The following is an excerpt of a blog post written by one of our parents whose twin daughters take our Creative Dance 1 class on Saturday mornings. We thought it was an interesting perspective and we wanted to share it with you.
From Denise Scatena:
When my daughters turned two, I began to look for dance classes for them to participate in. I wanted to provide them with an opportunity to socialize and see if they would consider dance as an interest. I bought them the shoes and leotard tights required by the dance studio we enrolled in. The girls seemed to like it, but after awhile, one didn’t and the other kind of did. It was then that I was smacked in the face with a reminder — your girls were born at the same time, but they will have different interests. My girls are natural performers, but what was the issue? We finished the set of lessons I purchased and then took a break from dance class. Believe me, I don’t want to become a “dance mom” nor do I want to enter the world of performing with sequins and tights and lipstick right now. But I do want the girls to learn and appreciate dance as art and of course, FUN!
Last fall, we learned about the annual Free Day of Dance at Dance Place San Diego. It’s held the day after Christmas, and it’s where the dance studios and organizations in the building open their doors and conduct free classes for San Diegans of all ages and abilities. I loaded the girls up and took them down to see what they’d offer at Malashock Dance. Not many realize that a few years ago the company opened a dance school for the rest of us. For people who want to learn the fundamentals of modern/creative dance as well as those who want an amazing, unique workout.
After participating in the Free Day of Dance, my girls started going to the Creative Dance 1 class on Saturday mornings. They absolutely love Ms. Diana, who teaches the class and also love to see Ms. Molly, the director of education at Malashock Dance, too!
Here’s what we love about the Creative Dance classes for pre-schoolers at Malashock Dance:
1. The class is designed to meet the kid’s expectations and allow them to live in the space where they enjoy and are at.
2. The class is usually the first independent social activity for many pre-schoolers. They learn social skills, like taking turns, listening, and focusing on one activity at a time. The students also learn “Dancer Manners” such as using quiet voices and saying “Please” and “Thank You.”
3. Students develop and foster locomotor skills, based on age appropriate physical development milestones. They develop strength and flexibility and experience a range of movement, such as skipping, jumping, walking versus hopping. At this age, it’s not so much about repetitive movement to nail a routine, but leveraging the natural abilities and movement pre-schoolers have. The teachers in the Creative Dance program at Malashock structure the class in short, quick activities to lead the children through the lesson. Students are not standing still for very long or are required to memorize poses or positions (like in a typical ballet class).
4. As a student of modern and creative dance, you get to wear what you want to wear. No shoes, tights, or uniforms required. And the class is open to girls and boys! (This is great, especially if you are trying to potty-train a pre-schooler. And my girls feet grow so fast, it’s hard to keep up with buying appropriately sized shoes for them.)
My experience as a parent has been very positive and I encourage you to think about dance in a different way for your kids. You’re probably wondering if my kids like it, and the answer is YES. They love their teacher and look forward to participating each week. The kids have a bond with the other students (and the parents do too!)