Overcoming separation anxiety

Updated: Feb 6


While we offer many opportunities for you to see your child 'in action' such a parent veiwing week and the Live CCTV feed in lobby, CCDC classes are student only classes.

By keeping classes to students only we can ensure that:

- All students in the class can concentrate and focus on their teacher's instructions and directions

- There is one clear authority figure in the room

- Classes remain calm and under control at all times

- Your child effectively learns to take direction from someone other than his or her parents

- There is minimal disruption to class proceedings

- Children gain confidence and independence


It’s normal to want your child to be confident and comfortable in social situations, but this doesn’t come naturally to all children. This means that children who are slow to warm up need to practice social skills in small, manageable steps.

You can help your child practice and learn by giving him or her the chance to be around others, encouraging and praising ‘brave’ social behaviour, showing her how to act in social situations, and supporting but not over-comforting her in social situations.


Here are some tips to help toddlers and pre-schoolers with their first dance class (which may be their first time without you!)

  • Give your child time to feel comfortable. Spend time at the studios with your child before the separation. Your child will be less distressed if she’s left in a safe, familiar place with familiar people she trusts. You may wish to come along to the studios for a few weeks BEFORE starting classes just to get used to the new environment.

  • Let your child take something she loves from home, like a teddy bear, pillow or blanket. These objects will help your child feel safer, and you can gradually phase them out as she feels more settled in the new environment.

  • Take it slow. 5 - 10 minutes at a time in the class on their own is a wonderful start! Next week, aim for a little longer.

  • Tell us about any separation anxiety, and let us know about anything you’re doing to help your child. This way, we can also provide consistent support.

  • If your child is crying, please do not force her into the dance class. Wait until he or she has calmed down and is ready to try again.

  • Gently encourage your child to separate from you by giving her practice. It’s important to give her positive experiences of separations and reunions. Avoiding separations from your child can make the problem worse.

  • Avoid over-comforting your child. Over-comforting sends the message that you think this is a scary situation. This might accidentally reward your child’s shy behaviour.

  • Praise ‘brave’ behaviour like responding to others, using eye contact, or spending some time on their own in the class. Be specific about what your child has done.

  • Try to model confident social behaviour so your child can watch and learn from you. For example, when someone says hello to you, always say hello back.

  • Let your child know you’re confident about her ability to handle new social situations even if you’re feeling a bit worried she’ll get upset.

  • Speak to us! Let us know how you'd like to go about the transition and we will support you and your methods.


With just a little patience and perseverance every child will have a happy and positive experience transitioning to a classroom with their new teacher and their classmates. Little steps over several weeks can lead to huge success! The feeling of accomplishment and pride your child will have in herself once she is participating and loving dance, is priceless!

If you wish to talk to one of our experienced staff, please do not hesitate to get in touch.


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