As a preschool dance teacher with over 20 years of experience, I have taught hundreds of students and trained many teachers to engage this wonderful age group, helping them develop confidence, coordination, and creativity. Here are my top tips to help settle preschoolers into dance class:


Let’s be friends


Encourage new students to arrive 15 minutes early to meet the teacher, see the dance space, and meet some of their new class friends who are already confident and seasoned class members. This introduction will allow the newcomer to feel comfortable leaving their parent or carer and walking into class with their new friends.


Avoid the toilet train


Encourage students to bring a water bottle to class and use the bathroom before class to prevent disruptions during class. The energy and flow of the class can be disrupted if students need to take a bathroom break in the middle of the lesson.


Don’t be a giant


Get down to the students’ level to communicate with them effectively. Ask them some questions like their favorite color or cartoon character. Use this information during the class to help them feel safe and familiar. Remember their name to strengthen your bond with your student from day one.


Dance class is not scary


Do not over-comfort newcomers. Praise their brave behavior such as holding the prop, standing behind their star spacer, putting their props back in the box, or sitting with friends. Be specific about what the student has achieved. If the child is distressed, wait until they calm down and are ready to come in and try again. Give your student a positive experience by kindly encouraging them to separate from their parent or carer. Be mindful of the music volume to create a comfortable and enjoyable atmosphere.


Baby steps


Celebrate small successes, even if a preschooler stays for only part of the class. Aim for a little longer the following week and communicate this achievement with parents. Preschoolers learn at their own pace, and some may need more time to settle into the class.


Debrief after class


Talk to your student about their experience in a positive way. What were their favorite parts of the class? What are they going to try next week? Encourage them to try again next week or another time if they and their parents have reservations. This connection at the end of the class helps with retention, as the parent and student feel valued and their needs considered.


Class structure and a playlist jam-packed with fun


Have a structured plan for your class and create a fun environment for preschoolers to learn through play. The READY SET DANCE preschool curriculum caters to this perfectly. Every line of every song has been created with the idea of keeping the little dancers moving. The choreography matches the cues in the music and lyrics for the entire song. The plug and play app and members hub include original music, professionally produced choreography videos, ready-made playlists, marketing materials, graphics toolkit, and much more.


Check out to find out more about this award-winning curriculum.


In summary, settling preschoolers into dance class requires patience, understanding, and a structured plan. By following these tips, you can help your students feel comfortable, confident, and engaged in their dance journey.


Belinda is the Founder of All Starz Performing Arts Studio, in Peakhurst NSW AUSTRALIA, established since 2002. She is also Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of READY SET DANCE.

Share this post