Your child will love dancing

Physical benefits

There are the many clear benefits of studying dance; reduced obesity risk, it is a fun way to exercise, maintain or gain a healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and importantly helping to maintain a balanced lifestyle.

There is clinically significant evidence that children who participate actively in the performing arts (dance and theatre arts) spend less time sitting in front of a computer screen playing games and therefore are at less of a risk of developing health problems. Children who spend more than two hours a day on screen related pastimes are at a high risk of developing health issues, such as obesity.

Creativity is developed

Whilst dance is a good source of fun exercise for young children and a way to train physically for older children and teenagers, it is also a creative outlet. It is part of a balanced lifestyle – exercise and movement is important, and encouraged good nutrition, so is the chance to release creativity for the development of healthy children. Creativity is a key life skills they will learn.

Mental well being and confidence

Dancing can make a person (of any age) feel physically refreshed and improve their mood. This goes a long way to help prevent and also tackle serious issues including anxiety and depression.  As fun as dancing in our bedrooms is, dancing with a team or group dancing is a tool to release daily stress, a distraction from everyday worries and an outlet for imagination and emotion. A chance to switch off from school and use our energy in a useful and creative way.

Physical Benefits

It’s not just adults that need to be concerned about their fitness and physical wellbeing. Dance has enormous benefits such as helping children develop a greater range of movement whilst developing the ability to work within different spaces. They learn to interpret the effect their movement has on the world around them. Dancing also improves a child’s co-ordination, especially at a time when they are rapidly developing in an ever-changing and evolving environment. Good co-ordination is vital in developing skills learned in other parts of life, such as learning to ride a bike and learning how to multitask successfully. Dance and movement patterns also develop kinaesthetic memory. It also develops strength and endurance from an early age. This creates a solid platform for the child’s physical development and level of fitness.

Young children are naturally active, however dancing makes use of more of these muscles and in turn develops the use of their bodies fully. Through the process of learning movement, children become more aware of their bodies and what they are capable of. They develop an understanding of what each muscle and limb can do; also building up the courage to experiment with movement and to push themselves to see what they can achieve with their own bodies. This personal sense of adventure is an important life trait for children to develop and a skill they can apply in all aspects of life. It contributes to the development of a child’s confidence and bravery, and encourages them to search for new challenges to conquer.

Social development

Learning to socialise with others from a young age is a vital part of a child’s cognitive development. The ability to express emotion comfortably in front of others shows mental maturity and learning to do so through movement and dance provides a safe gateway for young children to explore. Performing arts activities bring together children from a variety of backgrounds and personalities; creating an environment outside of the habitat a child is accustomed to. Children are forced to learn to adapt and communicate in new ways. By navigating this new environment through creativity, children learn to build trust and effective relationships.

Working Together

Being part of a group activity, such as learning a dance routine, promotes the importance of teamwork and develops the ability to work successfully in a group environment. The process also helps a child learn patience, listening and leadership skills as they start to help each other with learning and practicing the steps. They also learn to accept vulnerability; that it is okay not to be able to do everything first time and that you should feel confident enough to ask for help, either from the teacher or from another student.

Communication Skills

Nonverbal communication represents two thirds of all communication. It’s important for young children to understand that it is possible to portray a message both verbally and with the correct body signals and also to be able to interpret these signals from other people. The study of dance and movement can help a child develop an understanding of their own body language as well as others. Whilst it is relatively simple to express without words straightforward emotions such as ‘happy’ and ‘sad’, the study of dance can teach a child how to express physically more complex emotions and how to read and react when someone else is physically emoting.

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Lyrical and Contemporary

Following choreography and developing precise technique is important as a dancer, but so is being expressive and using elements from around the dance world to create pieces that reflect feelings, emotions and ideas

What is lyrical and contemporary?

Lyrical dance is a very emotive form of dance. Dancers learn routines to music that allows them to express themselves and emotions.

Contemporary dance, combines the strong and controlled legwork of ballet with modern dance’s stress on the torso, and also employs contract-release, floor word, fall and recovery, and improvisation characteristic of modern dance. Unpredictable changes in rhythm, speed, and direction are often used, as well. It sometimes also incorporates elements of non-western dance cultures

What are the benefits of this class?

This is a fun and intense class and develops a dancers performance skills. It also develops their improvisation and their own choreography skills. It is about using your wide range of dance knowledge, experience and ideas to create pieces, movements and routines that reflect how you hear the music.

What do I need for this class

Our school leotard is encouraged, with jazz pants or shorts, our school t-shirt or vest (or similar) can be worn. Bare feet for this class, hair to be tied up and no jewellery to be worn. As always to start with – leggings and t-shirt is fine.

We sometimes will use props or items to create around or use – such as chairs, scarfs, hoops, so having an open mind and bringing new ideas is welcome

Come and join our classes – Wednesdays at 5:15 – it’s an hour long to allow time for thought, creativity and developing ideas – so a drink is recommended. For more information on our class, or to enroll please fill in our contact us form or call 07969125975

Tap and Theatre

Mondays focus on theatre branch classes and look at classes to develop technique and dance skills, Thursdays focus on the performance and theatrical side

What is tap and theatre craft?

This is an hour combination class in which dancers look at the technique of theatre craft and tap dancing. Which are often seen together in musicals and on stage.

In theatre craft, dancers study the technique needed for the theatre shows, musicals and pantomimes. In tap, dancers look at rhythms and footwork. Both also include performance elements.

We look to musicals old and new – from Singin’ in the Rain and Oklahoma to modern Wicked and Lion King. It’s about creating performances for the stage and to tell a story

How is the class structured

Generally 40 minutes will be dedicated to theatre and 20 to tap – this is obviously dependent on many factors including show planning, assessments and preparation

Theatre has several exercised designed to warm up and condition the body as a whole and these will start our class, followed by technique and combos and then choreography time. Tap will include similar style with warms ups and drills, then small combos and then choreography.

What is needed for this class?

Dancers will require tap shoes for this class – please contact us to order a pair. We understand that you may wish to give it a couple of weeks before investing – technique can be practiced with socks on. Tap shoes will cost approximately £22-30 including a set of heel taps

Generally our school leotard should be worn with jazz pants/shorts over the top. Theatre craft would be best performed with ballet shoes. As always – leggings and a vest are perfectly acceptable for the first few classes

Hair should be tied back and no jewellery to be worn.

Dancers are given the opportunity to take part in I.D.T.A grade examinations to show their progression. This is a wonderful class to compliment our Youth Theatre programme – for information on multi class discounts, sibling discounts or enrollment please just fill in our contact form, email leanne@reactdance.co.uk or call 07969125975

Benefits of Youth Theatre

So far we have looked at our dance classes – what benefits dance offers physically, emotionally, and mentally – and I’m sure you’ll agree – the benefits are massive.

Our youth theatre programme – it offers no less, but adds to the ways the arts benefits children and young people.

Safe spaces

Mixing drama, singing, dance – it is a safe space to try out new things, to explore issues through these mediums. It allows them to be spontaneous and take risks – to test their emotional and physical boundaries.

The arts is about personal expression – and youth theatre allows them to develop something to showcase this – without being explicit or being about them. They can create a character or storyline to perform through.

Broadened social skills

We know how beneficial dance is in general to confidence but working in a youth theatre team – where you are part of a group – means they develop skills such as tolerance of others ideas – even when they don’t agree. They improve their understanding of others and their situations as they express their ideas. They develop friendships and understand better the concepts of love, hate, loneliness. It builds community within and helps them work better in groups.

Develop artistic expression

The arts is all encompassing – dance, drams, singing – so many ways and mediums to express ideas, thoughts, feelings. Not only does it help them but develops their appreciation for those who work in this field – both on stage or camera and behind!

 

Youth theatre is a fantastic way for children to be themselves, be creative, be unique, be part of a community – our session runs on Thursdays at 4pm at Church of the Ascension for all over 6 years. Check out more information here and contact us for more information or to book a place

For our younger dancers – we have classes Monday and Wednesday at 3:45pm or our preschool programme information can be found here.

 

Kenton Youth Theatre

This is a special programme combining dance (in various forms), drama and singing to prepare students for performing on stage. So it is a little different to our standard classes

What is Youth Theatre and what does it involve?

The dance programme focuses on the routines and choreography. It is recommended that our students take ballet, and ideally tap and theatre also to compliment this class in terms of developing their technique. Routines are designed to fit in to the story line of the theatre project of the term and will involve mixing with singing sections and drama.

Our drama offering is designed to develop their scripted performances, as well as improvisation skills. Again the programme will fit into the theatre project of the term.

The singing work will involve techniques for singing in chorus, for movement and singing, as well as building general confidence as a singer.

How is the class structured?

This class is 2 hour 15 minutes. Time is split between the 3 disciplines and will focus on certain aspects of performance. As projects start there will be more planning and preparation time in drama – such as script writing and improvisation activities. Singing will focus on learning the words and practicing performance styles. Time is also spent learning about performing – the stage, the wings, prop management – all essentials for any theatre performer

What is needed?

It is recommended a drink and a small snack is brought along should this be needed (fruit/vegetable snack perhaps). Water will be available.

Students will need our school leotard and jazz shoes for this class and may wear jazz pants, or shorts, our school vest or t-shirt (not stage blacks) over the top. A jacket can be worn for the drama/singing elements. To start with – leggings and t-shirt are perfectly fine!

No jewellery and hair should be tied back. A notebook will be very useful to jot ideas and script plans to look at too.

This is a performance based group. As mentioned the technique is not a huge focus – should you have any questions about the best class to compliment this – please do get in touch! Monday classes – ballet and tap and theatre would work great and we have a multi class discount so don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Freestyle and Jazz

Our Freestyle and Jazz classes to run on a Wednesday mix two disciplines to allow our students to explore their expression and musicality

What is freestyle?

Freestyle is a modern, expressive and varied dance style, still a popular form of dance in the UK today. It involves runs, spins, kicks and leaps, as well as many other diverse steps and movements with lots of arm and hand actions.

The music can be fast and rhythmic or slow and sensuous, allowing dancers of all ages to use freedom of expression to enhance their style.

What is jazz?

Modern Jazz is fun. You will learn to develop many different movements reaching to a broad choice of varying rhythms and musical styles. Classes are structured to begin to prepare the physical strength and flexibility required to demonstrate emotion through interpretation of any musical genre.

One minute you may be dancing to the rhythm of a drum, the next to a funky jazz style. You may explore contrast between expansion and relaxation or learn to isolate in a slick stylish mood. Whatever the atmosphere of the class, it will be a wonderful opportunity to react and interact with other members and really dance to express your feelings.

Why take this class?

Both disciplines work well together as both can involve a lot of dramatic moves, as well as slower steps. There is a great mix of rhythms and using some of the technique of modern jazz we can develop our freestyle in much greater ways

Jazz adds a technique element – focusing on developing strong isolation and the traditional strength and flexibility work with the more explosive style found in freestyle

How is this class structured?

Freestyle and jazz involves quite a fast paced warm up as there is a lot of flexibility required in some of the moves. We work on improving stamina and then strength through some jazz technique and flexibility work – especially working our split variations and back bends.

Corner work involves steps and combinations traveling across the floor in small groups or pairs so we can see the movements and style.

Routines are developed next – both shorter step based and then group routines. For shows we start to develop group choreography, for exams we work on examination style routines.

Improv time is important in that it allows children to develop their musicality and rhythmic expression – solo work as well as team work is key here.

What to wear and what to bring?

Ideally all students will eventually have our school leotard (Which is needed for performances and assessments) and for this class it is paired with jazz pants or warm up shorts.

To start – leggings and a form fitting vest top is perfect.

Always bring a drink where possible as this class is hard work! A snack for afterwards as well is also suggested

Classes will run on Wednesdays – £25.00 per month (multi class and sibling discounts will apply) and the ages listed are suggestions. Please just drop us a line for more information – leanne@reactdance.co.uk or call or text 07969 125 975

Ballet classes

As we prepare for our new term – we’ll be sharing a new blog each Tuesday about what each of our classes involve, what you’ll need and what we’ll be doing

What is ballet?

Ballet is a wonderful form of dance that offers so much to all dancers. It is a classical style of expressive movement has something to offer for everyone – all ages and eventual dance dreams.Whether they look to take ballet just for pleasure, or a student has the goal of a career as a dancer and is more serious-minded, everyone who takes a class can benefit. Ballet dates back to the 17th century and the conventional steps, grace and fluidity of movement are still found in Ballet today. Choreographers have been influenced by composers through the ages.Ballet has a technique which is the foundation of all dance.

Why take ballet?

Ballet has so many benefits for dancers of all ages. It is a more disciplined form of dance and classes have more structure to them than other forms of dance.

  • Discipline is developed through the focus on structure and developing good technique
  • Being prepared to take class in correct uniform/dancewear and with the appropriate appearance (no jewellery, hair back ideally in a bun, shoes, tights and leotard worn)
  • Patience is learned as the steps, exercises and moves require a great deal of practice
  • Fitness is improved in terms of strength, stamina, and flexibility – beneficial to all forms of dance

How are classes structured?

Classes start with exercises – at the barre and in the centre to develop skills, focus on technique and warm up.

Movement exercises are next looking at steps then creating combinations to practice.

We spend a little time on a focus point each class – this could be a small exercise or a combination of steps.

Choreographed routines are then taught – be they one off routines around our focus or working towards a performance or exam.

Improvisation or free expressive movement – allowing students to listen and learn how to interpret the movement within the ballet framework

All classes finish with the curtsy or bow – a little choreography is provided and the hard work celebrated

What to wear and what to bring.

We will have a school leotard that all students we’d love to wear for shows, performances and are suitable should they decide to take exams.

Ballet requires form fitting clothing to allow us to see the full body and its lines and movement.

Ideally:

  • School leotard
  • Ballet tights
  • Ballet shoes
  • Hair in a bun or at least up and off the face
  • Optional – ballet skirt and ballet cardigan

If you are just joining us – any leotard is ok, as is leggings and a form fitting vest top.

Our uniform order will be placed on September 21st – allowing you time to try our classes and ensure they are happy. Dance wear is priced based on size – Leotards will be between £12 and £20, ballet shoes from £11, ballet tights from £9.

We also recommend they bring a drink with them and perhaps a snack for after class. A notebook is also handy to note down anything they need to remember or practice.

We can’t wait to welcome you along – Ballet runs Mondays at Ascension Kenton – £25 per month (or we offer multi class and family discounts – simple email for more information leanne@reactdance.co.uk or call 07969125975)

 

Welcome to React Dance Academy

We are so excited to welcome you to our Dance Academy website! And would love for you to get in touch with us to find out more about joining us in September.

For those who have followed the journey with us – we are excited to be moving on from our dance clubs to our IDTA syllabus and separate disciplined dance tuition.React Dance Academy kenton newcastle childrens dance classes ballet, tap, theatre, jazz, freestyle, youth theatreReact Dance Academy

We will offer a wide range of classes working towards a minimum of 2 performances per year and yearly examinations with the IDTA. Both of these are optional and your child can still enjoy our classes without taking exams or being part of our show.

However, we believe in helping children gain confidence, and students become confident performers so we’d love all our students to take part.

Our 2017-18 plans

September we will love to welcome our new enrollments and for the first part of the term we will work on getting our basic technique right. After our half term workshops we will start preparation for our Christmas Showcase – 2 shows on 16th December 2017

We will spend our Spring term really working on our dance skills and (should children wish) preparing for examinations. This means we will also host a medal presentation and announce our scholarship award winners

After our Easter Dance Camps, we will be heading towards our Summer Showcase – this term is about creativity and choreography so there will be a focus on learning new combinations, improvisation, working as a solo, duet, and team to create some fun pieces for our Summer show

Summer we will host a minimum of 2 dance camps and several workshops

React Dance Academy kenton newcastle childrens dance classes ballet, tap, theatre, jazz, freestyle, youth theatre

Helping dancers be the best

Regular attendance is key, as is practicing at home to improve and develop as a dancer. As mentioned on our site we expect (after your trial) that payments are made on the 1st of each month for that months classes – we have worked out the cost over a year (September to July) and divided it so it is an easy amount to budget each month.

As shows and examinations are optional extras – fees for these will be set out at the start of each term.

We also will have a dress code for classes – each class will have its own requirements and will be provided to you on enrollment or you can see them on our website. We have a uniform order service for you to buy their leotards, shoes, etc. Appropriate wear is important for safety and to allow them to dance the best they can – without restriction.

React Dance Academy kenton newcastle childrens dance classes ballet, tap, theatre, jazz, freestyle, youth theatre

React Dancers work hard and have fun

We can’t wait to help your child be the best dancer they can be and to enjoy their sessions with us each week. We hope you encourage them to practice at home, for our younger ones to come to the lesson prepared and our older ones to support them in getting ready for class.

We are always here to talk, answer questions, support and guide you as a parent of one of our dancers. Class time is busy but you can call, email or text at any time and we will get back as soon as we can if we aren’t available there an then

A bright future

We look forward to your support as we build up our dance academy, as we welcome more children, as we see them develop. We are exciting to offer more and can’t wait for you to see how much they will have learned at Christmas

Top tips for turns

Getting your turns or spins or pirouettes right can take lots of practice – you need to work on these basic turns a lot which will DEFINITELY help you improve the more complicated turns.

Here are our top tips for terrific turns

  1. Posture – keep lifted up. Engage your core or ‘use your tummy muscles’ so you are feeling tall and upright and strong
  2. Every turn is a balance – practice the balance until you can hold it strong without wobbles – be it in 2nd, 1st, one foot or two
  3. SPOT – focus on where you are going and make your head the last part of your body to turn. DON’T look at the floor – if you do that’s where you’ll end up!
  4. Push into the floor enough to move the turn but not too much that you move more than you should – this takes practice to get the right push
  5. Strong feet means its easier to turn – work on your feet – toes, rises, ankles, alignment so that when you turn your body is fully in line and avoid any wobbles or injuries
  6. Decide to finish your turn – don’t fall out of it, decide to end the single or the double with a clean movment
  7. Visualise yourself – imagine yourself doing the turn perfectly over and over again, and keep this in mind every time you do one!

Let us know what you find hardest about practicing your turns

Understanding …. tap dance

Tap dance is a type of dance, in modern terms, that is performed wearing shoes fitted with metal taps and involves the rhythmical tapping of toes and heels, and sometimes quite complex foot work.

There are two main forms – jazz or rhythmical and Broadway. Rhythmical tap focuses on musicality and sometimes had softer shoes, and made use of the noises generates with slides and even used sand on stage to emphasise this. Broadway tap is probably the more familiar – and focuses on the dance element, as seen in musical theatre.

It’s a fusion style of dance with its history and roots going into African Tribal Dance as well as English, Scottish, and Irish Clog dancing. In the mid 20th Century dancers brought their own elements into this form of dance. Fred Astaire for example combined tap with ballroom, whereas Gene Kelly introduced elements of ballet to his tap.

Tap dance makes use of syncopation – the displacement of beats where a strong beat becomes weak in a tap, and vis-a-versa. It also usually starts on the 8th count.

Examples of tap can be seen in Happy Feet, Singin’ in the Rain, 42nd Street, Stomp, as well as more modern takes – Youtube has some fabulous performers – Christopher Rice – check this out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAU8eBek_NU