Don’t you remember yours? The punchbowl with its wilting lemon slices? The tottering, arms-length slow dances? That one girl who borrowed a little too much of Mom’s makeup? It’s easy to see school dances as hokey or downright lame in retrospect, but for your middle schooler the approach of their first school dance may stir up some pretty strong anticipatory feelings. It may inspire fits of joy. On the other hand, it could inspire terror. No matter how your pre-teen feels about it, we have tips to help.
Middle school ages represent a wide variety of maturity levels, so it’s important to prepare your dance-goer (and yourself, should you care to witness the spectacle) for a range of behaviors. There will be kids who don’t want to dance. There will be kids whose dance moves are provocative enough to require the intervention of chaperones. Figure out what level your kid seems to be on. If they seem indifferent to the dance, and you don’t think they know the first thing about dancing, show them a step or two, or share a story. If your pre-teen has been imitating their favorite music videos around the house for years, perhaps warn them that those kinds of moves may not be well received by all their fellow students and teachers.
School dances are indeed a “public sphere” for kids, an environment less inhibited than those most kids inhabit on a daily basis. Thus, it gives kids a chance to see their peers in a whole new light – namely the light from a mirror ball. The thought of all that dancing in the dark can make a shy kid very nervous, and surely some kids will not want to attend. But it’s important to explain that sometimes it’s worthwhile to see how one’s peers get down. It may be funny. It may be pretty strange. But it will certainly be a night to remember.
Though clearly we’re a self-interested party on this issue, clothes are very important. They can be a big confidence booster and the difference between your kid having an “okay” time and the time of their life. Special occasions such as homecoming notwithstanding, most school dances are informal gatherings, yet kids will want to be a bit more dressed up than usual. At the same time, if your pre-teen wants to bust a move on the dance floor, they’ll want clothes that are comfy. Casual tops, T-shirts, blouses, skirts, and jeans are all acceptable wardrobe choices. Of course they’ll also want to wear comfortable kicks! The key is to give your young party animal a look their peers have never seen before. CookiesKids.com has a vast selection of stylish fashions that will make your pre-teen feel like the belle or beau of the ball.