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Ballet Benefits for Pre-schoolers!

Most of us started dancing simply because we loved it. But did you know ballet provides more benefits to children than just joy of movement?

Our Monday Preschool Ballet class (2pm at Church of the Ascension, Kenton) is not only full of fun but has some fantastic benefits for your children!

  1. Ballet classes will stretch a child’s imagination as they dance the roles of different characters in ballet class. Ballet is telling stories through movement – which is why our preschool classes are based on some classic Ballets and full of story and movement.
  2. Ballet keeps children moving, which is important and beneficial to the growth and development of their bodies. It helps them to stay active, release extra energy, improve muscle development, core strength and balance, flexibility and joint mobility. It also increases cardiovascular and overall health.
  3. It relieves stress. Yes, even young children can be stressed. Dance boosts endorphins and has a meditative quality. It’s even been called “moving meditation”! (Adults – you can come dance away the stress to with our dance fitness classes!)
  4. Dancing doesn’t just exercise the body; it also exercises the brain! Ballet classes use a lot of classical music, as well as some popular tracks and nursery rhymes. This mix of music challenges the brain and improves memory and interpretation
  5. Ballet is good for self-esteem and confidence. Aside from learning new skills and improving their ability – the small achievements we celebrate each week are a great way to encourage your child to continue to work and develop each week
  6. Even small children begin to learn self-discipline as they learn to follow directions and to try their best in class. From waiting their turn for demonstration, to teamwork, and positioning – all of these small parts of class encourage this strong sense of discipline.
  7. It’s fun! Children get to act out roles as they are dancing. Who doesn’t want to be a fairy, a prince, a Nutcracker or forest animals!

 

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Musicality for dancers

Dance is more than just movement – it is listening too and interpreting the music – the feel, the mood, the tempo, the rhythm.

It’s understanding phrases in songs or pieces, how to interpret the music with the movement – the height, the speed, expansion and contraction.

Importance

Being able to connect to the music you are dancing too is key. You can’t dance the same to Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy as you would do to Crazy in Love. You can’t dance the same to “Everything I do” as you would do “Sweet Child o’ Mine” – even if the steps are the same

Developing Musicality

In our classes (and you can try this at home) we involve these aspects from pre-school classes (in less obvious ways such as our Rig a Jig track or Twinkle Twinkle) to our dance club and older with using beats and bars.

  • Tempo – using different speeds of music for the steps or combinations and asking children to dance to the music
  • Using 3/4, 4/4/ and even 2/4 tracks to help develop understanding different music arrangements
  • Using a combination of steps and dancing them to different styles of music and asking them to show the type of music through the steps
  • Putting music on for improvisation – emotions, adventures, party, space, forest and landscapes and ask them to use their movements to express the type of music