What is an ideal ballet class for an 18 month-old girl? Answer: whichever class without tears. I say this because several years ago, I had an unforgettable tearing class with my other daughter.
That being said, when my LO had her first ballet class at Tutu School-Roscoe Village, I was expecting tears. It turned out that she was laughing and dancing through the 45-minute class.
When my mom was in high school, she was a shiny ballet star in her city. She always tells me that strict training lays a solid foundation for outstanding performance. Although I agree with her, I never enjoyed my own ballet class when I was a little girl, despite my love of the feeling of dancing. So, when the time came for me to looking for a class for my little one, I was not expecting strict academic ballet training. I was looking for a class, in which my LO can fall in love with ballet dance.
So, we booked a Sunday morning class through Pearachute, just to see if this is the one my LO loves.
We easily found a parking spot right across the street of Tutu School. Sunday morning parkings, free. The classroom was not big, but enough for 5 kids and moms to dance around. It was a princess style room in pink. Plenty of natural light came in from the French windows. In the waiting area outside the dancing pool, sat 3 kids reading Roald Dahl or playing an iPad while waiting for their moms and little sisters. Then we saw the teacher, sitting behind a white princess style table, with a welcoming smile. The check-in was done in 2 seconds. Then, my LO started to say hi to other girls.
Other girls came to the class in beautiful leotards, tutus, tights and ballet slippers. My LO had her Halloween mini mouse dress on and her cat-paw prevent-slippery socks. The teacher said it’s totally fine. Kids can wear their preferred clothes to class. Having the teacher’s words, I felt so relived. At least that day, girls did not care about what they wear, I think. They cared about the toys, music and story, actually.
So, which toys? What music? Which story?
- Circle time: basic stretches and warm ups. Tip-toeing one by one around the circle.
- Toys: flowers, scarfs, animals. 1. Galloping while holding a flower. 2. Slide step with scarfs. 3.Choose an animal and pretend to be it. We got flamingoes across the room.
- Time to calm down: The demi-pliés together in group, on each person’s dot.
- Music: Tchaikovsky and Bach
- Story time: a story about a ballet girl. One section each week. Followed by themed art works.
- Painting: painted the ballet girl dancing with an umbrella.
To be honest, there were moments my LO was about to walk away from the class. At each moment, the teacher switched to a new game or new toy. Then, my LO was pulled back by her curiosity and “decided” to stay and have more fun. It could not be a coincidence, right? So, I would say that this class was well designed for little ones.
I was looking for a class, in which my LO can fall in love with ballet dance. I think I found one here. The toddler course in Tutu School is well designed for little ones. It offers a lot of movements, classical music and imagination. Kids have opportunities to dance out stories in group, with other kids and their parents. So, pure fun without tears.