This program boasts a balance between structured dance activities and freedom of expression through movement and music. Introducing basic choreography of Ballet, Jazz and Tap, we encourage the children to explore their own imaginations, telling stories through dance, song and music and showcasing their efforts in routines. 40 minutes duration.
1. Tidy Foot Placement
This is a fun introduction to ballet and jazz positions of the feet. We use our own unique language to teach students positions, such as ‘tidy toes’ (feet together) and ‘smiley feet’ (Ballet 1st). We also have a special furry friend named BB Bear who helps us learn the importance of locking our ankles when performing ‘tidy toes’ – a very important technique for safety during rises and tippy toes.
2. Fine Motor Skills
Students continue to work on the ‘pinchy fingers’ concept from the Pitter Patters program and also explore ballet hands and arms, such as creating a bubble (Ballet 1st arms) and popping the bubble (Ballet 2nd arms), all important skills for future dance, developing grace and fluidity in their movements.
3. Using Voices
Students are encouraged to sing along to nursery rhymes, with teachers challenging them to increase their volume week to week. Students are asked to contribute ideas to our imagination exercises and explore more advanced vocal exercises during music time.
We focus on tall backs and ‘Geoffrey Giraffe’ necks at the beginning of every exercise, regularly reminding students of posture and developing their muscle memory. This naturally aids balance when students tackle moves such as balancing on one leg and balancing props on heads, shoulders and backs.
5. Intro to Counting Beats (counts of 4)
The most common practice of this skill is when students and teacher count into an exercise 1,2,3 GO! It is further explored through our musical exercises, with skills such as tapping their prop on the floor four times to the beat and then stopping. Dances are almost always taught in counts of eight, therefore this is a vital skill for students’ ongoing dance experiences.
6. Creative Dance
Teachers encourage students to express themselves in class through their own movements, sounds and ideas. Musical statues at the end of class is a wonderful opportunity for students to experiment with their own moves and poses.
7. Group Dancing
Students are encouraged to hold hands in a circle, pack away obstacle course props as a team, share the props and generally join in with the group willingly. Students are further challenged in the group exercise when asked to start in a huddle and expand as a group, by travelling backwards into a large circle and then huddle once again.
8. Memory Recall
The consistent nature of our program supports natural memory of song lyrics, dance moves, starting positions and the process of collecting and packing away props. Teachers further challenge this skill by asking students questions throughout the class, about steps they have learned or what happens next.
9. Following Rhythms
Students are taught to follow the rhythms played by their teacher, in turn coaching them to follow actions and timing in their dancing. The elements of fast/slow are explored and further challenged when students are asked to transition from slow to fast gradually and vice versa.
10. Solo Dancing
Students are encouraged to perform small parts of the class on their own, to build their confidence and performance skills.