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Prepare Your Tween for a Middle School Dance


Boy and girl (10-13) dancing at school dance. side view
Nivek Neslo/Taxi/Getty Images
Attending middle school has its perks, and going to the school dance is one of them. Many middle schools host school dances, some may even have several over the course of the school year. The school dance is a milestone for your child. Make sure he or she enjoys the event by preparing ahead of time. Here's what your tween should know about his or her school dance.

The School Dance - What You Should Know

  • Know the Dance Theme: Most school dances have themes or are held to celebrate a holiday or a season, such as Homecoming, Valentine's Day, or Spring. Your child needs to know what the theme of the dance is all about, in order to prepare for the big event.
  • There Might be a Fee: Many schools have to charge a nominal fee in order to pay for the expense of the dance. A fee of $10 per student is fair to expect. Tickets will usually go on sale a week or two before the dance, and they could sell out, so it's important that your child buy his ticket early, just to be safe. Your child's ticket should cover admittance to the dance, as well as refreshments, like punch and cookies. But don't be surprised if he needs a little extra the night of the dance to pay for souvenirs or extra goodies.
  • Who Gets to Go?:Your child's middle school dance may be open to the entire school, or it might be specific to one grade. These are details your tween can easily learn at school or by asking friends. Small schools may invite students from a neighboring school to the dance, in order to share costs and give the children a chance to make new friends and mingle with children from other schools.
  • Where will The Dance Be?: Most middle school dances are held at school, either in the cafeteria or the gym. A committee will often decorate for the event, or the school may ask for student volunteers to help set-up for the dance.
  • Clothes are Important: Tweens can be super self-conscious about their appearance, and your child may even be anxious about what to wear to the school dance. Your preteen should find out if the event is semi-formal, formal, or informal. For a formal dance, your child should wear a suit or a gown. For a semi-formal dance, your tween would be fine in a jacket and tie, or a knee-length dress. Casual dances are the easiest to dress for: jeans and a clean shirt or blouse will usually satisfy the dress code.

It's important your child know the dance dress code. Some schools are very strict about what is and is not appropriate, and it would be embarrassing for your child if he or she were sent home because of a dress-code infraction.

Be sure your tween knows what he or she is wearing ahead of time, and be sure the clothes are clean a few days before the dance. If it's been awhile since your child tried on his or her clothes or shoes, it might be worth your time to make sure they still fit. If they don't, make sure you have plenty of time to shop for something special that works within your budget.

  • What About Dancing?: Dancing in front of peers can be stressful for kids, so help your tween prepare. Ask what kind of music will be played, and check out current dance moves on YouTube or another website. It might even be fun to allow your child to gather a few friends together to practice.
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