A Parents Guide to the World of Dance
Help! My child wants to dance.....
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Do you have a young child at home who would love to dance? Does the thought of looking for classes fill you with fear, or do you just not know where to start to find the right class? My name is Michele Coopes and I have been in the dance industry for over thirty eight years. I began my journey as a dancer, which lit a fire in me that I did not know I had. I was amazed that I could be so passionate about something and continued to take dance classes into my late thirties. When I was sixteen I began working in a Dancewear store in Perth, Western Australia and in 1988, three months before my 21st birthday I bought the store and have been looking after dancers requirements ever since.
The most common question I get asked is from parents of young children wanting to know where to find a dance class. I think finding a dance class is the easy part, it’s not knowing the questions to ask once you find it, that parents come to realise is their biggest challenge. Of course every parent wants something different for their child, so there is no one size fits all answer, however if you know the right questions you can then decide what is relevant to you and your family.
The dance industry has also suffered some stereo typing in recent years, especially after reality tv shows depicting a rather crude and highly stressed environment. I'm surprised by how many parents ask me if their three year old is going to have to wear fake eyelashes. Although there is some truth to the pressures and expectation of dancers when they are performing at an elite or competition level, for most dancers starting out, it can be a beautiful environment that will teach your child many valuable life skills. I have written this book in the hope that it opens your eyes to the many questions that may make a difference to the dance journey you and your child embark on. I appreciate the love and support I have received from so many of my dance parents, who say they have been waiting for something like this to help them along the way.
Dance . Dream . Create
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