In Once Upon A Ballet classes, children learn their first dance steps through fairy tales and classical ballet stories. But what, exactly, does this mean? When children come to ballet class, their dance activities take them through a fairy tale story, allowing them to be part of the fairy tale.
Many childhood care facilities and schools teach theme-based curriculums in their classrooms. One week it’s farm animals, the next week it’s food, after that it’s automobiles. In our Once Upon A Ballet lesson plans, it’s fairytales. We use fairy tale stories young children are familiar with and already love as we teach them something unfamiliar: ballet. Teaching ballet through fairy tales makes ballet more accessible for kids, enabling them to be more successful in learning new steps while, most importantly, making new friends and having fun.
In our youngest classes, children learn age appropriate ballet technique and vocabulary, but all through dance activities that tell the stories they already know and love. Children especially love getting to act out their favorite characters through dance.
For older children, our focus shifts to more ballet, but we still employ fairy tales. Children learn ballet steps as they learn about ballets based on popular fairy tales: some of them classic like Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella; some of them contemporary like Alice in Wonderland. This allows them to learn about ballet through more than just steps; they learn about the history and tradition of ballet – the great stories, composers and choreographers who have formed it into the art form it is today.