Dance To EvOLvE Blog

3 Reasons Homeschool Students Should Take Ballet

Posted by Brittany White on Dec 14, 2015 2:00:50 PM

Ballet is a great extracurricular activity for homeschooled students. Due to their flexible schedules, these students have the special opportunity to participate in ballet class any time of the day. Homeschooling also presents its own unique set of challenges, which is often reflected in a child’s behavior and performance. Consider three ways your child can benefit from taking ballet class while in homeschool. 

1. Structure

Kids_ballet_class.jpgHomeschooling is a great option for highly motivated students. However, if there is little to no structure in the home, it can have a negative impact on a child’s ability to focus and stay on task. Ballet class can provide the much needed discipline and structure that might otherwise be lacking in the home. Ballet students are taught to show respect for authority, demonstrate proper etiquette in the classroom, and learn responsibility. Being on someone else’s schedule also teaches a homeschooled student time management, a skill that not only helps them with their academics, but even prepares them for the workforce. Check your local dance schools, studios, and recreation centers for midday classes; some of these have created classes specifically with the homeschooler in mind.

2. Socialization

Some homeschooled students have the tendency to be shy or withdrawn; others are hungry for interaction. Ballet class gives homeschooled students the opportunity to socialize with others their age, giving them a sense of community. Many students have forged lifelong friendships based on their mutual love for dance. Through fun, interactiveactivities, ballet students learn to cooperate with others, creating a positive and supportive dynamic in the classroom. Whether a student is learning to be more assertive, or learning how to play well with others, this environment helps homeschooled students develop better social skills in, and outside the classroom.


3. Skill

Every child, homeschooled or not, needs exercise. Ballet class is especially great for homeschool students because it fulfills physical education requirements and gives them a chance to blow off some energy. Contrary to popular belief among many young ones, ballet, however, is not about prancing around in a tutu. Ballet is beautiful, but it’s also very challenging. Ballet technique gives students a full-body workout, enhancing their motor skills, and improving their balance and coordination. Homeschooled students have a particular advantage since they can usually devote more time to practice. When they diligently apply themselves, homeschooled students have the opportunity to accelerate and improve, which in turn, increases their self-confidence.

Ballet, as well as other dance forms, has many physical, mental, and emotional benefits for homeschooled students. It instills principles that help them become better students, children, and members of the community. If you’re considering putting your homeschooler in an extracurricular activity, never underestimate the power of dance.

About the Author:
Bethany Leger taught ballet for 7 years in Dallas, TX. She is the founder of Ballet For Adults, a site dedicated to educating adults about ballet.

Tags: Dance Classes, Children Ballet, Dance Studios, kids dance classes, ballet class, dance classes kids, Kids, benefits

Types of Kids Dance Classes

Posted by Brittany, Dance To EvOLvE on Jul 21, 2014 4:01:00 PM

There are so many San Diego dance classes as well as Chicago dance classes available that it can be hard to decide which one is most suitable for your little one.  What ages are most appropriate for different types of dance classes? Do some require parent involvement? Are some more active than others?  These are all common questions and concerns when it comes to choosing the perfect dance class for your child. Here is a guide of all different types of dance classes explaining what they offer, the appropriate ages, parent involvement and what skills your child will dance classes Read on to find out which dance class your superstar will rock:

Ballet Dance Classes 

A ballet class for kids focuses on ballet technique as well as strength, balance and grace. Kids will begin to work on body alignment and posture while learning positions and developing strong muscles. A pre-ballet class is great for any age as young as two but when advancing to classical lines, it would be ideal for your child to be at the age of six and above.

Creative Movement Dance Classes

This kids dance class is perfect for those as young as 14 months to 2 years. These dance classes are less formal and less structured in order to acclimate toddlers to a dance class.  These classes focus more on basic motor, listening and expressive skills.  Your child will be introduced to all sorts of beginning dance steps such as ballet, tap and hip hop in fun and creative ways.  Depending on the dance studio or other dance classes in Chicago, parent involvement is most likely a requirement to encourage and support the little ones.

Hip Hop Dance Classes

Hip Hop dance classes for kids are an energetic and expressive option for your child. This category of dance focuses on rhythm, basic hip hop dance dance classes
moves and creativity. More advanced hip hop dance classes will go into breakdancing and more challenging choreography. Students can learn the latest moves in a hip hop dance class while also applying their own personal and original style. Even a two year old can bust out a move in this exciting class as it focuses on creativity, confidence and individualism. Depending on the age of the kids, there may be tentative parent involvement. 

Tap Dance Classes

Tap is a great dance class for all ages especially the young ones. Tap involves creative movement and sounds of the feet as well as fun and expressive ways to let loose and have fun. San Diego dance classes offer a combination tap and ballet class meaning the first half of dance class is tap and the second is ballet. This is an excellent option for a beginning dancer as young as two years old since tap and ballet are a strong foundation for other kids dance classes.

Jazz Dance Classes

Jazz incorporates techniques and dance moves from a variety of dance styles ranging from contemporary to lyrical and much more. Exciting pop music is usually played during jazz dance class and the movements are imaginative and expressive. High kicks, leaps and turns are just a few of the moves these classes teach. Jazz is appropriate for older ages such as six and above. If your not yet ready to have your child take a jazz class, try taking a ballet class first since jazz tends to build off moves taught in ballet.

kids dance classesContemporary Dance Classes

Contemporary dance combines many elements of dance such as ballet, jazz and lyrical. Based on modern dance techniques, these movements are quick, expressive and reflective. This type of dance is innovative and full of interpretation combining all types of dance into modern movements. Contemporary is appropriate for those wanting to express themselves as much as possible.

All kids dance classes are beneficial for your little one. Each and every one has it’s own unique movements and talents to offer. We recommend having your child test out many different kids dance classes to see what they like best and go from there. All dancing is good dancing and we hope that you found this guide helpful! If you have any further questions or comments, please do not hesitate to let us know!

Tags: Children Ballet, Type of Dance Styles, dance classes for children, tiny tot dance classes

Finding The Best Children's Ballet Classes In Chicago

Posted by Laura Spicuzza on Apr 18, 2013 1:54:00 PM

MTM2NjQ0ODQyMjA0NzAyMzA1.pngI've never been to a studio that told me ballet wasn't important.  Quite the opposite,

 actually.  When I was a young girl growing up, I wanted to be a "jazz" dancer - with the sparkly costume and fingers spread out wide.  What I learned was, to be a great jazz dancer (and any other type of dancer for that matter), you have to have ballet.  It is true in every aspect of dance.  If you carry the understanding, form, and vocabulary of ballet all of dance becomes easier.  There's no better time to start ballet than when you're a young child.  That is why I'm going to help you understand how to find the best children's ballet classes in Chicago.

If your dancer is under 6 years of age, it's structurally impossible for their bodies to fully handle some of the techniques of classical ballet.  That is why most studios offer  pre-ballet or tiny tots classes for children.  Many studios are different, but now-a-days, you can get your dancer in a pre-ballet class as early as 2 years old.  When you're looking for children's ballet classes in Chicago, it's important to look for certain qualities within the program.  Between teaching your child the vocabulary of ballet, learning dance class etiquette, and introducing ballet to a young dancer in a way that makes them love the practice for life...finding these key elements will make your dancer into a beautiful/ handsome ballerina.

describe the imageThe Vocabulary of Ballet:  I often have dancers join me in class after their parents have told me that the dancer has taken ballet for the last year, only to find out that they know none of the vocabulary that corrolates with ballet.  While a tiny tots ballet class should be fun, it should also be instilling the practice of ballet into the young dancer.  Make sure when you're looking for children's ballet classes in Chicago, to ask the studio if you can observe a class prior to signing your dancer up.  If they are having a good time but still learning, that's a great start.

Dance Class Etiquette:  The next thing I look for is how a class is conducted in terms of dance class etiquette.  Are they listening to directions?  Are they being cautious of one another and not constantly bumping in to each other?  Are they kind to their peers and respectful to their teachers?  When you're observing the class, make sure to look for these things in the classroom.  While some chaos can be fun (who doesn't enjoy a round or two of Freeze Dance), the overall class needs to feel structured and be a safe environment for all those in it.

Tkids activitieshe last thing to look for is tiny dancers leaving the room with a smile on their face.  There is plenty of time in life to take things seriously, but sometimes it's just nice to be happy and have a smile on your face.  In children's ballet classes in Chicago, ballerinas should be learning but they shouldn't feel drained or stressed.  Ballet is supposed to be fun and enjoyable!

So there you have it.  The key components to finding the perfect children's ballet classes in Chicago.  In every aspect of dance, ballet plays a part.  Whether it's learning to have grace in tap dancing, perfect technique in jazz, or simply finding the strength that it takes to be a prima ballerina...ballet is essential.  For young kids, the practice of ballet can be used in their every day life so make sure you find the best class for your kiddo. 

The truth is, "dance is the song of the body" start making the music.

Tags: Children Ballet, children activities, ballet class, Chicago dance class, dance classes for kids in chicago, chicago dance, dance classes in chicago, ballet classes in chicago

The Best Types Of Dance Classes For Kids In Chicago

Posted by Brittany White on Sep 5, 2012 10:11:00 AM

William Edgar Stafford once said, “Kids: they dance before they learn there is anything that isn't music” and he couldn't be more right.  Dancing is such a natural thing for kids.  They start moving their bodies before anyone tells them that there is a right or wrong way to do so.  Not only does dance help with kids motor skills and coordination, it can also be great for them to build confidence and boost their self-esteem.  There are so many great types of dance classes for kids that help them express themselves.  Here are some of the best types of dance classes for kids in Chicago:


Tap & Ballet Combination Classes:
A lot of dance classes for kids in ChicaDSC 0330 2 2go are hour long dance classes that focus on one genre of dance.  If a child is older than 6 years old, those types of classes are great.  If they are younger, an hour dance class focusing on one genre of dance can be a very long hour.  That's why combination classes are great for little ones!   The tap section lets them use their high energy, while the ballet section teaches them grace.

Hip Hop Classes:
Hip Hop is one of the best dance classes for kids in Chicago.  It gives the kids a chance to listen to popular music (should be age appropriate) and let loose.  Hip Hop builds strength and rhythm through fun tricks and dances.  It's the perfect class for kids to move and groove in.

General Dance Class:DSC 0494 2
A general dance class is normally offered at any type of kids creative center or kids gym.  This type of dance class works on motor skills, coordination and rhythm.  They would work on a large spectrum of movement instead of a focused genre.  These classes are fun and good for kids who are just starting to get into dance and great for all ages.

With all these options of dance classes for kids in Chicago, it's in your best interest to see if the studio you choose to take a class in offers a trial class so you can make sure it's a good fit for you and your dancer. Every child loves to dance and should get the chance to truly experience it for themselves.

Download A FREE  Parent Guide To  Choosing The Best  Dance Class For  Your Child

Tags: Children Ballet, Children Ballet, children activities, ballet class, dance, Chicago dance class, dance classes for kids in chicago, tiny tot dance classes, dance class chicago

5 Things To Look For When Finding Chicago Dance Classes

Posted by Brittany White on Aug 7, 2012 6:52:00 PM

Whether you're a toddler who is just starting to grasp the idea of dance or you are a veteran dancer who wants to continue with the practice of dance...finding Chicago dance classes can be hard!  There are a lot of things to look for and a lot that we forget to look for.  Here are some tools to help you find the Chicago dance class that's right for you!Chicago dance class

Location!  No one wants to drive or take public transportation to a studio that's nowhere near you.  You want to be able to find a class that is closeby and convenient.  When you're searching for classes, do a search by your zip code instead of just a general Chicago search.  This will help to narrow down the hundreds of Chicago dance classes offered throughout the city.

Class Type!  While a lot of people simply want to take a class that they have never taken, many will have a specific dance class in mind.  If you are looking for a specific class, you need to make sure that the studio you are researching offers it.  Don't waste your time trying out a studio that doesn't offer what you want.  You need to find the Chicago dance class that's good for you.

Class Schedule!  Every studio has a set class schedule.  The most frustrating thing can be to find a studio that is nearby you that only offers the class you want while you're at help at all!  Always look over the studio's class schedule before committing.

Teachers!  Teachers make or break a class.  When it comes to younger children, a bubbly, trained, experienced instructor is always great!  For more adult classes, make sure that the teacher has credibility and experience working with adults.  Adults need to be aware of injuries and no one wants to be injured because the teacher was inexperienced.

Customer Service!  Some studios have a front desk staff while others are managed by one person or use a 3rd party vendors space.  Whatever the situation is, the customer service should always be great.  The studio should be communicative and helpful.  If you call a studio and they don't know half of the answers to your questions, more than likely that is not the Chicago dance class location for you.

Finding a Chicago dance class that suits your needs can be like finding a needle in a haystack if you're unaware of what to look for.  Take the time to pick a class that is good for you.  Don't be deserve to have the best class possible!

Download A FREE  Parent Guide To  Choosing The Best  Dance Class For  Your Child

Tags: Dance Classes, Children Ballet, children activities, ballet class, tap dance, dance, Chicago dance class, dance classes in chicago, dance classes for children, tiny tot dance classes, Big Kid Dance Class, dance class chicago

A Starting Guide On How To Choose Dance Classes In Chicago

Posted by Brittany White on Jul 27, 2012 5:53:00 PM

The "Windy City" is the ideal place for dance for our sometimes harsh weather.  Not only is it home to great professional dance has so many options for all genres of dance and all ages.  To pick dance classes in Chicago, you need to know what you're looking for, how to look for it, and how to begin.

What style of dance classes in Chicago are you looking for?  Many Chicago studios offer ballet, hip hop, children's dance classes, salsa, ballroom dancing, and much more!  Once you know what type of dance you are interested in, the search for dance classes in Chicago becomes mdance classes in chicagouch easier!  If you are not sure what style of dance you are intersted in, see if the studio offers a trial class or at least go and watch a class.  It would always be recommended to start at a beginner level class so that you do not become overwelmed and frustrated.  Dance is a learned skill like anything else and it takes some time to get the general feel of it.

With your dance genre picked out, you can now begin to pick and choose which classes you want to take.  Many studios offer drop-in classes.  These classes allow you to pay for one class so you can try it out before committing to a package or monthly fee.  Make sure to try a couple different studios before settling.  There's so many options for dance classes in Chicago...make sure you find the best fit for you.

Once you've found a class that you love, the rest of it is easy.  Simply ask your instructor what they will expect from you each class (ex.: wearing certain shoes, bringing a water bottle to class, etc.).  Instructors who teach dance classes in Chicago are happy to answer any questions you have, so always ask.  Of course this information is often on the website too.

You're on your way to enjoying dance...what could possibly be better than that?

Download A FREE  Parent Guide To  Choosing The Best  Dance Class For  Your Child


Tags: Dance Classes, Dance Classes, Children Ballet, Children Ballet, Dance Studios, children activities, children activities, kids dance classes, ballet class, dance, dance classes in chicago, dance classes for children, Dance Classes Quality, Dance Class Preparation, tiny tot dance classes, dance classes for children; summer camps, Boys Dance, Big Kid Dance Class

3 Great Reasons To Try A Summer Ballet Class

Posted by Brittany White on Jul 20, 2012 12:46:00 PM

Every spring I am asked what class I would recommend for their child to take during the summer.  Between busy summer schedules and planned trips, will their dancer get anything out of a dance class?  Yes…they will!  Summer is the perfect time for your dancer to join a ballet class.

 * Summer ballet classes are great for young dancers who are getting readsummer ballet classy to start their first year of school.  Ballet class helps to teach kids structure that can be used in any classroom setting.  They learn to listen to the teacher, take turns, follow directions, get in lines, and much more!  Since ballet class is a more structured genre of dance, it helps to make the transition into school life that much easier.

* A summertime ballet class can also be beneficial to new dancers.  The classes are typically smaller giving more one-on-one attention to the participants.  Coming in to a large ballet class can be quite intimidating, so a smaller class can make it much easier for them to get comfortable.  Since the summer schedule is shorter than a fall/ winter/ spring session, you can 'test' if this class or studio is a place that you want your dancer to be in the future.

* Kids need to move during summer!  Even though it’s hot outside, kids need to stay active to ensure that they stay strong and healthy.  No one wants to see kids holed up inside their house all day playing video games.  If the weather is too hot outside, what is better than an air conditioned dance room while your dancer learns the fundamentals taught in a ballet class?

Overall, a summer ballet class is a great option.  The majority of dance teachers will say that the knowledge and understanding of ballet is one of the most important skills a dancer can get out and try it in a summer ballet class near you.  

Download A FREE  Parent Guide To  Choosing The Best  Dance Class For  Your Child

Tags: Dance Classes, Children Ballet, children activities, ballet class, dance

What are some good holiday dance performances to see?

Posted by Brittany White on Nov 28, 2011 9:10:00 AM

If I could have music playing during this blog, I would have the sound of sugar plums quietly dancing in the background and you could probably guess the answer... so use your imagination and hear the music to give this blog extra emphasis. ;) There is really only one answer to this question and it is the classic story of the Nutcracker. Anyone can find a Nutcracker performance not too far away either on a professional or amateur level. Either way, the Nutcracker is a classic ballet that embraces the holiday season. It can be enjoyed by the whole family (even dads!) and is truly the perfect show for a dancer to see his/her first ballet. The Nutcracker has it all with an enchanting story of a little girl in a magical world with a Nutcracker, King Mouse, and dancing sugar plums. The scenery backdrops, costumes and dancing are beautiful, and the music will take you away. (You will recognize a lot of the songs from your holiday shopping in the mall).

A quick history...a version of the Nutcracker called The Nutcracker and The Mouse King was first premiered on December 18, 1892 in St. Petersburgh to limited popularity, but the score within the ballet by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was a huge success and brought us the classic song "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy." As history continued, the ballet really became famous when the world-renowned choreographer George Balachine choreographed a new version in 1954. If you have ever seen the Nutcracker it was most likely based off the choreography in Balachine’s production. It is one of the most famous ballets of today and should not be missed during the holiday season.

A professional company performing the Nutcracker will leave you breathless and in ‘awe’ but will come with a more expensive ticket. If you are looking for something a little more budget friendly, many studios do local versions of the show. For example, I have seen the San Diego Youth Ballet’s version of the Nutcracker for $15-$20, and I thought it was wonderful. At the end of the day, you can’t help but leave with that holiday nostalgia after hearing that classic music, seeing children in adorable costumes, and being impressed by the leading dance soloists.

Here are a couple professional companies offering the Nutcracker this year in the San Diego area:

City Ballet of San Diego
San Diego Civic Youth Ballet
California Ballet
Moscow Ballet
West Coast Ballet Theatre
City Ballet

Keep Dancing Over The Holidays!
Brittany White, EvOLvE Dance Director

Tags: Dance Classes, Children Ballet, Holiday Dance Performances