Ms. Meghan is the owner of Studio Five Dance Company, LLC in Fuquay Varina, NC. She graduated from Meredith College with a degree in dance education, has taught in the public schools and private studios for over 15 years, has a special love for a "good prop," cannot remember lyrics to save her life, is known for her unique descriptions of movement, and is always up for an adventure.
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We are in the beginning weeks of the season. It is an exciting time as dancers come in with their new shoes, tutus, and are trying new disciplines. It's also sometimes an anxious time for our tiniest dancers. For many this is their first experience in a classroom setting. For some this is the first time they have been away from Mom. How do you know if your child's behavior is normal? Is it ok that they cry? Yes! It can take them 4-6 classes to adjust to the new environment. Some of them will cry. They don't have the language or self awareness to express their anxiety through words. Usually our wonderful teachers and assistants can distract them, get them to engage, and love them until they feel comfortable. It's also hard for some of our little ones who have spent all day in daycare. All they want to do is spend time with Mommy and now they are going to another class. It doesn't mean that they don't like dance. They just want something else at that moment. Toddlers don't understand time and waiting. (Those of us who have them know this well!) It is also very normal for some children to sit and watch for several weeks. They are processing, reading the situation, and determining if this new experience is ok. Some are perfectionists who won't try something until they know they can do it right. If your child is coming home and practicing her steps, moving like the animals, doing the Wake up and Wiggle dance, talking about dance, or "teaching" her stuffed animals, siblings, or you then she is right where she belongs. Give her time to adjust and get comfortable. Learning this dance of independence is a process. I have attached a great article for your reference. Be patient, give lots of encouragement, and know that it is normal. =)