Out of school extracurricular activities
By Delaney Rombough
Posted on January 24, 2022
There are many opportunities to get involved in extracurricular activities outside of school in your local community. Schools may not offer all extracurricular activities you want to participate in, but that’s not a problem. Many community centres and private organizations offer out-of-school extracurricular activities for young children, students, and adults.
Dance classes are a popular extracurricular activity among children and teenagers. Most cities have many private studios where you can take a wide range of classes such as ballet, jazz, hip hop, and more. Some studios may participate in competitions (usually in the spring), while others offer classes just for fun. Whether you join a competitive studio or not, you will likely have performance opportunities, such as a winter and/or spring recitals, where you can show off what you’ve been learning.
Most studios offer classes and programs for children ages 3 to 18+. Prices and types of classes vary from studio to studio. To find a studio in your area, do a quick Google search of dance studios in your city. When choosing a dance studio, it’s important to pick a location where you feel safe, comfortable, and supported, so it’s okay to shop around. Some studios may even offer a trial class or two, to give you a feel for the studio.
Youth who are passionate about the performing arts may want to get involved in community or local theatre. Most major cities have one or more theatre companies, where performers of all ages and abilities can participate. Community theatre shows are often put on by local residents and are non-profit organizations. Community theatres generally put on three or four shows per year.
Auditions are usually open to anyone regardless of experience. If you don’t get a lead role, that doesn’t mean you can’t participate in the show—you’ll likely be given a role in the ensemble, which is still lots of fun. If you aren’t a performer, there may be other opportunities to participate such as doing costume or set design, or being part of the technical crew. Community theatre companies often rehearse for a couple of hours in the evening for one or two days a week or on weekends. You should be aware that rehearsal times may increase as the opening night of the show approaches.
Organized competitive sports
Most cities across Canada have organized competitive sports clubs and programs for children of all ages. There are programs for a wide variety of sports such as soccer, basketball, baseball, volleyball, hockey, gymnastics, and many more. Sports programs may be offered through local community centres or private organizations.
There are often varying levels of competitiveness that you can participate in. For example, there are recreational sports clubs, often called house league, where you play against teams just for fun once or twice a week. There are also city teams, or rep teams, that are more intense when it comes to practice and game times and often require travelling between cities for games on the weekends.
Swimming is considered an essential life skill in Canada. Children as young as six months old can enroll in swimming lessons. These lessons teach children not only how to swim, but also how to be safe, confident, and comfortable in the water. Swimming lessons are often delivered at local community centres, and lessons are taught by certified lifeguards.
If you really enjoy swimming, you might consider becoming a lifeguard yourself. Learning to swim can make sure you are confident and safe in and around the water, so you can enjoy activities such as going to the beach, pool parties, and going to waterparks. Check out your local community centre for more information about swimming lessons near you.
Many children and teenagers in Canada play a musical instrument. Students get music lessons at school, but may not start playing an instrument at school until around Grade 7 or later. Instead, many teenagers learn an instrument outside of school. Some of the most popular instruments and music lessons that youth participate in are piano, guitar, drums, violin, and vocal lessons.
There are many private organizations and individuals that offer music lessons throughout Canada. Many of them have programs for youth starting as young as five or six years old and offer either private or group lessons. To find music lessons in your area, do a quick Google search.
Extracurricular activities are a great way to learn new skills and hobbies, make new friends, and do something fun. When choosing what extracurriculars to be involved in it’s also important to keep in mind the cost, time commitment, and the environment. You want to make sure you’re safe and supported while learning new things.