An introduction to dance through Tiny Tip Toes dance class

and Tip Toes Preschool Ballet

When should my child start dancing? 

The honest answer is - whenever your child is ready. 

 

The ability to dance develops in children before they can even walk or talk! Toddlers love to bounce around when they hear music and bringing them along to a dance class with a knowledgeable instructor will allow them the chance to reap the rewards of dance from an early age.

 

We tailor our Tiny Tip Toes Toddler and Parent classes for children aged 18 months to 2.5 years, with the opportunity for children to stay on longer if you feel that they are not quite ready for the structure of a Tip Toes Pre School ballet class. 

Every child develops at a different pace and sometimes they are just not quite ready to dance without the comfort and support of their adult.

We have created a syllabus that starts from Tiny Tip Toes for toddlers learning to dance with lots of fun movement with their adult and then progressing to our Tip Toes Preschool Ballet class where we still encourage the fun elements in dance with lots of story telling. This is the stepping stone for Preparatory level ballet class once your child starts school. By laying the foundations of dance from an early age, we find that our dancers are prepared for the structure of the classical ballet class or whatever style they may prefer to continue with.

 

Dance provides so many benefits with early childhood development, so it is worth understanding them and realising the long term gains for your child

 

Physical Development
Physical development is the most obvious benefit for your child. Dances uses a great range of motion that requires the child to use their whole body in a way that is unique from many other activities. Muscle strength is developed naturally along with body awareness, balance and coordination.

 

Cognitive Development
From a young age and whilst their verbal skills are still developing, children start to understand that movement can be used as a response to an idea or problem. In a dance class, the imagination is being used constantly in ways to respond physically to instruction. The various step patterns created throughout a dance or exercise are stimulating and boosting brain function, the memory and muscle memory.

 

Social awareness

We aim to provide a comfortable setting for your child to learn and with gentle guidance, they begin to understand the rules and boundaries of a dance class. We encourage our dancers to take turns and share, work in groups, support one another throughout the school not just within their class and peer group, understand spacial awareness, watch, listen and interact. The group dynamic in dance classes also challenges young ones to respect others as they learn to work together and understand that every single child is different and has their own strengths. The bond that can be formed in dance classes in the formative years can last a lifetime.

Emotional maturity and good mental health
Dance is a physical art form where children are can creatively express their emotions. It is also a wonderful and healthy way for emotional release. It is well documented that exercise releases feel good endorphins, but dance also connects to the emotional centres of the brain that allow us to display emotions through movement. 

Dancing takes perseverance and motivation which we see as key life skills, no matter what your child may grow up to be. Dancers will gradually grow in confidence as they progress and this will also evolve into other areas of their life.

 

Communication is key and we encourage all dancers to question ‘why?’. It is important for children to understand the benefits of technique and repetition. The work at the barre will lead to a body strong enough to leap high and pirouette, just as they love to imagine themselves doing!

 

 

Toddler Tip Toes dance time - 18 months - 2.5 years

 

Our goals - 

  • To create a love of physical activity from an early age and a positive connection between being fit and healthy to feeling great.

 

  • Spark creativity and imagination, as well as an early appreciation for performance and creative arts.

 

  • Providing a safe and comfortable space for children and adults to learn and dance together.

 

  • Most importantly to have fun whilst learning and exercising.

 

 

Tip Toes Preschool Ballet - 3 to 4 years

 

Our goals - 

  • Encourage the child to feel independent and comfortable enough to be in the class without their adult.

 

  • To develop from toddler movement to start to think about posture, poise and balance.

 

  • Introduction of different foot positions and ballet terms to create a base for classical ballet class.

 

  • Focus on different parts of the body moving independently and more pattern based exercises, which will set the seed for the structure of preparatory ballet class.

 

  • Gradually increase the length of an exercise, so that the child learns to become attentive and focused.

 

  • Introduce the idea that one movement leads to another and progresses - marching lifting the knees and pointing the toes, leads to skips with high knees.

 

  • Encourage the use of individual imagination, which will carry through to ‘Creative Improvisation’ in later grades.

 

  • Introduce national dance by using different types of music for during the class. This will create gentle introduction into the various national dance styles at higher grades.

 

  • Use of props for creativity and fun themes that will run throughout the school per half term.

Click here to see our Tiny Tip Toes and Tip Toes Preschool Ballet classes in our various venues

 

© 2019 Jane Coleman School of Dancing - Burwash, Robertsbridge, Stonegate East Sussex and Sandhurst Kent

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