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9 Movies, Books, Apps & Shows for Kids Who Love to Dance

Every dance tells a story. And everything reviewed here — books, shows, movies, and apps alike — shares a story about dance for boys and girls.

By the Kids’ Media Experts at SmartFeed

One thing is certain: Dancing and media are ingrained in our culture. In the ’70s, everybody learned to disco, thanks to Saturday Night Fever. The movie Animal House reintroduced the dance-floor classic “Shout.” Music videos from Michael Jackson taught Gen Xers to break dance and moon walk. And today, kids learn dances from their favorite music videos such as “Watch me Whip (Nae Nae)” or from TV shows like “Dancing with the Stars.”

When your kids are in the mood for some dance-related media, here are some ideas for your playlist.  These tales range from an animated dancing mouse to real-life dance competitions and the challenging journeys some dancers have taken in pursuit of their dreams.

Books for Kids Who Love to Dance

Tallulah’s Tap Shoes
Ages 4+
Tallulah is really good at ballet. When she tries tap in summer camp, she’s insecure about being a beginner. Patience when trying new things is a great message in this story.




Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina
Ages 12+
At times sad, scary, and hopeful, this amazing story of an African orphan becoming a ballerina in New York is always inspiring. Her young life started in a war zone, so there are details not meant for younger or more sensitive readers.




An App for Kids Who Love to Dance

Toca Dance
Ages 5+
Creativity and activity come together nicely in this app. Choose your dancers, costumes, and music, and then make everyone move to the beat.


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Movies for Kids Who Love to Dance

Mad Hot Ballroom
Ages 8+
Fifth-grade New York students prepare to compete in a ballroom dancing competition in this terrific documentary. We see their confidence and self-respect grow as they learn.



First Position
Ages 9+
Boys and girls compete in this documentary that stars hard work and great desire.




A Ballerina’s Tale
Ages 9+
As a role model for young dancers, you can’t get much better than Misty Copeland. Her perseverance and hard work paid off, and she is an inspiration. This movie showcases her rise in the American ballet world, and it also offers a look behind the scenes of a major ballet company.




Billy Elliot
Ages 13+
A young boy discovers ballet in 1980s England. He is teased and told to stop, but the drive and desire to dance won’t go away. Be aware that there is strong language throughout this movie.





TV Shows for Kids Who Love to Dance

Yo Gabba Gabba!
Ages 2+
Life lessons are taught with a musical beat in this colorful show. Dancing and singing along with the characters promotes movement, as well as sharing, friendship, and good decision-making for the preschool crowd.


Angelina Ballerina: The Nutcracker Sweet
Ages 4+
A collection of episodes from the popular series, this title encourages friendship, all under the umbrella of ballet class and the friends made there.



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Indian Dance Class: Q&A With An Expert

What can your child expect when taking Indian dance classes? We talked to one San Francisco Bay Area expert to find out.

Bidisha Odissi

Indraadhanush Center for Excellence may have a long name, but it’s also carries a long list of achievements in the world of Indian dance. From Bollywood to classical dance forms, Bidisha Mohanty conducts workshops and lecture series, as well as regularly passing on her vision to her students that go on to perform in many events and competitions. Summer camp season is a great time of year to try out a new pastime, and in the San Francisco Bay Area, this dance center is well-equipped to welcome the beginner.

Bidisha recently provided with some answers to common questions parents may have when it comes to enrolling their kids in dance classes.

Q: Tell us more about your class philosophy.

A: Impart the appreciation of dance in our lives. Learning a dance routine brings about collaboration in spirit, discipline, respect, confidence.

Q: What surprises/delights the kids most about your class?

A: Kids always find my class very entertaining. They get to learn something new every time & in a fun way.

Q: What’s your happiest/ proudest moment as a teacher?

A: When I hear from my students and their parents about how they appear more confident and lively in their social lives. I have had this pleasure many, many times but I want to keep them coming.

Q: Which student milestone do you look forward to?

A: For a new student, it will be the first performance on a stage with an audience full of strangers. People start to stammer to speak a few words when asked to talk before an unknown audience, but these kids will dance for 5-8 minutes, which is pretty tough. For experienced students, in a particular dance discipline, it would be attainment of certifications to signify their proficiency at a certain level.

Q: What is one important question that parents should ask you before joining this kind of class?

A: They need to know that if the kids are taught in a fun way, it will encourage them to continue the dance form in the future. If the aim is to perform in upcoming performances or competitions; they need to ask about the involvement level of classes and rehearsals.

Q: Any tips or tricks for parents and students?

A: Have a light snack at least 45 mins before the class starts and keep yourself hydrated during the class. Practice your dance steps 2-3 times/week.
If your kids are interested in learning a form of dance that will teach them confidence, discipline and beauty, consider enrolling them at Indraadhanush Center for Excellence. With years of experience under her belt, Bidisha and her staff will happily cultivate your son or daughter into an accomplished dancer. Today it may be a simple summer camp session –- tomorrow perhaps a Bollywood audition!

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