“Let us first teach little children to breathe, to vibrate, to feel, and to become one with the general harmony and movement of nature. Let us first produce a beautiful human being, a dancing child” - Isadora Duncan
Our Monkey Moves classes use the Royal Academy of Dance's Pre-School Dance Curriculum which is designed to enable children to participate in dance activities that are developmentally appropriate, helping to facilitate the learning of dance skills at a later age, in particular it leads well in Ballet and Jazz. The main aims of these dance classes are:
- To enhance movement abilities, physical fitness and spatial awareness
- To encourage expressive movement and build confidence and self esteem
- To encourage co-operation, social skills and stimulate listening skills
“Children cannot technically refine or stylise movements until the quality of the raw movement is established. Children who do attempt specialised skills before reaching mature forms of fundamental skills run the risk of performing poorer quality specialised skills. Poor patterns of movement are difficult to eradicate. It is more efficient to teach properly from the very beginning than to retrain. The development of fundamental movements is central to the Pre-School Dance Curriculum”- Royal Academy of Dance
Although the description of the curriculum may sound very technical, it doesn’t seem this way to the children. They don’t realise that by pretending to fly they are developing their own fundamental movements (such as balancing, starting and stopping etc). At this age they don’t understand that passing and rolling a ball round the circle to different musical instruments is teaching them musicality, rhythm, teamwork and listening skills and that impersonating animals is encouraging creativity and developing speech and language. As far as the children are aware, they are simply playing games, singing songs and having fun.
Each week the children explore a theme through the use of imagery, stories and props, with each theme lasting approximately half a term. Some of the themes used are “The Enchanted Castle”, “The Toy Kingdom” and “The Jungle”.