Dance teachers, pull your dance bag out of hiding. Classes begin Monday for us at our sister company, Studio Go! I typically clear out all dance materials out of my car over a holiday break. Something about that helps me downshift into “real me” mode. When I don’t see preschool props, dance shoes, and music materials floating around in my vehicle, I’m more likely to relax and not think about work over a break.
Well, those days are over so it’s time to not only give my dance bag a clean-up, but it’s also time to revive my teaching materials! Get ready for a new year of preschool dance instruction! Read on to hear what I think every preschool dance teacher should have in his/her repertoire in 2019!
(FYI, the bolded items below are easy clickable links!)
Team, this is our best selling preschool dance prop. I just prepared a shipment of these beautiful rhythm props for a client in Australia, earlier this week. My students think it’s so special when we pull these out of our dance bags. They are whimsical and dreamy! These are great for “free space time,” an organized follow-me rhythm dance, or even as an across-the-floor prop.
For traveling activities like the latter, I prefer to place a pile of them on one side of the room and allow my dancers to approach them one at a time to select their own ring. They perform a traveling step of my choice like tip-toe walks, gallops or hopping on one foot, to name a few. Once they get to the other side, they get to perform a quick dance of their own choosing and show off their favorite move before they place the ring down in a second pile on this side of the room. Works like a charm!
This one needs very little explanation. Little kids can be gross. We love them. But they’re gross.
Snotty noses, sneezing, slobbering, potty accidents, upset stomachs… You name it. We’ve all seen it.
Do yourself a solid and buy these for every classroom in your studio. And grab one for your car too. There’s no need to bring that mess home to your people! (We linked an aloe sanitizer above… Winter months here in the States are tough on our skin already, so make it easier on yourself!)
We’re not ashamed to stress the value of our subscription, y’all. It’s the bomb. Lesson planning? Thing of the past. Boring, out-dated music? No more. Repetitive choreography? Not an issue. Worrying that your clients (the parents) aren’t sure they’re getting quality instruction? No under-informed folks over here. Students misbehaving because they’re not challenged or engaged? Not our style. Feel like your sticker or stamp “rewards” aren’t cutting it for today’s young kids? Not us. Staying up past your bedtime creating all of the above items? Not gonna happen anymore.
We offer two monthly subscriptions (ballet only, ballet & tap) and two payment options (monthly, yearly). All content is created with 3-5 year-olds in mind; however, our material is flexible and can be molded into your needs! Access to our private VIP Facebook group is also included in your purchase. This is where we gift members freebies year-round and provide feedback to all your dance questions/needs. We’re pretty creative ladies and we LOVE helping out our Tribe!
Curtains only open for enrollment twice a year, in January and the summer months. Guess what time it is?! JANUARY! If you’re interested in receiving free preschool dance content to “test drive” what our subscribers enjoy, click HERE and leave us your email address. The week of Jan 7-11, 2019, we’ll send you all kinds of materials for FREE. Our cart opens for purchase for one week only Jan 11-18, 2019. Stay tuned and join in on the fun!
4. Class Mascot
At our sister company where we teach about 800 preschoolers every week, we feel very strongly about having a stuffed animal or doll in each of our classes. Five reasons:
1. Behavior – Let your kids know that Bitty (or whoever you name your mascot) is watching. If she reports poor behavior to you after class, students may not receive their rewards. I will say “Oh, Bitty does not like it when my dancers talk in class. We don’t want to disappoint her!”
2. Leaps – It’s an age-old concept… Give your smallest dancers something to physically jump over in the leaps portion of class. It’s concrete and helps them understand that height is needing while leaping.
3. Connectivity/Comfort – Ever had a hesitant little one in the lobby? Passing a classroom mascot to small dancers gives them comfort and welcomes them into class. Anchor them to the space by providing them with someone else to take care of. I’ll often tell my nervous babies that “Toula is a little scared to leave her mommy too. Would you mind holding her so that she feels better in class?” I’ve not only validated that dancer’s feelings, but I’ve given her a job to do that gives her motivation to join class.
4. Engaging Imagination – Let’s not downplay the affect of imagination on a preschooler. It’s our job to whisk them away to a land of magical wonders in dance class. You wouldn’t believe the sweet things I’ve heard my dancers say through the years about Bitty Ballerina!
5. Simulated Audience – Come showtime, you’ll really appreciate your classroom mascot. Place her on a chair in front of the mirror and tell your students that we’re performing for her. Use that as an opportunity to mentally prepare them for people watching them at a show. Explain that they’ll clap, stare, and maybe even giggle a little bit. We’re making them smile, and that’s a good thing! This audience member also helps them step up their game a bit in final rehearsals.
If you’d rather go with a mascot who’s already in your studio, that’s great! We also found this precious ballerina bunny on Amazon. She’s gorgeous, delicate, and sweet. Whatever you choose, we know that your students will love him/her!
I’m extremely new to this. Like, I’ve purchased the journal that I linked above (in the 7.1″x10″ version), but I haven’t actually jumped into it yet. That’s number one on my list for this weekend before real-life starts back on Monday! Do a couple of searches on Instagram and Google on this topic and you will be amazed at the stories and examples you’ll find.
Basically, this is a totally custom calendar where you can store notes, ideas, to-do lists, to-read lists, shopping lists, habit tracking, and pretty much any other thing in your life that’s trackable. There are some impressive (and intimidating) artists out there who seriously go crazy with the cheeze-wiz out there. Don’t let them fool you into thinking that this practice isn’t for you, or that you’re not artistic enough to keep up! The bottom line is to plan your days, time-block your work-week, and tackle both long-term and short-term goals in a format that some fancy planner-designer could never have foreseen as useful for YOU.
We dance teachers have busy teaching schedules, high parent expectations, tons of craft projects, gobs of music editing, emails waiting on thoughtful replies, choreography to be created, and about a million other small things in between. Get yourself organized and prepared to be the best dance teacher you can be!
(Shout out to my sister Courtney who convinced me over Christmas break that I need to get on the bullet-journal train immediately. Good call, girl.)
Guys, that’s all I have for now! Believe me, the preschool dance classroom ideas up my sleeve are endless, but I decided to keep it short and sweet. These are the ESSENTIALS! Hop to it… The back-to-school clock is surely ticking!
*** Please note that some of the links are affiliate links. There is nothing extra on your end, but we may receive a commission if you choose to buy a product. We only support products that we believe in and love! ***