Ballet classes for the very young
24th January 2017
Your toddler starts jumping about at home and babbling excitedly at the first strains of music blaring from the television, they then fling themselves around in complete abandonment thoroughly enraptured by the discovery of their own natural ability to dance. Much to every ones amusement at home and the enjoyment of watching your toddlers newfound craze you then decide to find a dance class that will hopefully fulfil your expectations.
So where do you begin looking for ballet classes for the young child?
Firstly what do you want from the ballet class? Just fun and a few games? There is nothing wrong in taking your child to a class that is games and playtime. There are plenty of entertaining classes of this kind which are full of fun and laughter. Our under 4 year old ballet classes are more traditional and based on the old ballet school style of years ago. It is has been updated with simple props and lively music, and a few imaginary ideas of my own and my sheer love of ballet. Nothing I love more than to run and dance with a lively class of excited babies, listening to them scream with excitement when we “chase the crocodile and run” and the fairies fills them with delight. There is so much scope for us teachers with the eager young minds and their love of make believe. I often find myself searching for new and interesting props for the baby dance class that I can incorporate them into the steps.
One very important issue is that young children love and need repetition, so there is no point in keep constantly changing the music and all the steps that they have learnt, as these young minds love to repeat what they have done. They often go home and try and practise the dance steps, what they have been taught, and often look forward to certain moves that they have mastered, the simpler the better. Children love familiarity and , it helps them to learn and gives them a comfortable feeling as well as the excitement that they are actually doing the steps right. I often have feedback from parents to say that their dancing tot has driven them mad all week, by keep asking what the day is and is it time to return to dancing for the next ballet class? Ballet for the very young needs to be engaging and at the same time be fun and fairly repetitive. Once, in my early teaching years when I had a class of toddlers for a session, I suddenly decided to go off the track and play different music, and a new dance. They looked at me as if I was mad, they were bewildered and appeared quite confused, as it was far removed from the usual class. I soon realised that teaching the very young requires a different approach altogether. It often means teachers having to carefully consider and plan their tiny tots dancing class right down to the last curtsey.
All baby ballet classes have different music, some of the classes are upbeat and vibrant, for First Ballerina’s I love to teach with classical ballet music, rather than the more modern tunes. I continue to search for new ideas and ways of keeping the toddlers ballet class interesting and exciting so that they will return time and time again. Hopefully they will move into the next stage ballet class pre primary, and eventually progress to the exam classes.