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Ballet Benefits for Pre-Schoolers…

Little London Ballet

Pre-school ballet classes

You have to agree, there is nothing cuter than dressing your little one up in a tutu and cooing over them admiring themselves in the mirror whilst dancing around the house like a fairy (as a mother of two young girls I have been there!). As a professional dancer, I could not wait to take my 2 year old to ballet class… I was bitterly disappointed to find the pre-school ballet classes we attended skimmed over the actual ballet and focused on singing nursery rhymes with a bit of jumping/running around in between. That’s not Ballet. I received my ballet training from The Royal Ballet and went on to complete a BA (Hons) in Theatre Dance at the prestigious London Studio Centre. A passionate advocate for ballet, I didn’t want to make do with the unacceptable for my children. Ballet is magical; the music, the stories, the costumes, the steps and most importantly, the fun and magic made in the process…. I wanted my children to experience this magic in their ballet class. Little London Ballet was born; we have extensive research into the safe practice of massage, assisted exercise and musicality for children of the pre-school age. All of these components are fundamental not only in ballet practice, but for physical and emotional development.

Little London Ballet is a specialist ballet school for children aged 3 months to 6 years old. We believe children learn best whilst they are having fun… so that is exactly what we do in our sessions, have fun! And lots of it… Each term, our classes are themed on a different classical ballet story; this term is The Nutcracker! We use this story to transport the children on a magical adventure, exploring ballet technique along the way; we practice our balances whilst helping Clara to put the star on top of the Christmas tree, whilst working on our “good toes” with the Sugar Plum Fairy!

Our syllabus uses classical ballet technique to enhance and improve physical development. Classes are split into three main groups:

BABIES (3months+)

Our Babies classes begin with massage to awaken the senses. Then, we will move on to gentle stretches to promote healthy posture and co-ordination, followed by rhythmical exercises; enabling our little ones to connect movement to musicality. We will then progress to our “story time” activity; here we use colourful props, sensory activities and mime to narrate our themed classical ballet story. This is where our baby’s communication skills thrive, connecting with their parent to explore expression, spoken language and visual displays of light, colour and image.

WALKERS (18months+)

Once your baby becomes a confident little walker, we invite them to join our “Walkers” class. In this class, we ignite our little one’s imaginations through narrative dance and the use of props. At this age, the children become actively aware of their physicality and can use it to reflect emotions, thoughts and feelings. We start the class with a body awakening warm-up, followed by an accompanied stretch. From then on, all of our exercises are lead by characterised imagination. We transport our little ones on a journey through a classical ballet story instilling the basic classical ballet concepts along the way. The key to having fun with this age group is to keep them engaged. We do this through a variety of stimulating props, exiting visuals and inspiring variations in musical style. Physically, we are enhancing their ever developing co-ordination skills whilst promoting correct posture and maintaining flexibility. We support choice making and positively endorse physical and vocal communication skills.

TALKERS (3years+)

Once our little ones begin to confidently form sentences, we invite them to join our “Talkers” class. Here, we build emphasis on exploring classical ballet positions and basic steps through fun filled exercises whilst exploring the story of our classical ballet. We actively encourage our little dancers to vocally question lines in the story, whilst allowing their little imaginations to spark whilst they transform into different characters. At this age, we begin to see (and encourage) independence from the parent/guardian. We continue to build ballet vocabulary and now we can begin to start memorising dance compositions.

We use a unique mix of original and classical music to stimulate musicality, whilst with our older students we promote discussion and opinion sharing. We aim to strengthen confidence and social skills, whilst educating our little ones about classical ballet and music.

We are lucky enough to have had our musical programme designed and created by the very talented Deanna Bogdanovic from Bona Fide Studios; our young students will benefit from the structure of classical music whilst providing new, catchy original music which can be sung (and danced!) along to.

To find out more about Bona Fide Studios visit:

www.bonafidestudio.co.uk

Twitter: @LittleLdnBallet

Emma Vincent
About Emma Vincent (14 Articles)

I am passionate about delivering the very best in performing arts education to my students