If your teen loves to dance, you may be wondering how to find affordable dance programs that foster this awesome self care practice without breaking the bank.
While dancing is an amazing way for teens to relieve tension, use our muscles, burn a few calories, and fuel those positive vibes, it’s also hella expensive! So I did some digging and found out there are ways to find affordable dance programs- if you know where to look. Below are a few ideas and how to get started without spending a ton on money:
- In person dance class,
- Online classes and tutorials
- Video Games
SIGN UP FOR IN PERSON DANCE CLASS
In person lessons or classes are a great way for your teen to add healthy, fun activity in their week, as well as learning discipline and technique. For neurodiverse teens, dance is a great “singular sport”, which allows them to benefit from the structure and social aspects of being part of a team without the fast paced, think on your feet, cognitive nightmare that shames so many neuro diverse kids away from regular team sports.
The trick is finding affordable dance classes that are a good fit for your teens level of ability. Here’s a few tips:
Find a free or low cost community program
Your community may offer teen dance programs that are free or very low cost. Some may even offer scholarships. These programs may be:
- At your local YMCA
- Boys & Girls Club
- City recreation centers
- After care, summer, intramural or club programs through your teens middle or high school
If you don’t have any luck with these programs, check with the department of children and families, church groups or mental health awareness groups like NAMI. If they don’t offer programs of their own, they may be able to put you in the right direction. They may also know of scholarship programs or grants that are available.
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Online classes, subscriptions, and video tutorials
If you have an internet connection, you can find tons of affordable dance programs and tutorials for teens looking to add dance to their self care routine! If you aren’t having luck finding any funding for expensive in person classes, and you don’t have access to a Community Center, an online class might work better.
Online dance companies:
Online dance companies offer classes in multiple dance styles and ability levels for a monthly or yearly subscription fee. Check these out:
Studios offering online sessions:
There may also be dance instructors or coaches that offer individual online sessions for a one time price or through a package of multiple sessions. Some even offer these services specifically for neuro diverse kids and teens. And since Covid has dance studios streaming from all over the country, you aren’t limited to just what may be (or not be) in your area. Take a look!
- Urbanity Dance – ten week online dance courses for kids and teens age 4-18
- Magic Dance Studio – an inclusive dance program designed to develop social skills and motor functions
- Turtle Dance Music – specific online streaming programs for neuro diverse teens that cover dance, music, deejaying, karaoke, comedy and learning to make TikTok and YouTube videos!
- Mark Morris Dance Group – has live zoom classes for teens as well as free on demand classes
There are tons of free channels on YouTube that teach any and every dance style you can think of! Here’s a few examples:
Mihran TV has a series of super helpful tutorials as well as dance classes:
Online learning platforms
- Udemy: Classes (like this hip-hop class for beginners) range from $14.99 to $200. Udemy has awesome promotional sales for subscribers, so you can often get $200 classes for anywhere between $10 and $30. Plus, once you purchase a class, you have lifetime access to the course.
- Outschool: classes range from $6 -$60, usually around the $10 mark. Specifically designed for teens (or whichever age range you are looking for). Check this one out!
Video games are a great way to add some dancing fun without making a big time or money commitment. No matter what console you have, you can find a dance game to bust out the moves just for fun! Here’s a few must have dance games for teens:
There’s pretty much one major franchise of dance games these days, but they have a ton of different options: Just Dance, which personally is one of my favorite video games period. What’s great is that you can play Just Dance on pretty much every console, making it perfect for family game night too!
Dance mats link directly to your tv and have pre-installed dance games included. they can be a bit pricey, but are totally worth the money. Or, if your teen isn’t too cool to go to the arcade, playing Dance Dance Revolution is similar with the added benefit of hanging with friends or having a family fun day.
This is a super fun game for the Wii Switch, and a great work out for us moms too! And, it’s super cheap, which is always what I’m lookin’ for! Minimize broken items and busted lips from rogue controllers flying around by grabbing the adjustable straps as well!
If your neuro diverse teen has a targeted case manager or uses services at a behavioral health center, find out money or grants set aside for educational or coping activities for kids with mental health disorders or disabilities. This may include consoles and certain games (like dance games) if they are used for therapeutic or educational purposes!
My son, who is a musician and voice over artist was able to get studio time paid for with a grant program from his mental health care provider. He qualified because playing and making music was therapeutic to him. That studio time was the turning point for him being able to work towards a real career in music. So don’t be afraid to ask for help! That’s what it’s there for!
By the way, in my research, I came across this really great site that’s all about dance for kids, teens and adults on the spectrum. If you have a teen who is interested in taking dance a bit ore seriously, but may have some hurdles to jump with sensory issues, this is a great place to get info and find resources!
Thanks for reading! I hope this post helps you find affordable ways to bring dance into your teens life for fun and/or for self care!
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