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Don't rush me!

Children develop skills in their own time. A child learns so fast compared to an adult that we almost expect them to meet targets ahead of schedule and we become concerned if our child isn’t meeting the targets at the same time as their friend that they are behind and aren’t as clever or advanced as their peers.

The points at which children develop various skills are always a guideline. I seen from my own experience the difference in the age at which children are walking and talking is vast. My daughter walked at 9 months, one of her brothers didn’t until he was 13 months and that’s ok. She was far too young to understand that there was a danger element attached! She could also use the words Thank You at 15 months. Again due to being a danger baby - she thanked an ambulance crew who were shocked at her clear speech.

So walking and talking is where it starts. In regards to dance we are interested in skills further up the chain.

Dance teachers are interested in gross motor skills when your children are very young, the refined movements of a mature dancer are generally out of their grasp as a teacher would expect. Sometimes we find an exceptional student who manages to hit their targets ahead of the curve but this comes with it’s own issues. The main motor skills involve the larger muscles, those in the torso, the legs and the arms, and these skills include walking, running, skipping and jumping which we do a lot of in dance class. Our younger dancers tend to do exercises that isolate body groups. In ballet we hold our skirts in the youngest classes, it takes their arms out of the equation, while they focus on their legs and feet.

Once we have learned how to carry out our gross motor skills we start working on fine tuning them, then developing both fine skills and the sense of proprioception - in short terms knowing where one is in ones body in time and space - being able to walk without thinking about it is an example of proprioception working.

In conclusion I think what I’m trying to say is that there is so much to learn and so many skills being refined that if you aren’t at exactly the same stage as your peer it’s not an issue. Keep practising and with time you’ll learn that skill.

Somethings to try!

Jump clap!

Try jumping on two feet and then following it up with a clap. When the children first try this they often end up jumping and clapping simultaneously.

Rub your tum and Pat your head!

This is super tricky! We want you to co-ordinate a patting movement with one limb with a circular motion with the other.

Heel beats

Try lying on your front, turn your legs out from your hip socket and have a go at rapidly beating your heels together. Sounds simple enough!

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