My four kids call me a strict mom as they get limited screen time every week but when I discover a really good free online show or a resource that educates my kids and helps them stay active I indulge them in a little bit of extra screen time. Finding good quality free online dance lessons for kids that actually allow for learning to occur rather than idle observation is hard, but luckily we’ve done all the hard work for you.
My kids and I think the best free online dance classes, lessons, tutorials, training, shows and resources for school-aged kids are (in no particular order):
- Kidz Bop;
- Go Noodle;
- Dance Parent 101;
- Cosmic Kids Yoga;
- Just Dance;
- Saskia’s Dansschool
- Haschak Sisters
Not sure which one to choose? Are you more interested in knowing which one will actually teach your child to dance or which will hold your child’s attention long enough for you to drink a hot coffee or prep dinner? Read on for our review of each, which age group we think the resource is best for and whether it is a dance along or instructional tutorial.
Being free – not many of the following resources are actual dance lessons in the traditional sense. There are online dance programs and DVDs you can order and download, but you have to pay for those and we will have an article on them here soon. And if you are after links and videos for a preschooler or toddler we have you covered in our article Best Free Online Dance Classes and Tutorials for Preschoolers and Toddlers which you will open up for you in a new tab to view later.
Click here to access a curated list of Kidz Bop Tutorial Dance videos!
Kidz Bop is a great YouTube channel with plenty of dance along videos and a few dance tutorials to popular music – just search ‘dance along’ or ‘tutorial’ within their channel and you will get a good range of lessons. A few videos are tutorials in the sense that each step is broken down and taught before being performed, but others are dance along and easy enough for kids to just follow learn through repetition.
In the about section on their Youtube page, they write ‘in addition to singing on KIDZ BOP releases, these young performers star in national KIDZ BOP TV commercials and music videos, create kid-friendly content for their fans on YouTube and host KIDZ BOP Radio on SiriusXM (Channel 77).’
What is great about these lessons is that they are taught by kids for kids and as a parent, I feel I can confidently allow my children to watch and follow without my constant monitoring to make sure what they are seeing and learning is appropriate for their age. It also motivates my kids to get up and dance and promotes a growth mindset because if those kids can do it, why can’t I and maybe I can’t do it yet, but when I am a bit older like those kids I will be able to do it too!
Best for all school kids 5 – 15
Supervision: Put it on and walk out
Method of Instruction: Follow Along and some instructional tutorials
Go Noodle is a treasure trove of online movement and mindfulness videos aimed at kids. They have a guided dancing playlist on YouTube that currently includes 60 videos. Go Noodle also offers a lot of extra free content on its website and also has a go noodle plus plan for those interested in some educational extras.
Their YouTube About profile actually states that 3 out of 4 schools in the US use Go Noodle for Brain Breaks and to get the wiggles and jiggles out when needed. They are proud to describe their content as turning screen time into active time and as being able to allow the whole family to exercise together.
My older kids come home regularly raving about the fun movement lessons they are doing at school. Go Noodle is a lot of fun and I find myself getting involved in some of the dances which my kids love. You should try out their Moose Tube videos which are silly and a lot of fun to do.
Best for kids aged 3-15
Supervision: Put on and walk out (if you can as they are a lot of fun to do!)
Method of Instruction: Follow Along Tutorials
Dance Parent 101
Click here to go straight to a playlist on Youtube of dance classes by Dance Parent 101. Don’t forget to subscribe to get notifications as the library is growing!
As the Creative Director of Dance Parent 101 I decided to put my love of teaching and experience as a professional dancer and dance teacher as well as a primary school teacher and now mum to 4 kids (who you get to see in the videos) into action and have created a series of free online dance and movement classes for kids. Originally I intended the lessons to be for younger children, but when I tested the videos on my own kids I found even my 10-year-old enjoyed dancing along to them!
The lessons involve a warm-up and cool down and in between, I explore creative dance and movement and even play a game at the end to go over what we have learned.
The channel will be slowly building a library of lessons so if your kids enjoy the short class make sure you subscribe to the channel so you can be notified when the next one becomes available!
These lessons are similar to what I would teach during a creative arts dance class at a school or in an educational classroom setting. I provide learning outcomes and have a dedicated post on this site that provides some extra educational ideas in different subject areas such as maths, science & technology and literacy for learning that can be explored from each online dance class!
Best for kids aged 2-12
Supervision: Put on and walk out, but joining in is fun as well!
Method of Instruction: Instructional Tutorials
Cosmic Kids Yoga
Click here to access a curated list of Cosmic Kids videos just like this!
So not technically a dance lesson but a form of exercise many dancers do….
Jaime from Cosmic Kids Yoga takes your child through a series of yoga poses and movements as she retells well-known stories. There is a vast library of videos and playlists with instructional videos on the correct technique for various poses being around two minutes in length compared to the yoga stories which are a perfect half hour or more each!
I have found that the movements change quite rapidly which keeps it interesting for older children but can be hard for younger children to follow. Although possibly a bit over the top for the adult eye, the colorful backgrounds create engaging viewing for your child. I do find I need to remind my kids to sometimes keep up and follow along because they get distracted by the story being told. That being said they are generally engaged with the yoga lesson until the end letting me get dinner prepped and they exert some energy whilst doing so.
Best for kids aged 12 and under.
Supervision: Put it on and walk out for the stories (you may have to remind younger children to keep following the movement and not just sit and watch) but if you are watching the instructional tutorials it’s a good idea to stay with your child and help them achieve the right body positions.
Method of Instruction: Follow along and short instructional tutorials.
Just Dance is a console game for PlayStation, Wii, etc. It uses a sensor to determine whether your kid is copying the dancers to the beat of the music and moving their body in the general same directions as dancers on your screen. A fun free option is to go to the Just Dance YouTube channel and copy and follow along without the gaming aspect.
For a full review head to our Just Dance Resource Page which will open up in a new window for you. We bought Just Dance 2020 and four move controllers as last year’s Christmas present (we also got the PlayStation VR bundle which comes with the camera) and realized you can also buy more songs online!
Just a word of warning – Just Dance is based on using popular music and dance moves and although I have never felt the moves or music my children are copying and dancing to are too adult, what is available online is not necessarily G rated – so parental discretion is needed. Different families will have different opinions on what is appropriate for their children, so it is up to you whether you allow this free resource to be accessed in your house. In saying this if you bought the game for your console, Just Dance 2020 has a kids login and section with more kid-friendly material. I did find this other Just Dance Kids channel on YouTube but it isn’t official so it could be taken down at any time.
Best for school kids 8 & up
Supervision: Parental Discretion may be needed as the Just Dance material available for free on YouTube is not specifically made for children.
Method of Instruction: Follow Along Tutorials.
Saskia’s Dansschool is exactly that – Saskia’s Dance School in which the teacher of the school, Saskia films her students performing simple warm ups and dance routines and uploads them to YouTube for her students and other kids to follow along. They have put together a kid’s and teens’ easy dance videos playlist comprised of a good amount of three to five minute follow along dance routines.
I found that as my daughter dances she finds it easy to follow most of what the kids are doing in the videos and with repetition of each one gets better every time. As these videos are from a real dance school it gives children who may not be able to attend classes a view into what they might expect to learn if they did.
Best for school aged kids
Supervision: put it on and walk away
Method of Instruction: Follow Along dance.
If you haven’t heard of them, the Haschak Sisters are four singing and dancing sisters ranging in age from 13-18 and their content really appeals to young girls, tweens and teens. Their songs are catchy and they have a YouTube following of over 6 million subscribers!
My 9-year-old daughter loves the Haschak Sisters and their music, so it was fantastic when we found some actual dance tutorials where they break down the steps from their film clips and teach them to you. As their videos were spread over two different channels there own and the company that produces their records, I created this playlist for you on our DanceParent101 YouTube Channel.
Best for school aged kids
Supervision: Your child needs to be able pause, replay etc otherwise you will be needed.
Method of Instruction: Instructional Tutorials
A Reminder About Ads and Channel Jumping in Free Resources
For some of the following resources, we might tell you we feel it is the type of program you can put on in your lounge room and then walk out to finish your laundry, make dinner or sit down and have a break yourself. We just want to remind you that YouTube and most other free media platforms in order to provide you with a free service employ the use of ads to generate an income. Before most videos even when using the Kids YouTube App, an advertisement will appear. Therefore unless you are a premium subscriber to a service entitling you to an ad-free service I would advise you to always be in viewing and hearing distance of what your child is seeing so you are aware of what they are being exposed to.
Secondly even if using Kids YouTube, if your child is viewing a dance lesson or show on a touch screen it is always a good idea to stay close by as kids tend to accidentally and on purpose tap the screen propelling them into different content that you might not want them seeing. This can happen involuntarily too like YouTube, for example, may present your child with a whole heap of related content to watch next, but sometimes YouTube gets it wrong – something we found out the hard way!
We’d love to hear from you…
Comment and tell us if you have tried any of these dance tutorials and lessons with your kids or let us know if you have any more to add we would love to have your input!