Having a fun dance with kids

Dancing with kids can be a great time for everybody.  Here are some ideas to make it go smoothly.

It’s important to note, this mostly applies to kids who are also new dancers.  At our regular dances, there are several experienced elementary school kids who call and dance better than many of the adults!

  1. Do easy dances! This is really true for everybody, not just kids: an easy dance that goes well is much more fun than a  challenging dance that’s a mess.  The hardest dance should be in the middle of the night, not at the end–after everyone’s warmed up but before they’re getting tired.
  2. Don’t teach more than two new moves in a single dance. Preferably stick with one new move at a time.
  3. If a big person and a small person are dancing together, the adult should generally be on the left, dancing as the “gent”. That’s because most calls are addressed to the “gent.”
  4. If the kids are smaller (under 7), avoid dances which require them to stray too far from their adult partners.
  5. If the kids are physically small, encourage everyone to do a two-hand swing, it’s faster and more fun if the partners have great variation in height.
  6. Get kids involved in the calling–encourage them to “call along”.  You’ll be amazed how quickly they’re able to lead the dance themselves.
  7. Don’t be afraid to repeat dances. Dancing is fun for the body, not just fun for the brain: it’ll still be fun the second time around, and probably even more fun, since the dancers won’t be worried about learning new moves.

Most of all, have fun! If you’re not enjoying yourself, the kids won’t either.