A little trivia on me: when I was in college I choreographed a dance piece on my college dance company and it was submitted to and performed at the American College Dance Festival. Cool, right? (Although don’t be too amazed since the piece wasn’t very well received, to be honest.) Thus the dancer in me was leaping over to Durham when ADF contacted me about trying out their Dancing With Your Little One program. I was one jete away from heaven.
This class takes place Tuesday mornings in the new ADF Scripps studios on Broad Street. The studios are gorgeous (and conveniently upstairs from Hummingbird Cafe so you can get some sweet cupcakes after burning calories). Parking is easy, too, as there is a lot next door.
The description of the program states that this is for children birth to 3 years. But I took both of my boys (ages 14 months – The Bug, and 3 1/2 years – C) and after C warmed up to it he had even more of a blast than The Bug, I believe. The instructor was very open to including children of any age. It was very clear that she was simply passionate about sharing dance with all.
Really I have to tell you that I felt this class is more for parents than children, and I like that. There are plenty of music and movement classes for kids (you all know we’ve covered a slew). I like that this one pushes moms to move and, truly, dance. You will move, bend, spin, shake, and probably sweat a little if you are doing it right.
Now I am not trying to scare non-dancers away. You do not have to have a lick of dance training to do this and it isn’t a formalized dance class – there aren’t any combinations or technique. However, you can’t be shy!! You have to want to move with your children and let go. When you do, you can have a glorious bonding moment with your kids. How often in life do we really let go and act like a big dinosaur stomping around? Our kids love this stuff.
While the class can be great for parents to enjoy some time of movement and freedom, it is still engaging and developmentally stimulating to children. Each class centers around a movement theme (for ex., High/Low, Fast/Slow) and there are different exercises throughout the class to illuminate these concepts for kids. There is a lot of hands on movement, time with music makers to explore rhythm, and some mimicking of animals with nursery rhymes and songs. Also, as with all good kids’ classes, there is absolutely no pressure to have your child participating or doing what is required. Freedom is the name of the game.
It is a 45 minute class and, as I said, we really enjoyed it. It certainly is a unique offering to the Triangle and is very, well, ADF. And that’s good.
Sessions run in 4-week increments but you can register at any time and they are flexible (pun!) if you just contact them. It is $15 per class or $60 for a session.
American Dance Festival’s Dancing With Your Little One class
Samuel H. Scripps Studios
721 Broad Street
Classes were provided as a courtesy for my review but the opinions expressed are my own and honest.