School events & situations

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

By Jenn Osen-Foss

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

Jenn Osen-Foss

Instructional Coach, Clear Creek Amana High School, Tiffin, Iowa

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.

About the Author

Portrait of Jenn Osen Foss

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

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