Here are some simple tips for dance teachers to ensure that children who have challenges with social skills can join a dance class.
Model social skills that are important at a dance class like saying hello, listening, awareness of personal body space and showing empathy.
Pair children up with a buddy that you choose so that no one is left out. The buddy can help them feel more involved and connected.
A child might not be able to join in with the class straight away. They may need to join the group in their own time.
Some kids might need to work in smaller groups so they feel safe.
Always aim for full participation. Use movement games and simple dance exercises to get everyone involved. Avoid games where kids get eliminated.
A social story might be needed to help some children understand how to get involved in a dance class and learn how to better interact with others. Dance stories are available on the AllPlay Dance website.
Remember, every child has the right to be involved in all aspects of life, especially dance. Including children with disabilities is not hard; it just requires understanding. You can make the world fit for all kids by including all kids in dance