When I started dancing Zouk I never even thought about these questions. Children do not belong to a late-night dance establishment. At least not so in the culture where I live and function: A Scandinavian country like Sweden. Here the different ages are segregated in many aspects of life. Also, “noisy” is not considered ok. There are regulations against sound pollution, as to protect small children’s hearing. So there are many reasons why you don’t see a child tagging along on a dance floor, perhaps a teenager at its most.
So we have a physiological reason not to have children around as we dance. But what can the benefits be? The benefits of dance are generally known from using both your brain halves, to improving your health in general. Also for dance teachers, the limitations of the motoric development of children are the ground for setting the dance classes which should be appropriate to the child’s age.
When it comes to social dance, I was amazed to see at the last Mzouk Experience event in Palma de Mallorca 2022: Teenagers (13-15) on the dance floor, and kids as young as 9 years old, that tagged along with their parents, and actually could dance. Amazing. So, with no ear protection, the music was low enough to carry a normal conversation. And they stayed until the party was over at 4:00 am. Bewildering! But also, we must remember that in (Southern) Spain, kids are a more a part of adult life, they get to go to bed really late. They are used to noisy environments and are part of the party.
After witnessing the work of Juan Manuel Peña Moreno and his dance school in Jerez de la Frontera, I get to the conclusion that actually at any age. But then I am culturally biased from my Latin American side. But what is good culture but something to be spread? At least when it comes to bringing a little bit of the joy of a foreign lifestyle to your cold, dark, Scandinavian country. Can the kid stay up an extra hour and dance? I would go for it – as long as we have priceless, genuine family fun while going at it.