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How to Inspire Children to Dance (As a Non-Dancing Parent)

As a parent, you’d like to inspire your child to be active through dancing and movement. The problem: You’re not a dance teacher, let alone a good dancer yourself. How can you motivate your child to dance when you have trouble dancing on your own?


It is difficult to take the lead on something you don’t have much experience in doing. And yet, dance doesn’t have to be exclusively for the naturally graceful. Instead, dance is a gift of expression that you can help your child unlock.


Inspire your child to explore dance and movement by engaging them with the following activities at home. These activities help spur your children to move without requiring you to have any formal dance training. They may work better with younger age groups, so try different things to see what works best to motivate your child to dance:


Dance Like An Animal

Incorporate role play into dancing by having your child imitate different types of animals. Put on some upbeat music like hip hop and call out the name of a different animal every 30 seconds. Try to choose animals from different habitats and environments (e.g. animals in cold places, animals that live in the mountains, animals that swim, etc.). Spark their creativity by challenging them with difficult animal choices. Get them to use movement as a way to express the identities of these animals.


Slow Down Movements

Help develop your child’s balance and motor skills by challenging them to move as slowly as possible. Put on some slow music and have them act out an activity (like putting on a sweater, or climbing a ladder) at an excruciatingly slow pace and using cues like “move through peanut butter, move in slow motion”. By performing a familiar movement in a strange way, this will make your child think more about the way they move, and have a higher awareness of their bodies.


Freeze Dancing

This activity that your kids will love is very simple to implement. Put on some fast music, and have your children dance and move quickly as it plays. Once the music pauses, your child must immediately stop mid-movement for the duration of the silence. When the music resumes, the dancing and movement continues. This silly activity is great for cardio, and is a good workout for kids with stagnant lifestyles. 


Copy Dancing 

Much like a game of Simon Says, this activity challenges your child to mimic the same movements as you make. This activity is great for making direct interactions with your child, and can lead to a fun time. And if you feel confident about your dance moves, you can try stringing together a few dance combos to see if your child can follow you.


Music Videos

Don’t know any dance moves? Unaware of any dance styles that your child may like? Take inspiration from videos found online. Browse for music videos and social media videos to find easy and appealing dance moves that your child can emulate. Put the video on, and have your child try to follow along. This activity is great for spurring your child’s analytical thinking and raising their awareness of their bodies.


Try introducing these basic activities as a way to motivate your child to dance and explore movement. And, if they demonstrate an interest in dancing, you can help them reach the next level by enrolling them into dance classes where they will receive proper instruction and a deeper appreciation for dance.


Is your child interested in dance classes? CDM Dance & Music Dance Studio offers a wide variety of dance classes and different dance styles! We provide a warm and friendly learning environment for young people that includes drop-in classes! For more details, check out our recreational dance schedule!