Which is best for your child?
You would like to enrol your child in a dance class but can’t decide whether they are better suited to ballet or jazz. We have some good news! At Twinkle Toes Ballet School you don’t need to choose. We offer a ballet/jazz combination class where little dancers can explore both styles.
Just in case you are still not sure about the difference between the two, we’ve pulled together a quick intro for you:
At Twinkle Toes Ballet School we incorporate the beauty of ballet in a fun and engaging way. Ballet is a classical dance form where the movements are graceful and encourage not only great posture but also confidence. Our little dancers learn the basics of this timeless dance style in a way that is both enjoyable and creative. Each Ballet class is specifically tailored to their age group giving them a perfect introduction to the magical world of Ballet.
Our Jazz classes can be seen as a more “free” style of dance than ballet. Here our little dancers can wiggle and groove to fun age-appropriate music whilst having oodles of fun. As with all forms of dance, plenty of energy is used up in this class and as we know children have a lot of energy to burn!
Regardless of style, here at Twinkle Toes, our main aim is for your child to have FUN. Both styles of dance allow for the exploration of creativity, imagination and movement. You can find out more about any of our classes, including the ballet/jazz combo class, here.
Children love to engage their creativity and imagination at any opportunity. At Twinkle Toes, our young dancers know they can expect classes that transport them to fairytale lands or magical animal kingdoms each week.
Early childhood experts are unanimous in their views that imagination and pretend-play perform a significant role in cognitive development in the early years. So, when you enrol your child in one of our ballet classes they are not only learning the basics of dance but it’s great for their brain too!
If you listen at the door of any of our ballet classes, you will almost certainly hear squeals of delight, plenty of giggles and perhaps even a visit from the Cookie Monster! With the use of props, little dancers instantly transform into a fairy, a princess or a butterfly. But don’t be fooled, it’s not dainty fairies all the time. Sometimes a kangaroo or a sneaky slithering snake might find its way into the studio too! We love creating stories that our ballerinas can engage with and become immersed in.
Our ballet lessons for toddlers, preschoolers and early years primary children offer a solid foundation in ballet with an emphasis on enjoyment and fun! Each week we incorporate a bit of magic into every class while encouraging young dancers onto their tippy-toes or practicing their pirouettes or pliès.
Another highlight of the term is our ever-popular holiday workshops. Because we know how much our little Northern Beaches ballerinas love anything magic and fantastical, our workshops are themed accordingly. We’ve covered princesses, fairies, unicorns, rainbows and this holiday we are pleased to reveal the theme is MERMAIDS! Places are limited so you’ll need to swim on over to our booking page before it’s too late.
If you’re looking for a fun-filled – yet always professional – ballet experience for your child, you can find out more about our classes on our website.
To book in for our upcoming Mermaid workshops click here: https://www.trybooking.com/eventlist/mermaidworkshop
Classical Ballet Terms with a Twinkle Toes Twist
Ever wondered what all those fancy words in ballet mean? At Twinkle Toes you’re more likely to hear these in our adult ballet class. For the younger dancers, we prefer using less technical terms such as mermaid claps and marshmallow knee bends! From arabesque to Rond de jambe, here are some terms you might hear in ballet circles:
Arabesque – a position where the body is supported on one leg and the other leg is extended directly behind the body with a straight knee. A popular ballet move that we love watching our young ballerinas refine as they show off their balancing skills during class.
Attitude – there is always room for a bit of cheeky sparkle in our Twinkle Toes classes but, in ballet, attitude is actually when one leg is lifted in the air either in front or behind. The lifted leg is bent and turned out so that Miss Felecity can balance her cup of tea on the dancer’s foot. Oops, we mean so that the knee is higher than the foot. The supporting leg is straight.
Barre – pronounced “bar”, this is a wooden or metal handrail to provide support during warm-ups and exercises to refine technique. Miss Felecity never needs to remind the adult dancers that the barre is “our friend” and merely for support….nope…never.
Fondu – not to be confused with sharing some melted Swiss cheese over a pot. In ballet, fondu is basically a plié on one leg.
Frappé – we think someone was rather hungry when they came up with some of these ballet terms! Sadly, there is no breaking for iced-coffee during class. Frappé in ballet means “to strike”. While at the barre, the dancer starts with their foot in a flexed position and then strikes out toward the floor in a quick and precise movement.
Grande battements – A dancer performs a grand battement by throwing their leg into the air from the hip and brings it back down to the ground with both legs straight. We have one stipulation for grande battements in our adult ballet class: legs higher than the teacher! No one ever listens to the rules.
Pas de chat – while we love a quick natter between exercises, pas de chat (sh-aa) really means “step of the cat”. This step is a sideways jump where both legs bend mid-air, feet as high as possible with knees apart. Professional ballerinas make it look so simple and graceful. It’s harder than it looks!
Plié – when a dancer bends the knees and straightens them again. There are two types: a grand plié (full knee bend ) and a demi plié (half knee bend). At Twinkle Toes, we like to refer to these as “marshmallow knee bends”.
Sauté – Again, we’re not inclined to shallow fry onions in class. Instead, sauté in ballet means “jump”.
Sissonne – starting from two feet the dancer jumps into the air and splits feet like scissors. That’s if your legs are able to do that. Otherwise, just jump and smile and maybe Miss Felecity won’t notice your legs.
Piqué – a classical ballet term which means “pricking”. Used with other ballet terms such as in “piqué turns, where the dancer will step directly on to a full point or a high demi-pointe as they begin the turn onto that same leg. Well, that is the theory anyway. Our adult ballet dancers are quite happy to just make it across the room without bumping into anything!
All our classes have a strong foundation rooted in classical ballet but we also love to have fun. If everyone who attends Twinkle Toes ballet classes leaves with a deeper love of dancing, we’re delighted!
How adult ballet reignited my love for dance
We asked one of our adult ballerinas what they love about our adult ballet classes at Twinkle Toes and this is what they said:
“I danced throughout my childhood but gave it up in my twenties when I got busy with work and other commitments. I’d always wanted to pick it up again and got really nostalgic when I watched shows like “Strictly Come Dancing” or went to the theatre. Then I had children and I thought my dancing days were done.
It wasn’t until I enrolled my daughters in ballet classes with Twinkle Toes that I realised Miss Felecity ran an adult class on Wednesday evenings. I deliberated over going for months until one day I decided to buy a pair of ballet shoes. Once I had the shoes I figured I had better put them to use rather than let them gather dust in my wardrobe.
I arrived on a Wednesday evening feeling a bit nervous, having not danced for many years and never having done ballet. I need not have worried as Miss Felecity was lovely, the class was fun and the level just right for beginners (like me!) or intermediate dancers.
I have been turning up to classes for almost two years now and it is honestly a highlight of my week. Everyone knows I’m not available on a Wednesday evening because that’s my ballet night!”
If you are interested in joining our adult ballet classes on the Northern Beaches, we welcome casual payments and always love to see new faces throughout the term. More details can be found here or you can contact us here for more info.
5 reasons ballet is beneficial for child development
Watching a room of little ballerinas whirling and twirling is adorable and delightful. Toddlers in tutus or preschoolers attired in pink, tiptoeing like fairies, evokes a nostalgia for the fleeting magic of childhood. Ballet brings such joy to children and proud parents. But do you know all the ways dance classes can be beneficial to your child in the early years? Here are some ways your little ballerina’s development may benefit from ballet classes:
1. Their imagination is stimulated
At Twinkle Toes our classes are creative and fun-filled. Ballerinas are encouraged to use their imagination as they transform into butterflies, get caught up in a fairy tale or run away from “The Cookie Monster” (a firm favourite with our preschoolers!). Child development experts are unanimous in their views that imagination is how young children make sense of their world. Providing opportunities for children to foster their creativity is one of the most solid foundations you can give them.
2. They make friends
We love watching children run into the studio and break into a smile when they see their “besties”. Building social skills is another vital aspect of early childhood. What better way to spend time with friends than dancing and having fun?
3. It is great exercise
We know little people have a lot of energy. Some days it can seem they have endless supplies. In our classes we use up a good portion of that energy, whether it be by running on tippy-toes, balancing in arabesques, turning, twirling or engaging in a story through movement. It is no secret that children need to spend a lot of time moving. Ballet classes are the perfect opportunity for them to do just that.
4. They learn the fundamentals of ballet in a fun way
Although our priority is to encourage a love of ballet in our students, we always incorporate the fundamentals of the discipline into routines. All our classes are facilitated by teachers with many years of professional experience. We pride ourselves in giving young dancers a strong foundation in ballet while having plenty of fun!
5. They gain confidence
At Twinkle Toes Ballet School we love watching our ballerinas flourish. As they become familiar with the teachers and the routines, as well as spending time with their friends, they gain confidence in their own ability as a dancer. It is wonderful to watch them grow in this way, week-in and week-out.
Enrolments are open now for Term 3 of 2020. We can’t wait to see everyone’s smiling faces in our beautiful Northern Beaches studios in Newport and Avalon. You can find out more about our classes here:
What a joy it is to have our ballerinas back in our beautiful studios on the Northern Beaches. While we’re grateful to Zoom for the opportunity to whirl and twirl in our lounge rooms, we much prefer having our ballerinas leaping and skipping with their friends in our sunny studios. Miss Felecity and Miss Lisa truly missed seeing everyone’s happy faces each week. We couldn’t wait to hear those giggles of delight in the studio again as ballerinas prance like ponies, fly like butterflies and twirl gracefully with ribbons and fairy-wands.
Ballerinas from across Newport, Avalon and surrounds arrived with bright smiling faces on Monday 15th June when classes officially restarted after COVID19 restrictions lifted. At Twinkle Toes, we provide a nurturing and friendly environment and our little ballerinas were very excited to return as soon as they could.
We asked our ballerinas what they missed most about ballet over the last 11 weeks and why they were happy to be back. This is what they said:
“I missed running on tippy-toes like a fairy.”
“I am glad to be doing ballet with my friends again.”
“I’m really happy I get a new ballet card and real stickers!”
We couldn’t have voiced it better ourselves. It is lovely to have so many of the children back, doing what they love in the ballet studio.
If you have a budding ballerina who is keen to whirl and twirl with us, after months of being at home, enrolments for term 3 are open now. You can enrol online here.
We look forward to seeing you soon!