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New Beginnings and Baby Steps

June 28, 2020

I am really excited to be starting our new Dance With Your Baby classes!

Following the birth of my beautiful baby girl in December 2019, I was inspired to develop these dance classes.

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My partner and I were regularly taking our little one to baby and parent classes just before the situation with COVID-19 developed. With all face-to-face classes cancelled, I found myself missing music and movement. To keep us entertained during the day, I started to put playlists of action songs together which we would do at least once a day. 

We signed up to some online classes which were great for helping me to understand different stages of development and baby “milestones”. However, I did find the content of the classes and the level of instruction pretty variable. 

Taking part in the classes from the comfort of our own living room with no need to be anywhere by a certain time was a huge appeal.  The relaxed atmosphere meant that if little one needed a feed or if we wanted to grab ourselves a drink, we could switch the video off and catch up when we were ready. 

We also enjoyed the pre-recorded videos as these were a great go to resource for those lockdown moments of thinking “whatever else can I do to entertain you?!” 

My dance school, The Dance Barn started in September 2018 and so far has taken pupils from the age of 2.5 years to 85. Since the arrival of my little one I have become increasingly interested in the importance of physicality and movement from a much younger age. 

Young children learn about themselves through movement

Like most mums, I rushed to buy appropriate seats and “containers” to occupy my daughter during those moments when you just need to get something done (obviously nothing more exciting than emptying the dishwasher or getting through the pile of washing).

Thanks to COVID, little one’s dad was suddenly home a lot more, meaning I was blessed with some time to read. I came across a book called “Every Child a Mover” by Jan White, who explains the importance of giving children the opportunity to respond to their inner drives to roll, rock, crawl, turn and tumble. White explains how these not only get children moving in a variety of ways but also how they contribute to a baby’s cognitive development. 

This got me thinking about how in the dark I had been about the importance of ensuring my daughter had the chance to move as much as possible during her day and that a dance class could be one such opportunity. Putting something together for other families could also serve as a way to help them understand the different movement opportunities that babies and young children crave. It would also provide inspiration and ideas for movements that are possible even when they are not in class. 

We started by developing our first baby dance class and sent it out to our NCT friends, who very kindly gave it a go (thank you ladies!!!!). The feedback was brilliant and so I bit the bullet and set a date for our first online class!

To my knowledge, we are the only organisation approaching baby music and movement classes from this perspective. There are so many music and movement groups for babies, but I am really excited to create something quite innovative that I feel will be hugely fun but will also help others to understand more about the importance of movement at such a young age.

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