When there are so many activities that you can choose for your children why choose dance and by extension of that, acting, vocal or music lessons.
Parents should offer their children opportunities to try all types of activities to see where their talents lie but sometimes the child innately knows what they want. That is often the case with dance. Sometimes they see a television show, or want to wear a tutu or have a friend enrolled.
This was the case with Lindsay Zerebny. Lindsay who has been dancing with Rising Star for 12 years was 4 when she decided she wanted to dance.
“I had a few friends in dance and unfortunately when I made the decision to join them it was mid season so I wasn’t able to start until September. My parents constantly checked during the summer to make sure dance was still what I wanted to do and sure enough, I stuck with the idea. By that time fall came around, I was 4 and a half and therefore I was put into Creative Movement. After the second week of classes, I decided that I didn’t like dance. In the Creative Movement class we were playing games and I had a mind that was determined to learn how to dance. I walked up to my Mom after the class and told her that I didn’t want to dance anymore. I was not being taught how to dance”.
Back then when Lindsay started we usually placed children who were 4 and had no experience, in Creative Movement so that they could learn some basic skills. With the introduction of the Combo class this is no longer necessary. Children age 4-5 learn tap, jazz and ballet which provide a well rounded dance education.
Children don’t have to start when they are young – our policy at RSPA has always been to include all children no matter the age. We have never subscribed to the theory that there is a cut off age to start. When Rising Star opened in 1987 we had children and teens of all ages register. One young girl age 12 was so excited to join – she had recently moved to Waterdown and in her previous home town another dance studio had turned her down as they said she was too old to start! She went on to become an very accomplished ballroom dancer and passed her love of dance on to many adults as a ballroom teacher.
The Arts are an essential part of public education. From dance and music to theatre and the visual arts, the arts give children a unique means of expression, capturing their passions and emotions, and allowing them to explore new ideas, subject matter, and cultures. They bring us joy in every aspect of our lives.
Arts education not only enhances students’ understanding of the world around them, but it also broadens their perspective on traditional academics. The arts give us the creativity to express ourselves, while challenging our intellect. The arts integrate life and learning for all students and are integral in the development of the whole person.
The Arts communicate and speak to us in ways that teach literacy and enhance our lives. We must continue to find a place for arts programs and partnerships not only for what it teaches students about art, but for what it teaches us all about the world we live in.
–Dr. Terry Bergeson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Washington State, November 2001
And Lindsay- well her dance teacher promoted her to the primary jazz class where she thrived…
“That year at the year end recital I performed “Let’s Hear it For The Boy” as my first jazz routine. Throughout all of these years I’ve stayed in dance because I truly enjoy it. Performing comes naturally and I enjoy the challenge of being a technical dancer. Dance allows me to push myself to my fullest potential. As a kid I was also in soccer and gymnastic but nothing stuck like dance. I also enjoy just being with my friends. The life long friendships I’ve made during dance are what keep me going through all the difficult times. Overall, dance is more than just an after school hobby for me.”