have a Game Plan
Some teachers might just want to wing it when it comes time for parent observations, but you’ll feel better going into these sessions if you have a plan. Figure out how long instructors should spend running drills, letting kids perform and answering parent questions. It’s often a good idea to run through pieces that dancers are comfortable and confident with, otherwise they may be nervous about forgetting the steps or missing their tricks. Whatever game plan you come up with, be sure it highlights the best that your dancers and teachers have to offer.
Don’t Rule Out Participation
If you really want to give parents an idea of what their kids are learning, consider taking observation opportunities to the next level. Dance Studio Life explained that a participation class can cultivate a sense of respect and closeness between students and their parents. It’s a great way to show adults just how hard their budding dancers work each class. Plus, it’s often a fun activity to break the ice with parents and get them comfortable with teachers and the studio in general.