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Dance Fever

Susie Brown's not the chattiest kid -- even around family. But turn on some music and the 14-month-old becomes the belle of the ball. "She wiggles her bottom and spins in circles," says her mom, Patti, of Beachwood, NJ. "Any song with a bouncy tune has her just bopping away."

* Most babies love to clap and sway to music. But by the time your toddler's able to walk, around 12 to 14 months, he'll have enough control over his body to shake it to the beat, says Maureen O'Brien, director of parenting and child development for The First Years, Inc. "It's a way for him to show off a little," O'Brien adds.

* Whether he's simply kicking his legs robot style or doing an all-body boogie, dancing can also be a sweet window onto your child's world. A happy dance with lots of clapping could signal he's pleased about something. He may also be getting in a little boogie time for some attention -- it's a surefire way to get a few laughs out of anyone who's watching. Or he could be imitating you, when you're getting into the rhythm.

* Toddlers especially love a willing partner, so go ahead and twist and shout yourself silly with your child. You both might pick up a few new moves.