Children's Classes       

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   Why Dance?
  
Young children love to move, be it at play or when listening to music.  By channeling this innate love through dance and movement classes not only helps to develop cognitive, motor and social skills but also instils exercise as a way of life.

As children grow older dance can continue to be a hobby for some or a future career choice for others.  Whatever a child's goal, dance frequently produces confident, well-co-ordinated young people with good posture, self respect and respect for others.  It is also a fun hobby which gives young people the chance to experience the thrill of performance and the satisfaction of progressing and gaining qualifications with an international body - the IDTA.

 

    Subjects on offer

BALLET

Ballet is great for perpetuating style, grace, good posture and strength.  It is also great for teaching self-discipline and pride in appearance.  Classes from Under 5’s Beginners to Primary Grade start with the introduction and development of basic feet and arm positions and the basic steps e.g. plies (knee bends), rises, point and close, sautés (jumps), petit jetes (springs from foot to foot), spring points and travelling steps such as walking on the demi-pointe (tiptoes), skips, running and gallops.  At Willow School of Dance we also theme classes to develop imaginative as well as physical skills

From Grade 1 upwards the classes commence with Barre work which aims to promote strength, placing and turnout and prepares students for technically advanced steps to be performed in the centre in later grades.  After the barre work section students perform Centre work which includes Port De Bras (Carriage of the arms), degages (points), Chasses (sliding movements), arabesque and attitude lines and eventually movements like Pirouettes and Set Adage which is a combination of some of the above steps.  Students then move on to the Allegro section which is all the jumps and quicker movements associated with Ballet.  Technical placing and strength needed for elevation is extremely important here.  Students eventually go on to learn set Variations and also have a music section where they are asked to interpret different pieces of music through movement. 

Pointe work can also be taught once it is felt that a pupil has become technically proficient on demi-pointe and has developed enough muscle strength and bone development to sustain this technically demanding section.

For a young child Ballet is a very good first choice as it will help their concentration and posture and children often find other forms of dance easier to pick up once they have followed a course of Ballet.  As children mature Ballet helps to develop strength in their muscles and also maintain good posture.

TAP

Tap is a great choice for promoting co-ordination, a sense of rhythm and for strengthening and loosening foot, ankle and leg muscles.  A typical class will begin with a warm-up, progressing through basic steps.  The class then progresses onto learning new steps (glossary) and then putting these into routines which vary in length from 8 bars of music for younger pupils up to routines of 2 minutes in length for Senior pupils. Music used in classes varies from Jazz, Show-tunes and Pop.

Tap is a very satisfying choice for all age groups. For younger pupils great delight is found from being able to dance and make noise at the same time.  With more advanced pupils being able to achieve and perform technically complex steps and rhythms is extremely satisfying.

FREESTYLE

In Freestyle we learn a variety of routines to a wide variety of music from the current charts to 1940’s big band swing.

Dance styles include disco, street dance and hip hop, lyrical, rock ’n’ roll and country and western.

Classes begin with a warm-up and then work on steps such as turns, spins, kicks and leaps based on the demands of the routines we are learning, before teaching routines.
Freestyle is a very popular dance choice for young people. It helps develop rhythm, co-ordination, self-expression, stamina, strength and flexibility.


MUSICAL THEATRE (SINGING AND DRAMA)

 

Do you want to be a star?  This is the class for you.  Students are taught how to correctly warm up the voice and body through a series of fun exercises and skills based games.  A comprehensive repertoire is then taught in Drama - Improvisation, Script Interpretation, Use of Props and Costumes, Character Development, Vocal Projection, Mime etc and in Singing - Pop, Jazz & Blues, Folk and World Music, Musical Theatre Numbers, Part and Harmony Singing.

It is advised that all children enrolling on the Musical Theatre classes should also be attending a dance class within the school as the aim of the classes are to stage musical numbers encompassing singing, dance and drama.

Currently Musical Theatre classes are available for 8 years upwards.
 

Q. Can I watch my child’s class?
A. No, With smaller children a parent in the room could be very distracting, making the child want to run to the parent instead of performing at their best. So that parents can see their child perform their work we have a watching week the last week of term where family and friends are invited to come and watch their child’s class.

 
 
 

Principal: Sam Whyatt OMLJ, MA, BSc, BCMA (Reg), ITEC, FIDTA
email: sam@willowdance.co.uk
Phone: 07877 325797