5 tips on how to practise when you ‘have no time’

Kids today can be very busy. They dance, they swim, they play the piano, they have homework, and so on. Yet they are encouraged to practise their dancing at home?! How are they meant to fit more in? Isn’t the class enough?

The answer to this is what you want for your child. Dance is a skill that is developed and built on. Once the students get older the skills become more complex and harder to maintain from simply walking in and out of the class each week.

Yes, it would be ideal to revise at home each afternoon, seven days a week… and for serious students, we want to aim for regular practise, however, for younger or less advanced students sometimes we need to think outside the box.

Remember, something is better than nothing and it all adds up. By encouraging some extra focus we are teaching these kids some great life skills.

5 tips on how to practise when you ‘have no time’

One. Practise in the 10 minutes before class. Yes, it is last minute but this time can be used to refresh the student’s mind ready for class. Once you have dropped off your child they should warm up (not sit and chat!) this warm up can easily be a run through of an exercise or routine.

Two. One night a week choose one dance routine to revise before going to bed. We know screen time before bed is a no-no, so a run through of a routine can be swapped in.

Three.  Does your kid wake up early on the weekends? Rather then them turning on the cartoons, they can run through one or two things from class.

Four. ‘Brain breaks’ are a great way to break up tasks involving great concentration. If your child works for a long period of time on one thing they will lose momentum and their mind will not focus as it should. Getting up and moving every 20min or so is great to give the brain a rest. Instead of wandering around aimlessly, you can use a routine run through as the ‘brain break’.

Five. The car to and from dancing. Walking yourself through routines in your mind might sound like a lazy option, but it is a great way to remind yourself of what you have been working on and to ensure you are ready to progress.

 

Choose one, or try to do them all. Everything adds up and helps your child along.

6 Tips To Prepare For Dance Exams

Preparing for any test or exam can be stressful for adults, let alone kids. The key is in the preparation. Some parents may question the benefit of dance exams for kids, see here for our top reasons for dance exams. Below are some steps to get your child from stressed to confident.

One. Grab a folder or scrapbook to create an exam journal.

Two. Write or print out the title of each exercise on separate pages. Leave the pages blank ready for notes and corrections that are given.

Three. Your child’s teacher may allow the exam journal to be taken into the studio for the child to jot down corrections throughout the class, if not your child can spend a few minutes after class writing things they were told in their journal.

Four. Some organisations allow the distribution of official exam work via online platforms such as Movitae. However, if you are unable to access this then you could film your child performing each exercise once learnt in class. Having a video to look back on can be good during forgetful moments.

Five. Create a home practise schedule. See a sample schedule here:  Exam practise schedule

Six. Check in with your child every so often on how they are feeling about the approaching exam. It is better to work out what particular exercise they are nervous about in advance so you can ask the teacher for some ideas to help.

Lastly, remind your child that doing their best and enjoying the process is whats important.

3 Reasons To Enrol Your Child In Toddler Dance Classes

Parents are busy. Between shopping, cleaning, reading stories, breaking up arguments between siblings, you are flat out. If you are thinking of adding an activity such as a toddler dance class to your week it is good to know some of the benefits.

3 Benefits of toddler dance classes…

Social skills
Toddler dance programs allow social interaction in a fun and safe environment. Interaction with people outside of their family can be new to children of this age group. In these settings, children begin to develop social skills. From an early age, there is a sense of camaraderie and belonging. The kids learn to take turns, share and listen. The dance class can often be the first time the child is being asked to be independent of their parent. Being confident enough to come into their class without mum or dad, is a huge and valuable milestone for a child.

Gross Motor Skills
Gross motor development is a big benefiting factor of dance. Toddlers learn to jump, hop, balance, and twirl. Dance classes can assist with muscle tone, stamina, coordination, posture, flexibility, and strength. It is very beneficial for a child to find an activity they enjoy (such as dance!) to establish healthy habits to carry into later years.

Imagination & Creativity
Toddler dance programs are a wondrous and imaginative place. From tinsel laneways to flower bouquets, classes ignite imagination and creativity. With all the excitement, the development of technical skills almost goes unnoticed. In a class, we may ‘pick flower petals from our magical garden and lift them into the sky.’ Rather than gardening, we are working on the isolation of our hands, the quality, and shape of our port de bras. As a dancer matures they must not only be technically sound but also dance with personality. The introduction of imagination in toddler dance ignites this personality. Along with the benefits to dance, imagination is a crucial part of being a child and an adult. The ability to consider, to develop thinking and problem-solving skills are imperative.

And if none of the above sounds convincing, well hopefully you will have 30 or so minutes to sit down and stare at the ceiling!!

Want to know more about our programs for toddlers, click here?