Children's Dance             Workshop

Class Info

Please note: We do not have any classes scheduled at this time; workshops and mentorship may be available on demand. 

   Our Approach to Dance Education

Each class follows a thoughtful, age-appropriate lesson plan---with the right mix of structure and freedom, teacher-directed activities and student-directed explorations, skill-development and improvisation. Our warm-up always includes the Brain Dance, an eight-part sequence based on the movement patterns a child naturally goes through in the first year of life. Practising the brain dance integrates body and brain functions, creating a state of learning-readiness.

Each week we explore one or two new fundamental dance concepts, which over the course of the term combine to create a comprehensive view of the body in motion---how we relate to space, time, ourselves, and each other. These concepts make dance class interesting, and even the youngest dancer learns right from the beginning not just dance steps, but the underlying foundations of human movement. This is true physical education, with applications way beyond the dance studio!

Creative Dance

Tuesdays, 3:45-4:30pm, ages 5-7
Wednesdays, 2:45-3:30, ages 3.5 - 5
Wednesdays, 3:45-4:45, ages 7-8 
Fridays, 9:30-10:15am, ages 3.5 - 5
Fridats, 10:15-11am, ages 4.5 - 6

Young children are encouraged in their natural love of dance, while learning new and exciting ways of moving alone and with each other, inspired by a wide range of music.

Creative dance class is a place where students are encouraged to develop their own movement language, while being exposed to a variety of dance techniques---all taught through the lens of the Brain Dance and Dance Concepts.

Creative Contemporary

Tuesdays, 4:45-5:45pm, ages 8-11
Wednesdays, 4:45-6:15, ages 12-13

Older students graduating from Creative Dance to Creative Contemporary learn more advanced dance skills, continue to develop their improvisational and choreographic skills, and work together to create dynamic dances of their own. 

Creative Ballet 

Tuesdays, 2:45-3:30pm, ages 3.5 - 5  (Creative Ballet)

A fun, creative introduction to the grace and beauty of ballet. Children learn ballet basics through the lens of the Brain Dance and Dance Concepts. This teaches them to move in a safe, integrated, healthy way, laying a strong foundation based on sensing movement from the inside out. Every class includes time for children to create their own dances and improvisations, thus developing creativity and expressivity as well as strong dance skills. Older students learn safe, developmentally and anatomically sound approaches to building strength and flexibility.

Community-Engaged Performance Intensive 
Fridays, 11:15am-12:45pm
(plus Creative Contemporary I or II)

For ages 8-13. A committed class for focused students wanting to go deeper with their dance training. The emphasis is on discovery and creative process, and we will create a special multi-age dance to perform at the May recital.

Students take a regular Creative Contemporary class for their age-group, plus a 1.5 hour class on Fridays. 

Children's and Youth Yoga
Mondays: 3:45-4:30pm (5-7 yrs)
                   4:30-5:30 pm (8-11 yrs)

Kristen has been teaching yoga for 8 years, and takes great care in teaching yoga to young people in a way that honours developing bodies, while teaching core values like self-esteem, courage, and respect for self and others. Younger children are encouraged in their natural creativity to create poses of their own, while older children are gradually introduced to the core postures of hatha yoga, and to basic principles of anatomy and physiology.

About the Brain Dance

The Brain Dance helps healthy, well integrated kids stay that way, and helps children with developmental delays and sensory-integration challenges develop the brain-body connections needed to have a productive, enjoyable time in dance class and beyond. The Brain Dance was developed by Anne Green Gilbert (with whom I have studied) based on the work of Bartenieff and other developmental movement pioneers. The Brain Dance is used by school teachers across North America as a proven movement-based tool to help kids succeed.

Class Protocol:

Please make every effort to bring your child to class on time, and to pick up on time. Try to come to all classes, to get the full benefit of the programme---if your child does need to miss class, please let Kristen know ahead of time.

Children can wear any comfortable clothes to dance in---shorts, leotards, tights, etc.  Bare feet for Creative Dance, and either bare feet or comfortable ballet shoes for Creative Ballet. Having a special dance outfit or two can be a great way of setting the tone for class---please encourage your child’s creativity and budding fashion sense, but no dangly jewelry or fancy costumes that impede movement!

Please make sure hair is tied up, away from the eyes, with long hair in a bun---that way your child can spin and turn without hair getting in the eyes!

Send your child to class with a water bottle.

Make sure your preschooler has gone to the bathroom if need be before class!


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