I cannot count how many times a woman has told me, "I wish my mom had kept me in dance class. Maybe I wouldn't be so clumsy." Or the numerous men that tell me, "I wish my parents would have put me in a dance class when I was younger so I could move on the dance floor today."
The truth is, most adults were once enrolled in some type of creative movement/gymboree/dance class when they were younger, but somehow circumstances changed and they or their parents lost interest, they outgrew the program, moved away, et cetera. Now, I know I am a little biased because I eat, sleep, and breathe dance, but I truly believe that obtaining those skills at a young age has an amazingly positive impact on a child's development.
Through dance a child learns, among other things, balance, how to move through time and space, gains poise and patience, skills involving teamwork, flexibility, and learns to express themselves. And let us not forget that a weekly dance class gives them an outlet for all of that energy we adults envy!
If you are a parent, I encourage you to let your child experience a dance class! Many studios have a drop in or trial classes to allow you to sample before you commit your child to an entire session. An added benefit - you get to let your hair down for that hour your child is blissfully occupied ;-)
If you are a dance instructor, teaching the baby ballerinas will be the most fun you will have that week! Begin a Creative Movement class at your studio or sign up to teach the next session. This is your opportunity to be creative, silly, and instill what you are so passionate about into their eager little hearts. I love finding new ways to keep my baby ballerina classes fun, engaging, and pumped full of knowledge.
As we know, songs and activities always help with memorization of positions while having some fun. I picked up this poem from one of my first teaching jobs at the Carol Stream Park District. The kids love it, and it helps set some ground rules for ballet barre time.
Ballet Barre Promise:
I promise that I won't
Hang on you
Sit on you
Or treat you like a monkey
Because I am a Dancer
I promise to hold you softly and gently