The Many Benefits of a Mommy and Me Class

Are you waiting for your child to become old enough to start dance classes? If you think they have to be five or six years old to start, then we have great news for you. If your little one has reached 18 months, then you can start classes with them at DK Dance Productions. The special class designed specifically for mothers and their toddlers is called Mommy and Me.

This class offers many benefits to your little one, like these:

  • Meeting many other children her (or his) own age
  • Experiencing a classroom setting which will make school or other classes seem familiar when they are started
  • Gaining more control over the large muscles and large movements
  • Improving control over smaller muscles to improve balance
  • Getting experience moving in time to music
  • Enhancing physical coordination

Of course, these benefits are in addition to experiencing the sensation of dancing, perhaps for the first time. Each child can begin to gain a sense of self-expression and appreciation for dance and music. In our classes, moms and children may be singing along as they walk in a circle one minute, and then a moment later, be down on the floor, stretching as far as they can. In the next minute, everyone may be dancing a hula or reaching up to the sky.

The instructor provides guidance, energy and focus for both mom and baby. It’s a great way to leave distractions, chores and other responsibilities outside and just enjoy the music, the movement and the company of other moms and their toddlers. Moms and their children will participate in learning simple and basic dance moves, therapeutic stretches and rhythmic movement.

Whatever activity your child will go on to enjoy, Mommy and Me classes provide an excellent start. Whether it’s music, team sports, gymnastics or even academics, your child will learn to move with a group, follow directions and pay attention. In the most gentle way possible, your children get to experience what is probably their first group lessons and the gentle discipline this involves. The class will be structured enough to provide a learning experience and unstructured enough to keep everything fun for the smallest of participants.

Don’t overlook the benefits for moms, too! Moms with toddlers may lack as much contact with adults as they had before a baby came on board, and this class is an opportunity for mom to socialize and engage with other moms. It’s also hard for many moms of fast-moving toddlers to get much time to stretch out those muscles, so this class gently helps mom start getting back into shape. Chances are good you’ll feel more relaxed when you return home.

To learn our schedule of Mommy and Me classes, call DK Dance Productions at 314-921-5800. These classes are offered to moms will toddlers between 18 months and three years. Of course, if your child is over three, we have other choices of beginning dance classes to choose from. We hope you start to enjoy our Mommy and Me classes soon!

Brooke Lucas: Dancing Queen, almost 17

IMG_2199-EditMarquette Catholic High School sophomore, Brooke Lucas, 16, is one of 40 dancers from around the world accepted to the Archcore 40 Dance Intensive this summer in New York City.

“It still hasn’t set in yet,” she said. “I mean I know it’s going to happen, but it hasn’t really sunk in.”

Lucas has been taking dance classes since she was 2 and a half according to her mother, GiGi Lucas. She is currently a student at DK Dance Productions in Florissant, Missouri. She has danced there for nine years under the tutelage of her cousin and godmother, Darci Ward. She currently dances about 15 hours a week.

Brooke Lucas was also accepted to the Joffrey School of Ballet’s summer intensive after Kansas City auditions held on Feb. 14. She will leave for New York City on June 29, after Talent On Parade Nationals. She will be accompanied by Ward on her trip and will stay with a former dance teacher of hers, Sarah Starkweather. Brooke Lucas said that she is excited for a change of scenery.

“I’m too excited to get out of here,” she said. “I feel like it’s the same routine every day. It will be cool to have a faster pace, see new stuff and be somewhere new.”

While New York City may be overwhelming at first, Brooke Lucas has traveled to Tokyo, Japan with Ward for a few weeks, which she believes gives her a bit of big city experience. Brooke would like to thank Ward, her mother, her grandmother, Mary Christen, and her father, Rod Lucas for everything they have done. Rod Lucas helped her work on her audition video and spent hours researching her craft to help her achieve her dreams. Brooke Lucas said that she eventually wants to be a professional dancer in New York.

“It’s a crazy dream,” she said. “When I get older, I want to go to New York and dance. This feels like a dream come true for seven weeks.”

The Lucas family will fly to New York city in August to bring Brooke Lucas back to the Riverbend. While they are there, they intend on doing a bit of sight-seeing and watching a performance the dance school gives to the parents. Brooke Lucas should be back in town by Aug. 14, 2015, just in time to begin her junior year at Marquette.

This article originally appeared on One change was made to the article as posted here to correctly state when Brooke would be leaving for New York City.

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