Dance classes near you
Find kids' dance programs in cities across Canada listed on OurKids.net. Links below go to our advanced search page, with selected programs from each of the cities listed:
More than just after-school programs
On OurKids.net you'll also find other ways to indulge your love of dance. Here are more options:
What will your child learn in dance lessons?
Here's a quick overview of what kids learn in dance programs and classes found on OurKids.net. Consult each class linked to above, to find specifics of what they offer.
Genre-specific techniques. Kids gain general dance knowledge in relation to aspects like rhythm, coordination, and synchronization. They also learn techniques associated with specific dance genres. For example, tap dancing requires more movement from the heels and toes, while contemporary dance focuses on the fluidity of the limbs.
Coordination. Body awareness is a big part of dancing. Kids learn to control their movements and keep their balance. In dance classes, instructors provide kids with coordination techniques and other skills that help them excel in performance.
Self-discipline. Perfecting any dance routine is a deliberate, time-consuming process that requires dedication. Kids must discipline themselves and practice regularly to improve skills and to be part of the dance team.
Collaboration and trust. In group dances, synchronization and emotional awareness are vital to a good performance. To achieve this, students must be able to communicate, provide constructive feedback, and trust one another.
Self-awareness. Through dance, kids identify, analyze, and monitor their personal strengths and weaknesses. Dance class shifts students’ focus away from personal insecurities toward a shared success. Kids gain confidence as they master dance moves, patterns, and styles.
Six benefits of dance classes and lessons
The benefits gained from enrollment in dance extend far beyond the studio. Here is what your child will gain from the programs and classes listed above.
Keeps kids active. In dance programs, kids take part in an extreme cardio workout. Whether they are doing jazz, hip hop, or acro, students exercise their core, legs, and upper body muscles. This encourages them to maintain their physical wellbeing in and outside of class.
Broadens artistic expression. Dance is a unique art form as it uses the whole body to tell a story. Youthful dancers embody the rhythm, tempo, and beat of the music, and learn to interpret it individually. It’s a completely unique, easily accessible form of artistic expression that doesn’t require tools, supplies, instruments, or equipment.
Stimulates the brain. Research shows that dance can improve a child’s ability to learn new information by stimulating the brain’s visual, auditory, and memory centers. Dance opens children up to more creative ways of analyzing and solving problems. Other studies have suggested a direct link between physical activity and an increased attention span in children.
Gateway to other performance opportunities. Enrolling in dance class opens the door for related performance opportunities. Dancers are required for musicals, operas, ballets, and other performing arts. Classes expand kids’ performing repertoire.
New friendships. A byproduct of any class, program, or camp is that kids meet others with the same interests. Kids grow and learn alongside the peers in each class. They connect with one another through their mutual love of dance, and friendships flourish in this setting.
Release of energy. Classes require kids to pour their energy into their routines. Energy must stay elevated while learning choreography, rehearsing a routine, and performing. It’s a positive way to release childhood energy that eschews screen time and other passivity.
Questions to ask dance teachers
Here are questions to ask programs providers in your area, in order to compare responses you receive and find one that best suits your family:
- What will children be required to bring to class (i.e. water, specific footwear, etc.)?
- What qualifications, experience, and certifications do they have?
- Will there be recitals or performances?
- How much practice is expected per day/week?
Related types of camps and programs you might like
Branch out into more specific kinds of classes or programs, or try camps focused on an activity that puts dance into a broader context. Consider these alternatives:
Dance camps offer a weeklong or longer experience for kids, including both day and overnight camps, where they can really immerse themselves in dancing, and get to know others from a much broader area.
Ballet lessons focus on this very disciplined genre, offering dedicated training in this very elevated form of dance.
Jazz dance classes are fun and energetic, as are hip hop dance classes, which are ideally appealing to kids who may already love this form of music.
Gymnastics camp focuses on much of the same physical development, while also appealing to those with Olympic aspirations–or who simply enjoy the unique expression possible in this activity.
Musical theatre camp (as well as performing arts camp) focuses on a fun, challenging way to incorporate dance into stage productions where kids may also get a chance to try acting and singing.
Combine this list with other information in our guide:
Further reading online
“Dancing and the brain.” Harvard.edu
"Does dance increase your brain power?" Elevatedance.com.