The Benefits of a Creative Movement Class: Artistry’s Little Artists Classes
As a mom of two young girls, I know the pressure we put on ourselves to organize our child's day and make sure they are experiencing everything in a balanced way. Not too much screen time, enough exercise, play dates and outside time, balanced meals, family time etc. We expect a lot from ourselves as we want to provide the best for our children. With art programs being cut in our mainstream schools, more and more parents are looking for quality performing arts programs for their children. Dance classes, such as our Little Artists classes, are great options for your little one. Here are just some of the skills a youngster can gain from a dance class like our Little Artists program.
Any creative movement class including our very own Little Artists class helps a child gain awareness of basic movement and body positions. Dance is not only a good source of exercise for young children, it is also helps the child learn the foundations of dance: coordination, balance, spatial awareness, rhythm, pattern recognition and memorization, expressiveness, social skills, and participation in a group.
In our Little Artists classes we use creativity to develop a greater range of movement and learn to interpret the affect their movement has on the world around them. Creativity and using ones imagination is highly encouraged and a huge part of this class. When teaching our young students the basics of movement, we break down the movement using a reference the child can relate to. For example, to teach the child to sit in the butterfly position and stretch we sit in a circle, share our butterflies color and where our butterfly is flying to. It is amazing to see their imaginations soar, no pun intended, during this activity.
At Artistry, we believe that individual attention and guidance is important in every dance class. Therefor, we keep our Little Artists classes under 10 students and we have multiple assistants to help each dancer. Each Little Artists class begins on the floor in a circle so we can talk to each other, get to know each child and each child can learn to use their voice to introduce themselves to the class. We then move into warm-ups which are repeated weekly. As the year progresses, we gradually advance these warm-ups as the students demonstrate their understanding of them. After warm-ups, we execute different standing and moving exercises that teach coordination, directional movement, balance, jumping, pattern recognition and memorization. We use colors, shapes, numbers, and musical tempos to teach these exercises. Props are used during class time to encourage creativity and coordination. For example, a hula hoop can be used as a “puddle” for which the dancer jumps over. Additionally, music is used throughout the class to assist and inspire each movement. The music we use helps guide the class and keep the dancers attention. Each Little Artists class ends with freeze dance, a fun way for the children to interact with each other, and a sticker. When the young dancer is given the sticker we ask them to demonstrate something they learned in that class. It is wonderful to see them use their skills.
I feel it is important to mention that not all children develop at the same rate. Some young dancers jump right into class on the first day while others have a hard time separating from their parent during class time. And that is ok. Do not get discouraged. The way the class is designed is to be repetitious each week so the young dancers begin to feel like they know what is going to come next and therefor get excited to participate and perform the exercises. It is wonderful to watch a little one get more comfortable with each class and excited to come dance. It may take time, but it is worth the wait.