Dance classes for Tots are not about becoming a ballerina, or the next youtube superstar.
Tots aren’t mastering technique, and performing on stage.
It’s about so much more than learning to dance.
We teach little ones about the different ways they can move their bodies and coordinate movement using different parts of their body.
We teach them about traveling around a large open space, and all the different ways they can do so.
We teach them to move together as a group, and to share with friends.
We develop a love of music and natural ability to find the beat and pick up rhythms.
Balancing on one leg or standing in the middle of the group and jumping alone is not easy for most 1 and 2 year olds! But, we develop this over time, in a kind, nurturing and loving environment with the comfort of their guardian holding their hand.
What do toddlers learn?
Our Tots learn to follow instructions and get better at it week after week.
Our Tots learn to concentrate for an extended period of time (within reason of course).
Our Tots look forward to moving, dancing and playing with fun props like scarves, ribbons and bean bags.
Our Tots use their imagination and become elephants, birds and cats.
Our Tots happily tidy up all of their props and toys!
Is it all about the dance?
But it is about gradually learning to follow along, and taking directions from their dance teacher.
It is about learning basic rhythm skills by clicking sticks together, or banging the drums to the beat.
It’s pretty common for a parent to try their child in a Tots class and then say, “They weren’t really participating, I think I’ll wait until they are a bit older.”
I even questioned this myself when I brought my 2 year old son to a Tots dance class. It was frustrating, because I wanted him to follow along with the teacher and do everything she did.
But instead he just stood there, staring at her. And then he’d run around the room.
I encourage you to persist beyond this.
About 4 weeks in, my son started singing the songs and doing the actions at home.
And not long after that he started participating in the class a little bit here and there.
By the end of the 8-week session he was singing along, doing the actions, following instructions and I was so happy that I stuck with it.
I see it all the time.
Now as a teacher of toddlers, I see it all the time. Some Tots just need more time to get comfortable, some take it all in, sights and sounds, and then one day it all clicks and they’re a little mover and shaker following along with me.
Celebrating your Tots small achievements at this age is so special and fulfilling. Especially when you can share these milestones with a class of other parents, grandparents and children who you have gotten to know along the way.
The real dancing will come later.
In the meantime, rest assured you are setting your little one up to learn skills that will go with them everywhere regardless of whether they continue dancing or not.
If you want to find out more about our Prima Star Tots classes for ages 1-2, click here: Prima Star Tots
Director – Collingwood School of Dance