Classes for Young Children
All of ATJ’s dance classes for young children are fun and energetic with the aim of fostering a love of movement in your child. Lessons consider students’ attention spans and keep them happily engaged while learning to translate music to movement. Interaction is consistent and incorporates a high level of praise to promote a strong sense of accomplishment.
Most classes for the young child start with ballet where they get introduced to some basic fundamentals along with some fun creative movement activities. Then we normally have them change into tap shoes — tap helps them start to count music and develops a sense of rhythm in young dancers.
JANUARY START: Most little ones start in September but we do allow some to also start in January if you don’t want them to do the full 9 month program. They have a bit of catching up to do if they start half way through the year but little ones usually have no problem with this. It is normal for little ones to be hesitant to fully participate at first — they often want to watch and see what they are getting themselves into the first few weeks – but before long they are joining right in.
PARENT INVOLVEMENT: We encourage independence in class but will have parents come into class at the beginning of the year if needed as support for their child. We also have regular visitor’s days throughout the year for parent viewing. Parents are asked to be in waiting room to help with changing dance shoes but if you cannot be there just let the teacher know and they will change the shoes for your child.
AS THEY GET OLDER: The Ages 4-5 classes run very similar to what is outlined above but usually are bit longer due to their increasing attention span. We try to gradually introduce a more structured environment while allowing children to recognize their own individuality and body mobility. Focus is on coordination and rhythm introduced in creative and imaginative ways. Keeping students entertained while learning beginning dance skills will help them to acquire a lifelong love for dance. Typically the classes for the 4-5 year old age group begin with ballet.