Babies, Dancing? Really?!
Baby dance classes at Tappy Toes… Say what?! How can a 6-month-old attend a dance class? What would they get out of it? I’d love to tell you all about our fabulous baby dance classes and how they work.
How Can Dancing Help your Baby?
Why would you bring your 6-month-old baby to a dance class? At Tappy Toes, we are so passionate about dance, that we don’t want to save it just for toddlers and pre-schoolers, we want to share it with babies and their grown-ups too.
Babies LOVE to wiggle! They love hearing music and bopping along. You don’t need to be able to stand up to dance. Clapping, waving, swaying and wiggling along to the music is all part of it.
It’s a scientific fact that music is good for babies and toddlers.
“Neuroscientists who study baby brains say music has long-lasting benefits for babies, too. Music makes a big difference to the baby brain. One study from the Institute of Learning and Brain Sciences detected that after babies listen to music, their auditory and prefrontal cortexes look different. These are the regions of the brains in charge of processing both music and speech.” Unicef.org
We recognise this at Tappy Toes and have created each lesson plan with babies in mind. There is a wide variety of music in each class, from classical to pop, Disney songs, traditional music from various countries. We want to expose our mini dancers to music from different cultures with different rhythms, tempos and sounds. We even let them make their own music with a variety of musical instruments like bells, tambourines, maracas. This fires up several areas of babies’ brain!
Dancing with Props
The use of props is a great way to get babies engaged with our dance classes. Sensory props like spiky glow balls, encourage them to reach out and grab, improving their fine motor skills. The different textures of chiffon scarves, ribbons, sparkly pompoms, are great for the babies to experience different sensations. We use bright coloured hand puppets, which are guaranteed to get our dancing babies smiling!
We talk about the different parts of our bodies and encourage babies to move them. Nodding heads, shaking and waving hands, touching tummies, tapping knees and so on.
Our classes follow a very set structure, as familiarity and repetition are vital for babies learning and development.
A familiar tune, music or song becomes like a session of music therapy. Slow, soft, repetitive music will actually slow down the heartbeat and allows for calmer and deeper breathing. This is why we always finish our baby dance sessions with Rock a Bye baby, sending you home with a calm and tired out baby, ready for a nap!
Singing to your Baby
Singing along to your baby is proven to develop their communication skills. It is a great way to bond with your baby. Through your singing, baby’s language comprehension begins. At Tappy Toes we use lots of well-known songs with actions that you can sing along to.
Now, more than ever, it’s important that we introduce our babies to other people. Lockdown has been tough on our little ones, and you may find they are extremely shy and clingy. This is to be expected and they will soon adapt. At Tappy Toes we’d love to help your baby become more confident and social, whilst keeping Covid safe. It may take a couple of classes for them to feel at ease and fully integrate into the session, but they will get there. A little bit of perseverance and gently does it.., and your baby will be a socialite in no time atall 🙂
So, we’re not teaching them pirouettes and arabesques just yet, but we are teaching them important life skills, and perhaps a Tappy Toes baby dance class will give your little one a love for dance that will last a lifetime…
Check out this Unicef blog about the benefits of music for babies.
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