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Children, as early as six months old, can greatly benefit from participating in a dance class. There are many parent and baby dance classes in the Chicagoland area and it is a wonderful way to enhance your little dancer’s locomotor skills, flexibility, strength, and musicality. Toddler dance classes are becoming more available and the benefits for your child continue to grow through increased coordination, memory, creativity, balance, social skills, confidence, discipline, focus, and the list goes on and on.
As a teacher of toddler classes at Joel Hall Dancers and Center, my students never cease to amaze me. This is a prime time to start your child in a dance class because their little minds are still developing and therefore, like a sponge, toddlers can absorb a vast amount of knowledge. If you think about it, not too long ago they learned how to crawl, walk, and talk in a very short period of time. Many parents ask me, will my child get anything out of this? My answer is yes! My toddler students have an extensive dance vocabulary as well as the knowledge of how to execute each movement such as plié, sur le cou-de-pied, développé, rond de jambe, and petit battement, just to name a few.
In addition to learning vocabulary, dance provides a creative outlet for your youngster to explore. In my classes I incorporate the elements of dance: time, space, and energy. For each element, we explore different ways to move and each student can create their own dance.
Remember to not get discouraged if your little dancer is timid or not participating for the first couple of classes. I had one student who just stood there and stared at me for a good month before participating, but when I talked to her mother I was surprised to learn that the little girl practiced at home and even taught the mother the terminology and associated movement. Since then many parents are proud to share with me all the dance steps their little toddlers taught them. If your child is not participating at first, know that they are still retaining information and to be patient.
In conclusion, start this spring season by signing-up your little dancer, as early as six months old, for their first dance class. The benefits are endless!
List of Chicagoland Toddler Classes
Joel Hall Dancers and Center
-Tiny Dancer + 1 6 months-3 years with caregiver
-Twinkle Toes (ballet) 2-4 years
-Jazzy Jumpers 2-4 years
-Tap for Tots 2-4 years
-Creative Movement 3-4 years
Fairy Tale Ballet
-Baby Ballerinas 18-24 months
-Twinkle Toes 2-3 years
-Blooming Ballerinas 2.5-3.5 years
Baby Take a Bow
-Itty Bitty Ballerinas 18 months-2 years with caregiver
-Tippy Toes 2-3 years with caregiver
Performing Arts Limited
-Lets Dance 2-3 years with caregiver
-Toddle Tots 3-5 years
Hyde Park School of Dance
-First Steps 18 months-3 years with caregiver
-Creative Movement 3 years
Giordano Dance School
-Mini Movers 2-3 years
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
-Creative Movement 18 months-3 years with caregiver
-Creative Movement 3-5 years
-Storytime Dance 3-5 years
For a full list of children classes in Chicago click here.