One of the more common questions for a dance studio manager is what classes you should offer your young pupils. The old favorites of ballet, tap, and jazz often make an appearance on dance studio class lists. But should your studio go for something a little more modern? There are so many youth dance class styles that you could teach, but which ones will yield the most sign ups? Below, we’ll cover five modern youth dance classes that are worth your consideration.
5 Youth Dance Classes to Get Your Students Moving
Lisa Unger said, “Bored people looked for drama and caused trouble.” Therein lies what is perhaps the biggest benefit of offering youth programs in your dance. They keep the minds of children - young and older - occupied.
The fewer opportunities one has to get bored, the better. Dance gives young people the chance to learn something new while also moving their body to keep it physically fit. That’s the kind of win-win activity we can all get behind.
In no particular order, the five youth dance classes you might want to consider offering in your dance studio are:
Now, let's break each of these types of classes down a little further to help you decide which ones are best for your dance studio.
Hip-Hop Youth Dance Classes
Hip-hop dance classes usually combine a wide variety of urban styles. Think popping, locking, and breaking. These terms may be foreign to you, but odds are, your prospective students already know what they mean.
Popping is a technique of relaxing and contracting the muscles in the body which causes the appearance of jerking. Locking is freezing mid-movement. The dancer is moving a part of their body quickly and stops as if to freeze that body part they were moving a moment ago. If you have ever seen someone successfully do the robot - they are using the techniques of popping and locking.
Breaking or breakdancing can involve spinning and twisting the body on the floor in a power move, or even spinning on one’s head. Many breakdance moves involve acrobatic elements, handstands, and leaning as well.
Thanks to YouTube and Facebook and the viral videos from choreographers like Matt Steffanina, Lexy Panterra, and The Fitness Marshall, there has been a significant uptick in interest for hip-hop dance classes. Whether or not this trend will continue however, only time will tell. Why not strike while the iron is hot, and offer what people are already searching for online?
Contemporary Youth Dance Classes
Contemporary dance is an expressive style that brings together elements of classical ballet, jazz, lyrical and modern styles. It’s not as strict in technique as ballet. Instead, it stresses improvisation and versatility.
The choreography of contemporary dance may appear disordered, but it does rely on technique. It features changes in direction, rhythm, and speed that are unpredictable, and represents creative freedom.
Why teach contemporary? Because it’s freeing. It’s emotional and raw, while also being stylistic and versatile. Many students love the self-expression they can display with contemporary dance.
Latin Youth Dance Classes
Latin dance could be an upbeat and fresh style to add to your list of services. Just a few of the Latin dances you might offer include salsa, samba, the cha-cha, and the meringue. What’s great about Latin dancing is that many of the moves are easy to learn, and can be built upon to create unique and exciting choreography. Young people can typically pick up the basics quickly, and then advance to complex combinations from there.
Now, Latin dances sometimes require pairs, but you could easily create choreography for solo dancers as well. Also, some Latin dances might be inappropriate for young children to learn such as the tango. However, the simplistic moves paired with fun beats, make it a favorite genre for many students.
Lyrical Youth Dance Classes
Lyrical dance is a beautiful fusion of ballet and jazz. It's a little quicker than ballet, but not quite as fast as jazz dancing normally is. What makes it a popular genre for students and teachers alike is that it's a gorgeous display of fluid movements featuring dancers moving from one step to the next with grace and ease.
This type of dance is awesome for dancers who want to express some strong emotions such as happiness and love, sadness and grief, and even joy and excitement with stunning leaps in the air and endless turns. Lyrical dance allows the body to blend with the lyrics and music of a song creating a seamless display of art and rhythm.
Swing Youth Dance Classes
For older students looking for youth dance classes, swing dance may be a fun addition to your list of offerings. What young people love the most about swing dance is that they can have fun, and learn new moves even if they think they have two left feet. It’s the non-dancers style of dance if you will. The music used for swing dance is timeless, and the vibe of the dancing is always enjoyable.
The only catch is, that unlike Latin dancing where you can still do it solo, it’s much harder to swing dance without a partner. Still, swing dance classes are a great way to help students break out of their shells and socialize while learning a fun way to move to the music.
Additional Youth Dance Classes to Consider Offering
We promised you five modern youth dance classes to sell in your dance studio, but we couldn’t help ourselves - we had to mention just a few more. Three more styles of dance you might want to consider are ballroom, line dancing, and Irish dance. If we’re being completely honest, there are loads more youth dance classes we could talk about as well, but we’ll stop with these final three.
Ballroom - Ballroom dance might not necessarily seem like something your youth may want to do, but some towns have a surprising demand for this style of dance. Ballroom dances could include waltz, foxtrot, the two-step, and many others. Again, your students will need to be in pairs, but this type of dance can go with them well into adulthood. In fact, these dances might even show up in the future weddings of your students.
Line Dancing - Contrary to popular belief, line dancing is not just a country music style of dance. Cha Cha Slide, Cupid Shuffle, and Macarena anyone? What people love about this style of dance, is that the movements once learned are simply repeated over and over again. The choreography isn’t difficult, and as soon as the corresponding song comes on, people know exactly what moves to do.
Irish Dance - Though it originated in Ireland, it was made famous by River-dance. As a result, it’s popularity has spread to the states, and piqued the interest of even the youngest of dancers. This soft shoe style of dancing is known for stationary bodies and arms with rapid foot and leg movements. And, when the music comes on, you can’t help but feel compelled to move your feet.
How To Choose Which Youth Dance Classes To Offer
Ultimately, you will be the one to decide which youth dance classes to offer in your studio. But, how can you make this decision easier? As the dance studio manager you are in a prime position to ask your clients, prospects, and the public what they want to learn. Even if you’re still just thinking about opening a dance studio and your doors aren’t open yet, you should still ask as many people as possible what they want from your establishment before deciding to offer it.
The more you engage with people, the easier it will be to discover what prospective students are looking for from your studio. Who knows? Your public might end up telling you they want to learn classes that we haven’t even mentioned here today. Just remember, by giving the people exactly what they asked for, you will be that much closer to running a successful dance studio!