Precious Bonding Time with Your Toddler: “Mommy & Me” Dance Class

The Bond Between Mom and Her Little One

If you’ve never been to a Mommy and Me dance class for toddlers, you may not realize their potential for increasing the bond between mom and her little one. This is just one of the many reasons we’re excited to offer this class. Really, these classes offers so many benefits but some of them might not occur to you until you try it for yourself. Still, we’ll do our best to paint a picture for you of what it could be like for you and your child.

In our Mommy and Me classes, both mother and child are full participants. Both of them follow the instructions of the teacher, walking around the circle together, jumping up and down, bending down to reach the floor, lifting their arms over their heads or standing on their toes. Sitting, standing, waving hands and following the dance steps – we keep it interesting, light and fun.

The emphasis is on everyone being engaged and moving together. But it’s gently structured because we know that everyone is not up to following all the directions at the age of these young dancers.

Time Out From Mom’s Hectic Schedule

We also know that day-to-day life can get hectic. There are so many demands on moms and dads. It can be hard for moms to really focus on the motor skills of their little ones. This dance class is kind of like a big “time out” for moms and their little ones to just have some guided play time together. At the same time, they are both learning the same skills at the same time. They move together, jump together and follow other moms and kids as they run, walk or crawl in a big circle or sway in time to the music.

We find that there is a greater understanding that seems to develop between a mother and child after they attend a number of these classes. It seems like they are more “on the same page,” operating in greater harmony after a few hours of moving in unison to the music. Mothers can develop more patience and children can become more focused. You could say they are more “in sync.”

Moms Need to Move

The enhancement of a mother-child bond is totally aside from the physical benefits to both dancers. Mothers get so busy that they often neglect their own fitness when they have one or more small children and this class gets them moving. And children develop greater coordination and strength in their growing bodies.

If you’ve never been to a Mommy and Me class, you should try one and see the benefits for yourself. For the schedule of classes. call the DK Dance Productions studio at 314-921-5800. We’ve got multiple time slots for you to choose from, so chances are very good you can find a convenient time. We’re looking forward to making better dancers out of you and your little one and offering some low-stress, guided bonding time! Classes are offered to children between 18 months and three years and their moms.

2015 Summer Camps

Pretty as a Princess!

June 29-July 1, 2015  9am-12pm

Ages 4-6

Pretty dresses and twirls galore! Experience dancing like your favorite princesses: Ariel, Cinderella, Elsa, and Rapunzel.  Camp includes dancing, tumbling, games, crafts, and story time.

Price: $90 per student

Shake your Pom Pom!

July 7-8, 2015 10am-2pm

Ages 9-13

Dream of being on a dance team and performing for sporting events? This is the camp for you!  Learn turns, leaps, jumps, kicks, arm positions and more!  Camp includes dancing and a tshirt.  Campers must bring their own snack and lunch.

Price: $90 per student

Superhero Mania!

July 13-14, 2015 9am-2pm

Ages 5-9

BOOM!! KAPOW!!! Here we come to save the day!  Whether you are Batman, Catwoman, Superman, or Wonder Woman come learn new moves and tricks to impress your friends. Camp includes dancing, tumbling, crafts, and games.  Campers must bring their own snack and lunch.

Price: $100 per student

Dance Like a Rock Star!

July 27-28, 2015 9am-2pm

Ages 7-10

Join us for two days of excitement and fun as we dance like ROCK STARS! Learn new moves, dance to hit songs, and feel just like the stars on stage!  Camp includes dancing, tumbling, crafts, and games.  Campers must bring their own snack and lunch.

Price: $100 per student

Registration opens March 1, 2015

Improve Your Toddler’s Gross Motor Development

Just What are Gross Motor Skills and How Do the Mommy and Me Dance Classes Teach Them?

Gross motor skills refers to movements of the body that use the larger muscles. So running, jumping, rolling, crawling and walking all fall into this category. Compare this to fine motor skills that involve smaller muscles. Picking up small objects and holding a spoon fall into the fine motor skills group.

Building Strength and Agility

Much of a toddler’s time is spent learning to move that body around and control it with those larger muscles. They climb on the couch, dash across the living room and crawl on all fours. Every day, their movements build a little more agility and strength. Those movements are, day by day, laying the foundation for that child’s future grace, speed and athletic ability.

In our Mommy and Me classes, every child will receive instruction in jumping, rolling, swaying, and swinging their little hips and arms from side to side. They may dance in a circle or run from one side of the room to the other with mommy. They may high-step all around the room or crawl on all fours. They may be on the floor, getting mommy’s help while they roll from one side to the other or they may be holding mommy’s hands while they go through a series of stretches. It’s all done to dance music, so they are also getting experience timing their movements to the beat of the music. Whatever movements the teacher calls for, it will be a new experience for these, our youngest students.

And what makes this so much fun for everyone is that mommy gets to move along with the little one! This limbers up mom and gets her blood flowing, too.

A Child’s Athletic Ability is Linked to Mastery of Gross Motor Skills

The child’s later athletic ability depends on their gradual mastery of the gross motor skills. Is he or she destined for t-ball, soccer, ballet or tap classes? Every Mommy and Me class will help develop those motor skills a little more, building in competence, strength and grace from these early beginnings. Of course we keep it all simple so everyone gets to enjoy themselves in an undemanding, encouraging environment.

On another level, it’s a chance to get out of the house, let the errands go for a little while and just have fun in time to the music.

For our schedule of Mommy and Me classes, call the DK Dance Productions studio at 314-921-5800. We’ve got multiple time slots for you to choose from, so call to register yourself and your son or daughter. We’re looking forward to making better dancers out of you and your little one! Classes are offered to children between 18 months and three years and their moms.

Dance Benefits for Young Children

If you learned and performed dance yourself, then you probably have an understanding of the benefits of dance and performing – even if it is instinctive rather than analytical. We understand these benefits and are very proud to encourage the development of so many fine young people by providing them with an education in dance and performing.

By training in dance, a young person develops not only physical strength and motor skills, they also grow emotionally. Dance allows young people to discover and explore their natural instincts for movement, enabling them to develop their mental abilities and emotional personalities. By learning to perform, a young person learns about who they really are in a variety of environments, and what they can accomplish both individually and with a group.

When they discover interaction with an audience and win the appreciation of that audience, they learn valuable lessons about communication and contribution that could never be learned in a classroom.

Dance transcends cultural boundries

The performance of dance transcends all ages, cultures and languages, meaning that there are few barriers to appreciating dance. A dancer performing for an audience of different faiths, races and cultures has a opportunity to learn about the universality of human creativity and art.

Very young children are nearly always natural dancers. Children may learn dance more naturally and easily than they learn language. Words may be required while this art is being learned but none are required when you dance. It is sad that school curricula seldom if ever include any form of dance training or experience.

I refer here to young people, but anyone who learns dance can learn these lessons.

Dance has power

Two premier American choreographers defined the powerful impact of dance like this:

To dance is to be out of yourself. Larger, more beautiful, more powerful. -Agnes De Mille

I see dance being used as communication between body and soul, to express what it too deep to find for words. -Ruth St. Denis

Many children are transformed by learning dance. As they master the simpler skills and begin to combine these into competence in performing, these children develop an inner strength. They learn about their own beauty of body and spirit and learn to express their beauty through their dance. A clumsy child can develop grace, a shy child can learn to shine. Children who lack focus often learn that they love to dance and develop increased abilities to concentrate on learning this skill.

Every child is different but one thing is true for nearly every single one: As they learn to dance and perform, our children experience remarkable personal growth.

We seek to instill a love of dance from the very first lesson. We would love to work with your children, whether they have started their dance training elsewhere or this is their first class.

If you’re not sure how to start, request our free dance analysis to get a recommendation from a professional dance instructor to learn what style of dance is perfect for your child.  Take the first step by visiting our website to request this free dance analysis. We look forward to meeting you and your child soon.

Introducing Our New Mommy and Me Dance Classes!

Calling all moms and toddlers!

DK Dance Productions announces its Mommy and Me dance classes! Yes, these are for boys and girls between 18 months and three years of age and their moms. We’ve designed a fun dance class that benefits both the mom and the young child.

These young kids have a chance to get their first taste of a dance class in this Mommy and Me class. We keep it fun and keep it moving. Here, toddlers get a lesson in moving in ways they might not experience at home or on the playground. These classes provide the following lessons for the children:

  • Start learning the first fundamentals of controlling their bodies with dance moves
  • Get all stretched out and learn how to get more flexible
  • Spend some fun, free-flowing time with mom
  • Receive a lesson in following classroom directions
  • Experience a dance class environment with other students present.

At this age, many children may not have spent a lot of time out of the home. And some new mothers may find it hard to get out of the house to spend time with other moms and their children. In a low-stress, high fun environment, everyone gets directed play that has the additional purpose of teaching simple dance moves. It’s a chance to let other responsibilities go for a little while and just enjoy yourself. Our instructor will keep everyone moving and get everyone’s energy up!

Does your little one begin to move when she hears upbeat music?

This class is excellent experience for children who might be headed for dance classes a year or two in the future. Does your little one begin to move when she hears upbeat music? Is he glued to the television when a dance video comes on? This is a great way to get them ready for the beginning dance classes that are available when they turn three years old.

For the schedule of our new Mommy and Me classes, call our dance studio at 314-921-5800. We’ll tell you when our classes are available and how you and your little one should dress, and we’ll help you enroll. Just one class and you very well might find yourself going home with more energy!

In our relaxed environment, we’ll lead the action and get both of you stretched out and moving to the music! We know moms of toddlers definitely need some attention and we love seeing these little ones and their mothers swaying in unison to the music and having a new, fun experience together.

Call today to get yourself and your son or daughter scheduled for our next Mommy and Me class. (314) 921-5800

Help your child be physically fit through dance

A few decades ago, parents used to be able to count on schools to provide physical training and exercise for their children. But the emphasis on physical education has waned severely, to the point that many schools have no physical education programs at all. In 2012, the New York Times reported that a survey of the nation’s high schools revealed that nearly half had no physical education classes at all in an average week. A study from the University of Georgia noted that only six states required the 150 minutes of exercise per week in elementary schools that is recommended by the National Association of Sport and Physical Education.

To aggravate this situation, the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition stated that children now spend an average of seven and a half hours a day in front of a screen.

It’s up to parents who want their children to grow up strong and fit to build a positive pattern of vigorous activity for those kids. Add to that, training in physical competence and an understanding of how to stay fit for life and you have a winning combination.

At DK Dance Productions, we see our students benefit in so many more ways than just learning to dance. They learn how to prepare for exercise by warming up and stretching. They learn how to move correctly to prevent injuries. And dance is a form of exercise they can perform their whole lives. Participation in rough and tumble team sports has a short lifespan but dancers can continue to participate in dance for nearly their whole lives. Dancers Martha Graham and Fred Astaire were both dancing in their 60s. In fact, Astaire’s last performance was when he was 80 years old!

Even if children have an adequate amount of vigorous exercise in their schedules, other sports activities are not likely to offer the flexibility that dance does. Plus there are the benefits of learning poise and good posture as the fundamentals of dance are mastered.

And a dance class never gets rained out!

If you’re thinking of starting your child in dance, we want to make this process simple and painless for you. We would be happy to welcome your child for an introductory dance class. Let your son or daughter see how our classes run and get the feel of working alongside our other students. It important to us to create a supportive atmosphere to generate a love for dancing in every one of our students.

Call DK Dance Productions today to arrange for an introductory dance class – (314)921-5800. We’re looking forward to meeting you!

When should my child start dance lessons?

Does your child dance every time she hears music? Do you picture your daughter pirouetting in a tutu or your son doing a Grand Jeté like Baryshnikov? Do you need a physical outlet for your child’s endless energy?

Then you might be wondering if it’s time to enroll your child in dance classes. Almost any child can benefit from the discipline of dance. Learning dance is an excellent way to increase self-confidence and poise. As children progress through dance training, they also become more fit and learn better posture and physical control, which helps them grow strong and straight.

So can your toddler begin to learn dance? Yes, of course. Many children of three and four years of age can begin to benefit from a basic grounding in dance or tumbling. We love working with children of this age because we can use our skills to give them a foundation of physical ability they can build on in the years to come. We have two classes that are perfect to get these young dancers started.

Once done with these levels, they can graduate into the 5 to 6-year-old classes, where we will continue to teach fundamentals of dance or tumbling. No matter what type of dance your child decides on – ballet, jazz, hip hop, musical theater or even cheer, these fundamentals will train his mind and his body to excel in his chosen style.

We’re happy to provide a Free Dance Analysis to help guide you in your choice. After all, we have ten different styles of dance we can teach. We can talk to you about the abilities of your child and whether he or she might be ready to start dance training. To request a free analysis, simply fill out our fun Free Dance Analysis. We will contact you and find about the interests of both you and your child and match you with the best classes for you.

You can have confidence in our ability to instruct small children while keeping things fun and interesting. We get great joy from instilling a love of dancing and the ability to enjoy grace and movement in the children of Florissant and the surrounding area. If that sounds good to you, call us today at (314) 921-5800 or request the dance analysis online. We hope to see you and your children in our studio soon.

Helping Children Develop Social Skills with Dance Classes

Teaching dance is far more than just training bodies to move in a particular pattern. While students of dance certainly learn self-discipline and persistence, they also gain a valuable education in social skills. Each time a student learns a move they thought difficult to master, they gain self-confidence. Confidence not only makes them a better performer, it helps in school, at home and in social settings.

When they practice with another student to help them work through a difficult series of steps, they learn a valuable lesson in relationships. Being able to handle relationships makes them a better member of the corps de ballet, chorus line or troupe. This lesson also carries over into every other aspect of their lives.

We focus on giving our young dancers a safe environment in which they can develop these skills. During our classes, we make sure to encourage all our students to learn, perform and interact with other students to the best of their own abilities. Learning dance should be challenging but never overwhelming.

Dance as Self-Expression

Dance is not only athletic, it’s also a form of creative expression. As they master the basics of dance, each young dancer learns to bring something unique to her performance. It is wonderful to watch children bloom as they realize they can add their own emotions and feelings to their performances. They may not realize that they are learning the true purpose of communication with every class and performance. This is another skill that will serve them well at home, with their friends or in their future careers.

Using Dance to Improve Children’s Relationships – an Example

In Puyallup, Washington, elementary school children who had never danced before were presented with a ten-week class that taught six ballroom dances – merengue, waltz, tango, foxtrot, rumba, and swing – plus the heel-toe polka, stomp and Cha-Cha Slide. School Principal Almai Malit-Idler noted that learning dance is a way for children to break down social barriers between girls and boys, build their self-confidence, teach them to work as a team and above all, learn to treat everyone with respect. At the end of the ten weeks, children who were scared and nervous at the start of the program performed not only for their classmates but also for their parents in an evening show.

You can read about their experience here.

Every child can benefit from becoming skilled at dance. We have trained hundreds of children in  the St. Louis-Florissant area with this kind of well-rounded approach. If you feel your child is ready to gain in grace, confidence and skill, call DK Dance Productions to arrange for an introductory dance class at (314) 921-5800

Dancing as a Universal Language

As a child grows up, she is learning who she wants to be. She may try on different models of living, first being like her mother and then perhaps like entertainers who may impress her with their art. As she matures, she learns also what is in her heart to express and what words to use to make her feelings known. The more easily this skill comes to her, the more successful she is likely to be in her personal and business relationships.

Undercutting the thousands of languages in the world is the language of dance. Fluid, graceful movements communicate instantly and deeply across barriers of culture, race or words. Every human culture has used dance in one way or another. Think of all the ways the Western Culture uses dance – for weddings, sporting events like gymnastics and ice skating, cheerleaders supporting games, street competitions featuring hip hop, musical concerts and charitable events. It’s part of all kinds of entertainments, from waltzing with a partner to Superbowl halftime shows and Broadway shows. It’s a universal medium of communication.

When a child learns to dance, she learns to express feelings and emotions from the tragic to the sublime. By learning to control her own body, she learns grace. By learning to use dance to express feelings and emotions, either her own or that of the composer or choreographer, she gains a greater ability and range of expression that will never leave her.

The Range of Dance Taught at DK Dance Productions

We understand that there so many ways to communicate via dance and so we include a wide range of dance styles at our studio. All the most popular styles of dance that your child is likely to be exposed to in our current culture are available. Of course, ballet, tap, jazz and contemporary dance are included, and should your child decide to progress on to ballroom style dance, these basics provide all the foundation needed.

We also teach hip hop, tumbling, acrobatic dance and pom poms. Advanced students who wish to perform in musical theatre have special classes available to them. We know that it can be difficult to decide what specific dance your child should learn first. We have created a special free and fun quiz, the Free Dance Class Finder, that allows you to get the help of a dance professional to determine what dance style would best match your child’s personality and interests.

We have used the term “she” so far in this article, but we have many boys in our classes as well. We have some classes especially for young men and other classes welcome both boys and girls.

The Ability to Communicate

When a young person gains the ability to express the feelings and emotions of dance, he truly gains in the ability to communicate in any way – one of life’s most essential abilities. This helps a young person overcome shyness and build confidence in any setting. These are excellent foundations for life, no matter who that young child eventually decides he wants to be.

If your child has expressed an interest in dance, bring her to one of our introductory dance classes. Just call our studio to schedule her first class – 314-921-5800. We’re looking forward to opening her eyes to the world of dance.

Teaching Children to Dance with Poise and Confidence

Down through the years, well-known dancers have embodied the perfection of poise and confidence that accompanies the mastery of this performing art. Think of Fred Astaire, Leslie Caron, Martha Graham, Gene Kelly, Rudolf Nureyev, Michael Jackson and Beyoncé. These well-loved dance icons help to inspire all of us to move with grace and beauty.

When a person learns to dance skillfully and beautifully, it’s like learning an entirely new way of expressing himself or herself. He can then use any genre of dance to complete that expression.

It’s just natural that as a person masters dance skills, she develops a beautiful carriage of her body. The skills of graceful movement, the development of muscle strength and the self-assurance gained through mastery of dance routines all contribute to a fluidity of movement and excellent self-control.

The elegant posture that naturally results from dance training creates an immediate impression of competence and character. Each person trained in dance gains a harmony of body and mind that creates this unconscious grace. As our dance students continue on in their training, they further gain a discipline that helps guide actions in every other area of life.

We live by these words:

To Dream is to Dance

To Love is to Dance

To Live is to Dance

We believe that dancing is a natural ability that can be developed in every person. We accept students as young as three years of age, and adults of any age. We offer private lessons and group classes.

The benefits of learning to dance

These days, more parents are interested in their children developing the ability to dance and more children are asking to learn to dance like the adults they see in television competitions or music videos. So dance is going through a renaissance of interest and we could not be more pleased. We are very aware of the benefits of learning dance imparts to every aspect of life.

Just a few of the many benefits of learning to dance, quite in addition to the physical benefits of being in shape, include:

  • Increased self-confidence
  • Better gross and fine motor skills
  • More poise under stress
  • The joy that comes from mastering a skill

We encourage parents to bring their children in for an introductory lesson at our dance studio. In a short interview and evaluation, we can assess a child’s aptitude and interest in learning dance and place them in the correct class.

And if parents are interested in classes for themselves, even if they have never danced in their lives, we are happy to help place them in the correct learning program as well.

Dancing is a path to fitness, grace, and even social skill. Far from being buried in an electronic device, our students are moving, learning, paying attention to lessons and interacting with each other.

Whether your child wishes to gain basic competence in dance or take their skills all the way to a professional level, we can help encourage them in their goals. Our more advanced students learn audition skills and we also teach choreography.

Change your child’s life, change his self-confidence and his ability – all through the beauty of dance. Please call us today to schedule a free dance analysis for your child. We welcome dance students from Florissant, Hazelwood, Alton and the surrounding areas. We look forward to welcoming you to the DK Dance Pro studio soon. Call (314) 921-5800 now to arrange an introductory dance lesson.

Do you have questions about what style of dance you or your child might like to learn? Take our Free Dance Analysis now and receive a free recommendation from a professional dance instructor based on our short and entertaining quiz.