Should a Child Who Can’t Dance Go to the School Dance?

By Jenn Osen-Foss, MAT

Question:

My child has motor skill issues and has trouble dancing. Is it still a good idea to send him to the school dance?

Answer:

Think back to the school dances, wedding receptions and other festive nights where you may or may not have boogied down. Did you observe closely the dance skills of your friends, family members or your date? If you did, you probably noticed that many people had a limited sense of rhythm, questionable moves and a whole lot of fun.

Here’s something else important to keep in mind. At school dances and other celebrations, there’s always a group of non-dancers who are mainly there to eat, talk and have their own brand of fun. If your child is in middle school, chances are even better that many of his peers won’t spend much time on the dance floor.

Encourage your child go to the dance with a group of friends he trusts. That’s because there’s safety in numbers—and more confidence too. If he’ll be taking a date, talk about ways to try to make his date happy. But make clear that he should never do something he’s uncomfortable doing.

Let him know that he doesn’t have to dance if he doesn’t want to. But if he does want to, he shouldn’t be afraid to let loose. It’s like that old country song says:

If you want to have someone to hold on to You’re gonna have to learn to let go You got to sing like you don’t need the money Love like you’ll never get hurt You got to dance like nobody’s watchin’ It’s gotta come from the heart If you want it to work.

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    About the author

    About the author

    Jenn Osen-Foss, MAT is an instructional coach, supporting teachers in using differentiated instruction, interventions, and co-planning.