The Benefits of Dance for Early Childhood Development

Linda Jamieson School of Dance pic
Linda Jamieson School of Dance
Image: jamiesondance.com

For more than 30 years, the Linda Jamieson School of Dance has trained youth in a variety of disciplines, including ballet, jazz, tap, and contemporary. The Linda Jamieson School of Dance offers several dance classes, including pre-professional, recreational, and young dancer programs, providing inspiring learning opportunities for youth of every age and skill level.

Dance is a wonderful way for children of all ages to stay active while discovering an appreciation for the arts and their own creativity. Dance lessons can be a powerful tool for instilling many of the key lessons children learn in early childhood, providing a natural way for young children to develop a greater awareness of their bodies. Concepts such as balance, coordination, and range of motion are all integral to dance classes, and the movements involved can help kids develop basic counting skills and learn to differentiate between left and right, as well as fast and slow.

By helping children become comfortable with their bodies at a young age, dance also can help inspire self-esteem and socialization. A dance class provides a positive and constructive environment for children to learn how to share space, communicate, and cooperate with others. In addition, dance serves as an outlet for both physical and emotional energy. By taking part in dance, children learn to express themselves in creative ways while expending energy that might otherwise fuel behavioral problems at home or at school.

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Partnering Skills for Male Ballet Dancers

 

Linda Jamieson School of Dance pic
Linda Jamieson School of Dance
Image: jamiesondance.com

The Linda Jamieson School of Dance offers ballet classes in both preprofessional and recreational formats. In the Linda Jamieson School of Dance’s pre-professional program, students have the opportunity to take classes in pas de deux technique.

A beautiful pas de deux requires each individual dancer within the pair to have not only strong individual technique, but also high-level partnering skills. For the male dancer within the pair, a significant component of this skill set is the ability to attune to his partner and learn how she responds to the music. If he is able to respond to her execution of the choreography as well as to her emotional response, he can help to create a unified aesthetic.

The male dancer needs to be able to use this attunement to know when to support his partner and when to step back and allow her to dance in her own space. For many male dancers, this means consciously maintaining a physical distance that lets their partners show their strength, yet being ready to offer support and connection when the phrase requires it.

All of these skills need to be present alongside a high level of physical strength and agility. Male ballet dancers need the lower body power to perform impressive leaps and turns, as well as the upper body musculature to lift a partner into the air and lower her with unwavering control. Development of such strength requires an intense time investment, as the dancer needs not only to attend classes and participate in rehearsals but also to set hours aside for weight training.

About the Cecchetti Syllabus

Cecchetti Syllabus pic
Cecchetti Syllabus
Image: cecchetti.org

The Linda Jamieson School of Dance offers its pre-professional ballet students a number of competition and performance opportunities, including participation in professional-standard full ballets. To prepare students for these opportunities, the Linda Jamieson School of Dance offers a rigorous curriculum drawn from the Royal Academy of Dance, Dance Arts Canada, and the Cecchetti Syllabus.

Developed by world-renowned ballet teacher Enrico Cecchetti, the Cecchetti Syllabus guides students from their first experiences in childhood pre-ballet through a professional level of performance. The progressive syllabus considers not only the advancement of technique but also the capabilities and body mechanics of students in particular stages of physical development.

Each Cecchetti class begins with barre work and moves into the center, where students engage in exercises that align with their placement within the syllabus. Students then move into a series of stretches and finish the class with a two- to three-minute phrase that incorporates elements from barre work. Students in a Cecchetti program receive a well-rounded ballet education by gaining proficiency in all types of ballet movement and an understanding of anatomy and body mechanics.

About the ADAPT Dance Program

ADAPT Dance Program pic
ADAPT Dance Program
Image: adaptsyllabus.com

Based in Ottawa, Ontario, the Linda Jamieson School of Dance has trained world-class dancers in a variety of styles for over 30 years. Among other styles, the Linda Jamieson School of Dance offers classes in jazz, which are taught based on the ADAPT system of training.

Created in 1979 by prominent Canadian choreographer, dance teacher, and director Brian Foley and his wife, Faye, ADAPT (Associated Dance Arts for Professional Teachers) is best suited to jazz and tap classes. After creating the syllabus, the Foleys presented it to a small group of teachers. Those teachers returned to their local studios, where they utilized the ADAPT syllabus in their own classes and found it to be a challenging yet fun curriculum.

With a focus on better preparing students for a career in dance, ADAPT has risen drastically in popularity throughout Canada and is now employed in 175 dance studios worldwide. It has also expanded to include a certified ballet system, implemented with the help of professional Russian dancers Vladimir Iablakov and Larissa Kouznetsova, while students in some Canadian provinces are eligible to earn high school credits through its dance examination program.