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Why Toddlers Love to Dance

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

By the time your toddler's able to walk, around 12 to 14 months, she'll have enough control over her body to shake it to the beat, says Maureen O'Brien, Ph.D., founder of, a child-development website. "It's a way for her to show off a little," O'Brien adds.

Dancing can also be a sweet window into your child's world. A happy dance with lots of clapping could signal she's pleased. She may also be angling for attention -- it's a surefire way to get a few laughs -- or imitating you when you're getting into the rhythm. Toddlers especially love a partner, so go ahead and twist and shout. You both might pick up a few new moves.