How to run a successful Mommy and Me ballet class.
Mommy and me ballet class, Me and my grown up, come dance with me etc are one of my favourite classes to teach. For a start the kids are adorable at that age and secondly you have a whole class of adult helpers! It is wonderful. Sure you may have to ‘train’ your adult helpers a little to help them get started but once you have the ground rules in place this is a super fun class to teach. It is also a great way to start building your Preschool Dance program. Here are five simple tips to help your Mommy and Me dance class run super smoothly.
5 tips for Successful Mommy and Me Ballet Class
- Place Markers – As with any Preschool dance class, having set spots for your tiny dancers is key to classroom control. You can use poly dots or little mats etc, so long as you have a designated spot for each dancer and their caregiver
- Ground rules – It is important that parents are on the same page as you when it comes to running a successful Mommy and Me ballet class. There is always a danger that parents will start talking to teach other, checking their phones and generally not engaging with their child. It is super important that the parents stay engaged because engaged parents mean engaged children. If you notice a parent is not fully participating in the class a good tip is to speak to them via the children. For example, ‘okay now dancers, lets make sure our helpers are holding our hands and are ready to dance’
- Clear class phases – this is KEY to a successful Mommy and Me ballet class. When dancers of any age, but especially Preschool Dancer know what to expect and learnt follow an established routine, the children thrive. I use this curriculum which has very clearly laid out class phases, as well as prop suggestions, choreographed steps, sticker charts etc, I have used it for years to deliver literally thousands of successful Mommy and Me ballet classes – it has never let me down and I swear by it. Your Mommy and Me ballet class should be around 30 minutes and include the following class phases.
- A welcome routine
- Warm up and articulation
- Ballet steps (pliés, tendus, arm waves, partner sautés, prop work (eg peak a-boo with scarves)
- Locomotion – Fairy runs (with fairy wings), marches (with wands)
- Fun activity (eg ring a Rosie, action dance)
- Good bye routine (eg Rock a bye your bear)
4. Props – Props are KEY for any Preschool Dance class and Mommy and Me class is no exception, A good Mommy and me Ballet class curriculum will always include prop suggestions. Props to consider are
a. Scarves for peak-a-boo, for casting spells and for sways
c. Bean bags for jumping over, balancing on the head
d. Fairy wings
5. Playlist – Only the foolhardy would consider running a Preschool Dance class without a good solid Playlist with lots of back-up’s and emergency songs. You can find an example here. The power of the Playlist lies in the fact that you can just keep your class running without having to attend to music – the less time your attention is away from your baby ballet dancers the less is likely to go wrong.
Most of all, have fun. If you seem to be having fun, the parents will have fun and in turn your tiny dancers will have a fun and positive experience.
You can find more tips on running Pre-school Dance Classes in the following articles.
How to run a successful ballet class
Turn Preschool Disaster into Preschool Success