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#4: Teaching Children and 3 Activities that They Will Love!

Feeling tired just thinking about it?

Today is Saturday, and if you’re a dance teacher, you know that this day is GOLD for the studio. Finally the parent(s) and child is home and so they register their little one for ballet because they just know that little Stewart or Megan is going to be a ballet star one day (They’re so musical)! Or, maybe they just want to get that BIG morning energy out so they can enjoy their child for the rest of the day instead of trying to rein them in! Whatever the reason, you’ve got their baby for 1 hour.

A 1 hour class of 15 3, 4 or 5 year olds can be completely overwhelming to a newer teacher. Regardless of whether you’ve had teacher training or not, that large morning energy bottled up into those tiny bodies can be overwhelming and leave you checking out the clock every 2 minutes.. (only 20 minutes has passed??!) I’m a mom of 2 boys under 5 years old and that utter disbelief at their endless movement is real! So, I thought I’d give you a few ideas of ballet dances/activities that the kids will enjoy!

3 Fun Ballet Activities for Littles!

  • Water Game

This is where you discuss water, the qualities of it.. then play the music. Whenever the music is on, they dance like water (Snow, rain, a river, a creek, blizzard, hail, etc) around the studio. When you stop it, they FREEZE, literally into a ballet pose, or a position that you’ve been teaching.

  • Spin and Jump!

Use great music that has 2 qualities to it. Apply one quality to spinning! Apply the other quality to jumping! At the end, give them a chance to do it together! The beginning of tours!

  • Listening to Music and Clapping!
    • For this, just pick a great piece of music that is easy to hear, a march or a waltz. Only do 1 rhythm per week so they have a chance at learning and remembering it. Before you even play the music for them, talk about it and clap it. 1, 2, 3, 4. You could clap it in a square shape, one corner for each count.
    • Once you’ve got them clapping to 4, consistently, add the music and see if they can hear that 1, 2, 3, 4 and try clapping again!
    • Finally, if you’re feeling adventurous, (practice this at home first if you’ve never done it!) clap one of those 4 counts stronger/louder than the other 3 counts (1, 2, 3, 4 OR 1, 2, 3, 4) and see if they can figure out which one you emphasized! You’ll have some kids that can hear it and copy!

Whether you’re an experienced master, or just a newbie, I trust these gave you some new ideas to try and experiment with! Ideally, you can find some music that changes quality, tempo or energy as often as you’d like to change the exercise! If not, let me know, maybe I can work on something that would usable this way!

I’m always open to more ways that I can help you out!

PS. I have an exciting new resource for you to use with your older ( 9-18 yrs old) students! It's a 1 page quiz where they match the music information on one side with the time signature or music style on the other side. It's not too difficult and can open the door for great music discussion with your students! Make sure you grab it here!

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