Diving Deeper - Dance - by Cathy Edgar
Most people I know like to dance. Dancing is rhythmic movement that is mostly generated by positive emotion or excitement. It’s a wonderful way to express joy and is immensely beneficial to our health, wellbeing and overall happiness.
In Mini Maestros classes children and their carers have the opportunity to be involved in many dances and explore different dance styles. Every day I see the children’s eyes light up with excitement when dancing is mentioned as the next activity.
This term we have the return of Fuzzy the Clown in our 2-3 year old classes. This dance and activity is very popular. The children get so much joy from watching Fuzzy hide in his box and then jump up and dance around freely to his special song. Most of the children in the class participate very willingly in this activity.
Whether it’s dancing with a puppet like Fuzzy, dancing with the teacher, playing an instrument whilst dancing or forming a big group circle, by the end of a dance activity we have gleaming faces and palpably positive energy in the classroom.
Dance is as old as people's existence on earth. Dance styles are blended with every imaginable dance type in amazing ways. In Mini Maestros classes our music and dancing is fused into different styles reflecting the fabulous rhythmic diversity and creativity of people and cultures in our world. In our babies classes, parents enjoy rocking, swaying, bouncing and dancing whilst holding their babies which allows the babies to feel the steady beat and movement. Toddlers thrive on movement and dance, and learn by watching and copying their teacher, carers and fellow classmates. Parents often comment after participating in a dance at Mini Maestros that they remember it from their childhood, or from a Saturday night dance they went to, a wedding they attended, or music that reflects their own cultural background. I really enjoy watching carers' faces as they recall the memories associated with a particular dance, particularly old favourites such as “The Chicken Dance” and "The Hokey Pokey” which often have them laughing and eager to join in.
As a dancer for many years I attribute most of my musical knowledge and singing to my studies in dance and movement. Because of this background, my classes are always high energy and fun with lots of dancing and movement in them.
So put on your dancing shoes, get up and embrace the beautiful rhythmic movement that is dance, and enjoy all of the health and emotional benefits that it brings.
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