Name Dances: Creating with a Movement Alphabet

Providing children with a well-rounded dance education is more than just teaching steps. An important part of any dance education is learning how to create. Student choreography provides children ownership and self-expression over their work. When working with younger students providing a structure and simple choreographic devices can give them the support they need to successfully create their own piece while allowing them the freedom to make their work unique and reflective of their own movement personality. 

One activity my 6-7 year old Creative Jazz Ballet students at J'Adore Dance have been enjoying immensely is creating Name Dances using a movement alphabet. 

1st Birthday Party Activity Ideas

1st Birthdays are a huge milestone for birthday child and parents like! I often (half) joke with my clients that the 1st Birthday party is really a chance for parents to say "Hooray! We survived!". Whether you are planning a small gathering or a large fiesta for your extended circle of friends and family here are some fun activity ideas that can be enjoyed by guests of all ages!

Baby Safe Finger Painting (recipe via Tinkerlab

Surviving Spring Break 2012

Last year during Spring Break I headed out to Las Vegas for a girls trip, leaving Chris at home with the girls. To ensure everyone survived Mama being gone for 4 days I put together a list of activities for Chris to try with the girls and shared it here. This year our whole family will be "surviving" Spring Break on the beaches of Cancun! I am so excited to spend our days playing in the sun, splashing in the waves, and just enjoying each other's company.

If we hadn't been traveling to Mexico, there are lots of fun projects and activities I would have loved to explore with the girls. I thought I'd share them with those of you who will be enjoying a "stay-cation" this year :)

Musical Mondays: You Make Me Feel Like Dancing!

If you live in a climate similar to my hometown, Edmonton Alberta, the winter season is looonnnngggg. It can feel even longer when the days are too cold for your little ones to go outside and play. Stir crazy doesn't even begin to describe it some days. Kids need to MOVE! Thank goodness for music!

Dance parties have been my saving grace the last few weeks when the temperatures have plumetted leaving us house bound far too often. While structured dance activities can provide lots of learning opportunities, sometimes the best memories and moments come from simply busting a move. Here are some songs that are sure to encourage you and your kids to shake your groove thing!

Song: Party Rock Anthem

Album/Artist: Chipwrecked/ Alivin and the Chipmunks

Where to Buy: iTunes

Daily Dance Parties: Space and Place

Toddlers and preschoolers like to go, go, go! Getting them to stop and stay in one play can often be a challenge. Sometimes as parents and teachers we need our little ones to stay put, even if just for a few minutes.

In the Intellidance programs one of the first concepts we explore with our parent/tot and preschool classes are Space and Place. Dance and play are a fun way to reinforce this concept and very useful for developing listening skills in a class setting. Here are some Space and Play activities to try with your 18month-5 year olds:

Red Light/ Green Light

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