Mommy, Teddy Bear and Me classes at the Castle Rock Recreation Center are the Stepping Stones of Dance! These introductory to dance classes introduce toddlers ages 18 months to age 3 to dance education with the guiding hand of their parent or caregiver. In the Mommy, Teddy Bear and Me classes, we meet the children where they are, this means class is designed to flow at their own pace. Some children may take to dance classes immediately and find themselves fully independent from their parent or caregiver while others may be held by their parent or caregiver throughout class. Don't worry moving and dancing while holding your child is actually GREAT for stimulating and developing their vestibular system! No matter where your child is in their development and readiness to dance, this class is for them!
The Mommy, Teddy Bear and Me dance class is rooted in play! We believe in the power that play has on learning. Child development experts have argued that play based activities involving movement is essential for children to develop foundational skills for school and life. This also stimulates them in growing physically, mentally and developing traits such as independence, self-esteem and resilience.
Some ways we encourage independent play in the Mommy, Teddy Bear and Me classes in by providing numerous props throughout class! For example, one prop a mom may find in her prop kit is a pair of egg shakers. While your Dance Educator will lead you in an egg shaker activity, your child may also choose to continue to play with the egg shaker during the scarf play activity or even during the active listening activity. Allowing our students the freedom and independence to make these decisions during class is fostering their independence, confidence and independent problem solving skills. Moms are encouraged to take their child's lead if they don't decide to follow the activity precisely as demonstrated. As long as everyone is safe, their really are no rules.
Mommy, Teddy Bear and Me at the Castle Rock Recreation Center teaches caregivers and students the foundational concepts of dance. There are 15 dance concepts that we learn in the Dance Exploration program. Mommy, Teddy Bear and Me participants will learn 8 of the 15 Dance Concepts!
Action is the first Dance Concept, it refers to a body in action (moving) vs in-action (stationary). In Dance you may hear these terms referred to as locomotion (moving) and non-locomotion (stationary). We explore Action in Mommy, Teddy Bear and Me with stop and go games such as freeze dance.
Space in dance refers either to self-space (the dancers' own personal spot to dance in), or general space (the room which we can dance in). In Mommy, Teddy Bear and Me classes, we learn about self space by performing movements on spots in the room. Each Caregiver, child partner has a spot to dance which is marked by a poly dot. Movement in general space is performed with dance activities that move in a circle as well as obstacle courses with different stations that move the children through general space with the help of fun props such as balance beams or sensory floor tiles.
Tempo in dance refers to how fast or slow we move. In Mommy, Teddy Bear and Me, we explore tempo with the combination of fun kid-friendly action songs and props. For example, the song "I Know a Chicken" by the Laurie Berkner Band is the perfect song to shake our shaker eggs to fast and slow tempos. Other props we may use to explore tempo include our giant parachute and scarves.
In dance, size refers to how much space our body can explore when it's big versus how little space we take up when we are small. This helps our body explore the idea of expansion and contraction and is important for the overall health of our spine and flexibility. In Mommy, Teddy Bear and Me, we also use fun props to help us explore size concepts. Our favorites are our parachute and stretchy bands!
In Dance, levels help a dancer know how high or low they are within space. There may be times a dancer is lifted high in the sky by a partner while other dancers roll on the floor beneath them. Knowing about levels within space and where others are in relation to their levels is important for their spatial development and proprioception (their body's intuition). Toy scarves, our parachute and stretchy band make learning different levels such as high, medium and low much more fun!
Head, shoulders, knees and toes! Learning about their body parts is important for dancers to learn how each part of their body works together to create shapes, pictures and movements. Silly Songs like "Shake your Hands" by Jen Gould or "I like my Hat," by Carole Peterson where we wear our Hat (scarf) on different body parts til we finally put it on our head!
Pathways in dance refers to different patterns dancers can travel in, through and around space. The basic pathways we learn in Mommy, Teddy Bear and Me are straight, curvy and circular! We explore pathways primarily in our class obstacle course. Sensory Floor Tiles are shaped like puzzles and placed in a straight pathway, stepping stones are placed in rainbow curve and a balance beam is shaped together to form a circle for dancers to walk, jump, tip toe, crawl or kick across!
The last Dance Concept we learn in Mommy, Teddy Bear and Me is Directions! This refers to the direction we are moving! Maybe we are traveling forwards but now we are going backwards! Maybe we are moving to the right side and now to the left side! We use props to help with this too! Jingle Bracelets placed on our dancers' wrists and ankles help them dance towards their right side (the jingle bell side) or the left side (the non-jingle bell side) with the help of their mom or dad!
Learning the Dance Concepts help our dancers apply what they learn in dance class into real-world situations. For example, maybe in the car they begin to recognize the airplane is flying HIGH in the sky. Or they recognize the car is traveling down a CURVY road. Or they recognize when the car is stopping vs when it's going (ACTION)! Children learn best through moving their body's and sensory input! A well rounded dance class for your child should include conceptual integration, the use of multi-sensory props and fun and lively action songs!
DAYS/TIMES: TUESDAYS 9:30-10:00AM
LOCATION: Castle Rock Community Recreation Center
2301 Woodlands Blvd, Castle Rock CO