Kids Dance Lessons are an important and necessary part of training for Musical Theater Kids.
Dance, in addition to drama and song, are the three major activities that a Musical Theater Performing Artist usually practices on stage. Kids who are serious about the possibility of making money as a child or in adulthood by performing in Musical Theater need to study dance.
No matter what age kid you are, it is never too late or too early to begin your training. The benefits and the value of dance lessons to your future as a young performer are numerous.
The study of Ballet technique is necessary to develop skill and proper placement as a dancer, so this is always a good place to start. This applies to both girls and boys. Ballet teaches kids the vocabulary of dance. If you find that you cannot do this, for whatever reason, then it would be wise to study Jazz or Modern Dance.
Tap Dancing is also beneficial. A kid can improve their rhythm tremendously through the practice of Tap and it is a useful skill for Broadway but it should not be the only dance form a kid studies.
Many dance teachers believe that in order to be good at Jazz, Modern Dance and Tap etc., one must be trained in Ballet. Several dance teachers have told me they can spot actors/dancers who have trained in Ballet...take it for what it's worth...if you are disciplined in your dance lessons, you can stand out from the crowd.
Taking dance lessons provides a young performer with another venue (other than the theater stage) to practice their performance skills by means of a dance recital.
Most schools that cater to children offer an end of the year recital... complete with dance costumes, stage lighting and all the regalia that accompanies a performance.
Many a young performer first felt the thrill of entertaining the crowd while performing in their first dance recital.
To learn more about taking lessons and for the scoop on how to choose, and what to expect at your
first dance class
Musical Theater Dance Today
What type of dance movement is performed today in most Broadway Musicals?
This is a hard question to answer. Today's Musicals feature Jazz, Tap, Modern, Swing, Ballroom, Irish and a combination of all of the above plus more. In many dance schools Musical Theater Dance is offered as a form of its own. In these classes, Original Broadway Choreography is taught and recreated, sometimes by the very same Broadway Performers who performed them on Broadway.
A kid's best bet is to take lessons in a variety of dance styles. Get as much experience as time will allow in practicing the different styles. This will help improve your acting as well.
Creative movement opens the imagination. Kids should remember that not only does a great dancer go through the movements with knowledge and grace, he also is able to put expression and feeling into that movement.
A Musical Theater Dancer, needs to know how to interpret the music and plot of a show for himself, his fellow actors and especially for his audience. Kids Dance Lessons will really increase your ability to do this.
Private dance lessons can sometimes be helpful when preparing to audition for a specific part in a Musical.
Kids may take private lessons if and when, time and money allows, but not necessarily on a continual basis. It is good for a kid to experience the in class teamwork and the group effort of a recital performance. In many ways these are just mini versions of what happens when actors rehearse and perform in a Musical.
So kids...study and practice your favorite dance form...become as skillful as possible...it will serve you well in the future. In this case, it does make a difference in what you do as a kid.
"Dance is music made visible" --George Balanchine