Want to know more about happens in our kids’ dance classes? Then read on for all the details!
Creative and full of energy, dance class is a great activity for your child. Our kids’ dance classes are the perfect blend of creativity and structure and will help your child develop their love of dance, music, and movement all while learning about the world around them. Our experienced dance teachers follow carefully curated lesson plans, designed by our Director and Assistant Director (both of whom have dance teaching qualifications), to ensure every lesson is high quality and engaging.
Our classes are designed to maximise enjoyment of dance and develop children’s:
- musical appreciation
- creativity and imagination
- fine and gross motor skills
Our dancers work together which teaches important social skills such as:
Our younger dancers learn about the world around them through dance, with a different theme each term, to enhance learning and engagement. In our kids dance classes for toddlers and preschoolers, we teach safe dance activities and concepts such as warm-up, cool-down, pre-dance technique and dance routines in a fun, creative, age appropriate and accessible way.
Our engaging themes for Spinning Gumnuts (2 to 3.5 years) include the following:
- Move Your Body
- Animals and Insects
- Make Believe
Themes for Rainbow Gumnuts (3.5 to 5 years) include the following:
- Jungle Animals
- Around the World
We are as gender neutral as possible in the themes we choose.
Children aged from Year 1 up learn ballet and jazz every lesson and we focus on a different style each term for the class dance:
- term one is jazz
- term two is contemporary
- term three is musicals
- term four is ballet
A typical dance lesson covers:
- jazz/cardio warm up
- ballet exercises
- floor work (some classes)
- extra exercises based on the style for the term (e.g. contemporary)
- the class dance
- cool down
Check out our tips for starting classes checklist if it’s your first class.
Start of class
Once the roll has been marked, your child will partake in a series of age-appropriate, gentle static stretches to begin their warm-up. Exercises include pointing and flexing feet, basic yoga poses, and basic strength work. For younger children, we use a lot of visualisation, for example, painting rainbows in the sky with our arms, or being a lion.
Next is a cardiovascular warm up. This is a set routine which students complete every lesson (changes every term for variety). A proper warm up will get your child in the habit of participating in safe dance practices, reduce injury, and is lots of fun!
Our warm-ups include mainly gross motor movements with jumping, running on the spot, head/rib/hip/shoulder isolations and more.
After warm-up, the centre part of dance class begins. This portion of dance class includes the more technical part of class and an activity.
Ballet exercises are included during this portion of the class, including learning the position of the feet and arms as well as basic ballet steps. Depending on the themes for the term this section can also include, tap, contemporary, and additional jazz exercises.
To aid the learning of younger dancers, a themed activity might include the use of:
- a story or book
- pictures – e.g. of animals, shapes, and art to inspire movement
- mime to tell a story – e.g. mime used in ballet
- short videos
- poems or rhymes
Props are very popular with our younger dancers and we often use the following in class:
- pom poms
- wrist ribbons
- hula hoops
- colourful bean bags
- butterfly wings
Props help to develop skills such as:
- spatial awareness
- rhythm and musicality
- fine and gross motor skills
Older dancers might also use props such as canes or hats for musicals.
Activities for older dancers can also involve stimuli such as those listed for younger dancers. Individual, small group and whole class choreographic activities are popular with older dancers and by the time dancers reach our senior level (Silver Gumnuts), they are adept at choreographing short sequences which are then woven into the class dance. Older dancers learn more about the elements of dance (body, action, space, time, energy).
This part of class is a favourite for all students. Travelling provides the opportunity for your child to develop their gross motor skills and spatial awareness. Younger dancers get to run, skip, jump, hop and tip toe around the room. Older dancers learn more technical travelling movements such as step kicks, turns and leaps.
Each term our classes learn one or two class dances focused on our theme/style for the term. These dances can be jazz, contemporary, musical theatre or ballet based, and they are always lots of fun as they involve working together as a group.
Game and cool down
We love to finish class on a positive note and give our young dancers the chance to show off some of their own moves. Our kids dance classes typically end with a fun movement game, performing choreography or improvisation to music, followed by cool down stretches.
Every dance lesson your child takes with us will follow this structure, helping them to develop a sense of routine. We take care to display a poster outlining our general lesson plan in both of our studios to aid young dancers who prefer a visual representation of where they are up to in the lesson. Our teachers work very hard with both you and your child to ensure dance class is a positive experience for everyone involved.