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Ballet for preschoolers

by Cathy Do visions of Sugar Plum Fairies dance in your child’s head?

My daughter was hooked on ballet from the moment we found one of Adele Geras’ lovely books at our local library. The shoes, the tutus, and the sheer beauty of it all were irresistible to her then-three year old heart. And so, with some trepidation (given my own lack of coordination and grace), I went in search of the ballet class of her dreams. Did we find it? You bet your tutu we did!

Preschool Ballet at the Glebe Community Centreis one of a series of dance classes for all ages offered by the inimitable Kailena Van de Nes. This year, classes for 3-5 year olds included ballet, hip hop and Broadway ‘stars’, with even more options available for older children.

These classes are a perfect introduction to dance – equal parts movement, musicality and magic. Each class includes free dance and choreographed routines that help the students learn about both basic techniques and musical expression. End-of-class stickers and the occasional cameo by Kailena’s dog Ferron help complete the experience for aspiring dancers (and their patient younger siblings!). Not only has Kailena made Wednesdays B’s favourite day of the week, I love it too. The last 5 minutes of every 45 minute class are a chance for the wee ones to perform for their waiting parents or caregivers. The post-performance thundering of little feet racing for a congratulatory hug will long remain one of my favourite memories of my 4 year old girl. So too will her first recital last December – a knock-your-socks-off-open-the-floodgates celebration of dance in all forms.

You can check out the end-of-year recital at the Glebe Community Centre on June 5th, or watch the Glebe Neighbourhood Activites Group website for Fall registration dates. Be prepared to register early, though – classes fill up fast!

Cathy is a blog-less but avid follower of Kids in the Capital. She has a 4.5 year old daughter and a 2.5 year old son who both love being outside as much as she does.