Yesterday afternoon, I was assisting the director of Academy of Dance, Kim Rowley, with a class of 4-yr-olds. It’s a full moon week, so the girls were especially silly. Kim was instructing the girls to do ballet runs. In doing so, she lowered her voice to a whisper and told the girls that they mustn’t scare the fairies away. I watched, amazed, as the once rowdy group of toddlers ran back and forth in complete silence. Continue reading
In the past, I have often made the mistake of thinking that my students are too mature for fairy tales. I don’t know what could have influenced this assumption, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Kids love silliness.
Don’t underestimate the power of imagination.
“Walk like a princess” is one of my students’ favorite activities. Before beginning this exercise, I ask the girls to imagine they are princesses. This always results in a chorus of voices telling me what kind of princesses they want to be. I’ve heard everything from fairy to vampire queen. It doesn’t matter what kind of princess they choose, as long as they feel elegant. I then ask the girls what princesses wear. Continue reading
There are some teachers who have the magic skill of making students understand dance steps with just a moment of explanation. Such is not the case for me. Often, I find myself demonstrating the same step for the millionth time to a sea of blank faces and still feet. This sometimes works with the visual learners. When the music starts, their faces remain blank and their motionless feet are replaced with the randomness of Mexican jumping beans. Continue reading
Children are loud. Often, it’s not that they’re willfully disobeying the direct order to “GO TO YOUR LINE,” it’s just that they can’t hear you over their own chatter. However, almost all children, without fail, know what counting means. When they start to hear “One…Two…” they know that “Three” is coming. What is coming after three? I don’t really know. They don’t really know. But, neither of us really wants to find out. They almost always get to that line before three. Continue reading