Support through Sport UK's Helen Barratt spoke to Hannah Krepski about Kids Let's Dance ...
Hi Hannah, thank you for talking to Support through Sport UK. So what is Kids Let's Dance all about and who exactly is it for?
Kids Let's Dance provides dance and movement activity sessions for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers. Many parents agree that, whenever they put music on, their children's faces seem to light up and they want to move straight away. I noticed this myself - when my son was just a few months old, his arms and legs would start jerking and he would smile. We hold weekly public classes for children to attend with their carer and we also run sessions at nurseries, pre-schools and children's centres. We work with children from as young as four months old (or from when they can hold their head up safely) until they reach school age at around four or five. Additionally, we do kids' dance parties - to make that birthday, Christening or special event that little bit more lively and exciting.
Describe a standard session with Kids Let's Dance.
Sessions are 45 minutes long. Children can choose accessories from our dress-up box including various ballet tutu skirts and pirate waistcoats. We start with our introductory warm-up song and dance. Then, we take children on dance and movement adventures, following different themes whilst using various props and equipment including puppets, musical instruments, scarves, ribbons, feathers, the much-loved parachute and lots more. The class is finished with a wind-down song, followed by free refreshments for mum (or dad, grandma, granddad, caregiver!), whilst the children have time for free dance and movement exploration to background music.
Are there social benefits to Kids Let's Dance?
Yes. The interaction children have in any baby, toddler or pre-school class helps them with their social skills, and dance and movement classes are no exception. Children also learn to follow instructions and various activities are used where children have to work individually as well as in a group. And parents get to meet other parents in their local area too!
Why would you encourage children to do dancing? What are the benefits?
The list is endless. Getting young children moving and dancing promotes coordination, balance, memory, strength, poise and stamina. Performing and interacting with other children builds positive self-esteem and confidence, helps with other sports, and is just great fun! Most dance and movement classes for very young children don't teach specific dance styles, but are more about the children discovering how their body can move and how they can express themselves through movement. As children get older, the movement activities get more complicated. Children can learn to develop their own short movement sequences and follow short routines. This provides a great foundation for them to them partake in a stylised class, such as ballet or tap, if they so wish.
How did you get into dancing?
I have danced since I could move. I started ballet classes at the age of six and haven't stopped since. I added various other dance styles over the years and then gained a first class BA (Hons) in Dance Practice and Performance. Since having my own two children, I decided to set up Kids Let's Dance.
Why do you enjoy dancing?
Simple: it's fun!
What motivated you to start up Kids Let's Dance?
Having my own two children and seeing how much they enjoyed bopping along to music from a very young age. I started doing various activities with them at home, and friends with young children got interested. So I decided to set up Kids Let's Dance.
Where can people find out more?
On my website: www.kidsletsdance.co.uk
And we can be 'liked' on: www.facebook.com/kidsletsdance
And followed on: www.twitter.com/kidsletsdance
Many thanks for taking the time to talk to us, Hannah.