July 20, 2022 njads
Helping your child navigate the challenges that come along with puberty is tricky — but especially for dancers. As your dancer reaches that in-between age – puberty – it is a good idea that parents have a conversation with their child about their self-awareness and self-care.
- Body odour in dancers is not a new thing. They are very active and will move/sweat a lot in classes. Encourage your dancer to apply deodorant before dance classes, and even in between classes if needed.
- Reminding dancers to shower is also a great idea to teach them to be more aware of their changing bodies and the need to wash more often.
- Kids shapes are growing and changing! We want to be sure that our dancers are comfortable while dancing, while still being able to be in proper attire. Please check that your child has dance clothing that fits and covers your dancer to their comfort level, while still being form fitting enough that dancer teachers can make corrections and see the use of proper technique. Dancers should not be wearing baggy sweatshirts into technique classes, if they are chilly, they can wear their dance jackets until their bodies are warm and then should be removed.
- Be sensitive with language when discussing this with topic your dancer…many tweens go through some form of insecurity as their bodies change and develop. The last thing we want is for dancers feel anxious or stressed about themselves…if there are ever any concerns, we can help with please do not hesitate to reach out to the studio.
- Ensure to send kids to dance with water and a healthy snack (for those with longer stretches of dance). Encourage healthy food choices with dancers…having them help in meal prep is a great idea to have them get more interested in healthy eating and nutritious meals!
- Puberty comes with a lot of BIG feelings!! With this often comes emotions that your dancer may not be completely familiar with or able to explain! Try to have open conversations with your child often where they can ask any question in a safe space. If your child would like to chat with another adult (rather than a parent) about any of their awkward questions, we have many dance teachers available who are able to be that “safe adult” to have a chat with your dancer!
- When dancers are growing and changing it can sometimes affect their performance. This is because often bones can grow longer and faster than the muscles and tendons, which can put a dancer at a higher risk for dance injury during puberty. Sometimes skills that used to be easy, are now more of a challenge or need to be re-learned. Our dance teachers expect this!! Please encourage your dancer to talk with their teacher if something doesn’t feel right and they can give proper advice and guidance. Remind your dancer Puberty is a temporary phase.
We understand that some of these topics are awkward to have conversations about with your children…we find the best thing to do is to lead with sincerity. Maybe begin by talking about growing up and the importance of movement and nutrition…and then moving into things like showering and deodorant.