Have you ever gotten questions from parents about why you’re playing dance games? Maybe you’re fearful to even try them in your dance classes because you have heard the horror stories from other studios. DET is here to reassure you that playing dance games in class is educational and fun! AND we’ve offered some suggestions on how to communicate the benefits to apprehensive parents.
First, let’s remember why playing dance games is so important in dance class. Turning dance concepts into games does several things for your dancers:
Your students love your creativity but they also need brain breaks and activities that aren’t direction instruction from their teacher. Sometimes too much information can be overwhelming for dancers trying to grasp certain concepts and we need to switch up to regain their attention. We also need to remember that every now and then, having fun and intentional “playing” is still a high form of learning and can help dancers remember the information.
Now that we’ve convinced you…here’s how you convince the parents who may have questions. You might be wondering what to say when parents ask why you’re playing games in dance class. We know it can be hard communicating to parents but we’ve got your back!
Consider these 3 points:
First, make sure they know you’re playing educational dance games. Explain that these dance games are rooted in fundamental dance concepts that are still helping their child excel in dance. Dance Ed Tips is the industry leader in designing educational dance games for all ages, levels, and styles of dance. We highly recommend using dance games to teach concepts like:
We constantly hear from teachers all over the world how impressed they were that using dance games ACTUALLY WORKED with their students. Communicate to your apprehensive parents the concepts the games are teaching the students and hopefully that will reestablish trust.
Second, show them an example of one of the dance games you’ve been playing. Remember parents don’t always know or understand what’s happening in the studio, even if they come to the occasional Watch Week. Point out exactly why you’re using the game. Maybe it’s to engage and motivate the dancers or to get them to apply skills that you’ve introduced to them. Having the parents understand the purpose of the dance games and the lessons they’re teaching can help re-establish their trust with you. Maybe you can even play the game together and develop a great parent-teacher relationship. If that seems like a stretch, video the students playing the game.Show them how much fun their child is having and how much they’re learning!
Third, reiterate that dancers remember what they learn when it is presented in a fun way. It’s literally how our brains work! If the students aren’t excited about the material, then they’re likely not going to retain as much. It’s our job as teachers to find ways to keep them engaged and show them that learning can be exciting. Doing this through dance games is the perfect way to teach and have fun at the same time! Like we said earlier, parents don’t always get to see what happens in class. Most times they just see the final performance and judge the success of the entire year based on that one showing. As dance teachers, we know that’s not an accurate way to assess success. Therefore, remind parents that retention of skills, concepts, and technique is achieved differently for each student. Some students don’t perform the same on stage as they do in the classroom (just like some students don’t perform well with timed testing in the school systems). Dance teachers use games to reach students wherever they are in their development to ensure constant progress in the classroom masked by having fun!
Ideally, you have the trust from your parents and are able to use dance games throughout the entire year! But when that is not the case, don’t stress. Use this guide to help navigate those difficult conversations and regain the trust. We all urge our students to ask questions in class; let’s practice what we preach with our students’ parents, too. Let their questions and concerns be heard and be confident that you can address each and every one!