It’s been aggeeees since I last wrote (more on this later). Sorry not sorry. Wifey and PG are out shopping and I’m sat “lazing around” so thought I’d put fingers to keyboard and try and get something out. Our latest weekly sign-up – Baby Ballet – absolutely needs a special mention, because it’s bloody brilliant.
For 3 months or so at the latter end of 2017, we signed PG up to a gymnastics class. She loved it for a while but the timing just didn’t fit with when she got tired and it ended up feeling more like a chore than fun. After Christmas we asked her if she’d like to have a go a ballet, as she’d seen one of her friends’ ballet videos and became interested in dancing. The answer was a resounding “Yes” and so we signed up for a three-week introductory trial of Baby Ballet (Wakefield West & Kirklees area). Today was the last session of the term and what fun we have had.
The trial is £15 (so £5 a week) and is great to give the little ones a taster of what to expect once signed up. Sessions are 30 minutes long but are jam packed, non-stop fun so it does feel like good value for money, and PG absolutely loves it. There’s no commitment to dressing your mini-ballerina up in cute pink fluffy stuff but it’s wise if you plan on carrying on after the first week or two so that your child feels really part of it (cute factor is off the scale!)
What to expect
First of all, massive hats off to the leader of the class. A young lady who has got so much energy for the children and genuinely enjoys what she does. The format each week is very much the same with some songs mixed up throughout the sessions. There’s a little warm up sequence, followed by some fun where parents can join in, and finishing off with some dancing with props and everyone’s favourite, Twinkle Bear! Oh and don’t forget your Twinkle Bear hand stamps (if the stamper ever gets lost I fear PG will have a meltdown!).
Having the same format each week might seem repetitive to some, but it’s a really good routine for the children. They know what to expect when they get there. The idea of Baby Ballet is to set them up for bigger classes when they get older. Firm favourites of ours are “Good toes, naughty toes,” “I’m a little teapot,” and of course “Dingle dangle scarecrow!”
The first week PG was a little unsure. The class size was small enough for her not to feel overwhelmed by lots of people, and she quickly came out of her shell. By week two she was joining in fully with the other children and happy to leave us. Week on week she gets better, and it’s lovely to watch her enjoying herself so much from the sidelines.
As with a lot of classes for small children, there’s a lot of emphasis on praise. The class leader does really well at remembering everyone’s name, and makes effort to complement the dancers when they are doing well. This all helps build their confidence and provides great building blocks for dancing when they get older.
Membership to Baby Ballet costs £10 which makes your child a member for life, even if they take a break. The membership pack includes a CD to practice at home, some stickers, and a Baby Ballet door hanger. As a member you can also get money off at a number of popular family attractions. Once signed up, classes cost £4.90 a week (price correct as of Feb 2018) which is typically paid termly. At the end of each term your child will receive a completion certificate.
Overall I’d give Baby Ballet full marks for their classes. We’ll no doubt continue to go for months