Easter and Summer term dates

Easter dates

We are excited to be back after having the Easter weekend off. We have lots of exciting opportunities happening this term, the highlight being our summer show.

We have been working hard on our new show dances and will be sharing more details about the performances very soon.

There is still time to join our dance community and be part of our summer show. So please get in touch to find out more or reserve your child’s trial classes by emailing us or filling in the registration form on our Contacts page.

We have classes for all ages, from our Mini and Grown Up classes for children age 1 and upwards, our preschool classes for boys and girls age 3 and over, our RAD ballet and ISTD Tap and Modern classes. Plus our Adult Ballet Be Fit classes, a unique fitness class inspired by ballet. There really is a class for everyone. From toddlers to grown ups, everyone is welcome at Leap Dance Midlands. Email now to find out more about our classes in Anslow, Tutbury and Willington.

Stay updated by following us on Facebook and Instagram too.

www.facebook.com/Leapdancemidlands

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Email us now to find out more

Looking for online ballet and ballet be fit classes?

New blog post- online ballet and Ballet be fit classes

Virtual online classes became really popular in 2020 when we started Ballet Be Fit Midlands and we are still providing online Ballet and Ballet Be Fit classes in 2022 !

You may think it is unlikely that your living room can’t offer the same work out, social benefits and escape as a gym or exercise class can offer you. But using the technology of zoom we can now interact, socialise and have the same level of interaction but from the comfort and convenience of your own home!
So no more rushing to get to the gym in time. You can literally get changed turn on your laptop or ipad and you are ready to go!

You do need space to be able to move around safely but all the exercises have been created for smaller spaces. Dance Teachers are now so used to dances in their boxes, we automatically plan our online classes for smaller spaces.

What equipment do i need for an online ballet or dance class?

You don’t need any special equipment. A chair works as your ballet barre. You can use a rug or lie on the carpet for the floor exercises. So all you need is yourself and a drink to keep you hydrated.


Joining fitness classes virtually also gives you the same interaction and community feel you would get at any fitness class, both with your instructor and with other group members.  We always have a chat at the start and end of each class to catch up on the week’s events and plan what we might want to include next class.

By joining our classes monthly you also receive a recording of the classes so you can repeat them at anytime and as any times as you like, at no extra cost. You can even do short bursts daily too by doing the barre warm up exercises as a quick exercise blast. Ideal for getting fitter or weight loss.

What online ballet classes do you have?

Our online ballet classes are an introduction to ballet for beginners or those returning to ballet. Ballet is so good for adults as it is less intense on the joints than other forms of dance and exercise. It still helps with improving fitness and muscle tone but in a more gentle way.

What is a Ballet Be Fit online class?


Ballet Be Fit is a new and different type of exercise class. It is a fitness class but inspired by ballet. This means it has all the benefits of an ordinary exercise class. It improves fitness levels, aids weight loss and helps to tone the body.


We really are a very friendly and supportive group who like to get together and encourage one another to get fit and enjoy dancing. So why not try one of our classes? We do Adult Ballet and Ballet Be Fit. Find out more about our classes here https://leapdancemidlands.co.uk/adult-class-information/

Silver Swans Ballet Online

How does dance help well-being and support positive mental health in children, young people and adults?

As part of Children’s Mental Health Week we wanted to talk about the important topic of supporting children’s positive mental health through dance.

Dance is so important for keeping your body and your mind healthy.

Dance is so important in supporting positive mental health. As well as helping with improving posture and fitness levels dance also helps with improving overall well-being, feelings of calm and relaxation.

Exercise produces changes in the brain that regulates stress and anxiety and relieves feelings of depression.

Dance classes are a safe place for children and adults to learn that it is ok to make mistakes. Dance classes provide an outlet to learn about, discuss and express emotions using mime and imaginative stories.

Dance classes allow you them to focus on the movements, give them time to switch off, unwind and be in the moment away from the pressures of life. It helps clear the mind and helps us refocus and makes them feel calmer and revived.

Moving to music is an uplifting experience. Expressing themselves through movement is easier than vocalising feelings and so engaging in dance can feel quite liberating.

Dance is a natural outlet for expression and emotion and one which can do a lot to make children and adults feel good.

Dance helps make you feel more positive and happier. Dance is an important part of staying healthy in both body and mind.

At Leap Dance Midlands we take mental health very seriously. Elaine, the Principal has undertaken ongoing training and learning about children and adult’s mental health. She has worked with children with Special Educational Needs and Mental Health issues for over twenty years. She completed the Covid Training for Mental Health and has qualifications in Counselling. She is currently working towards a Mental Health course for children and young people to enable her to support all her students.

Friendship February

Friendship February- Children’s Mental Health Week 2022

Welcome to Friendship February at Leap Dance Midlands!

This month we are learning about friendships and kindness using fun activities, team building and dance games. We are exploring what makes a good friend in our younger classes. Learning a new tap dance all about friendships in our Primary classes and doing improvisation whilst exploring a range of dance styles and music in our Junior classes. Which ties in nicely with our support for Children’s Mental Health Week from 7-13 February. Find us on their activities map at www.childrensmentalhealthweek.org.uk

2021 Leap Dance Midlands

The New Year is approaching and we have been reflecting on this past year for Leap Dance Midlands. Gosh what an amazing year it has been!

During the 2020 Winter lockdown I completed the Ballet Be Fit Instructors course to keep me fit and focused during a difficult time and launched my adult classes on zoom. Whilst teaching adults online the parents started asking me if I did children’s classes that their children could join. I had completed my RAD teacher training and had been teaching for other people but was so full of ideas I wanted to try for myself. So I thought why not do it now and so Leap Dance Midlands started on zoom during the Winter lockdown 2021 and we have never looked back. The children and their families all joined in and we had such fun in difficult circumstances. Once restrictions eased we opened in two villages- Tutbury and Willington/ Repton. Soon the classes were getting full and so due to demand we opened in Anslow and started two extra classes.

2021 has been a hectic year but also a total dream come true for me. I want to thank the Mums who inspired me and believed in me who gave me the confidence to do it for myself and create Leap Dance Midlands. I want to thank all the children and their families who have joined our wonderful dance community.

Our aim was to provide a supportive and inclusive dance community where families can come together and benefit from high quality, creative dance teaching in local villages in Willington in South Derbyshire and Anslow and Tutbury in East Staffordshire, near Burton on Trent. Where people of all ages and abilities can enjoy dance, from toddlers to adults. We aim to provide classes for all ages and abilities. We believe ‘Dance is for everyone.’

This year we have not only brought RAD ballet, tap, modern and musical theatre dance to Anslow, Tutbury and Willington/ Repton. We have also participated in the National Tapathon and been part of the Guinness Book of World Record attempt. We have had Halloween workshops, bring a friend dance party classes and benefited from learning new dance styles with our Guest Teacher. We have enjoyed our Nutcracker workshops and learnt about this famous children’s ballet, it’s music, characters and using mime in ballet.

As importantly we have developed kind and supportive classes where the children and their families have learnt about and done fundraisers for charity. We have raised money for Children In Need and donated to Burton Hope a charity for local vulnerable people. The families were so generous we could only just fit all the donations into the car to deliver them to homeless and the elderly in Burton.

We are so proud of our dance family and what we have all become. 2022 is only going to grow, develop and improve for Leap Dance Midlands and we are so excited for all the new ideas it will bring for us all.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year.

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How to choose a dance school?

There are many things to consider when choosing a dance school. It can be as simple as convenience. Where it is and is it close by and easy to get to? Are the classes at times you can fit in to your current commitments?

Dance styles

There are so many different types of dance and each one has its own unique styles and benefits that suit different people. So how do you choose between them? There are the more traditional classes including ballet, tap and modern jazz. But there are also newer styles including contemporary, street dance and commercial dance.

Do you or child want to learn a particular style of dance? Most offer a few combinations of ballet, tap and modern jazz. Others focus on street dance and commercial dance, which has a very different feel and vibe.

Some schools offer all styles whilst others specialise in specific dance genres. It could be suggested that it is usually best to choose a school that focuses and specialises with a few dance styles rather than one that offers everything, unless they are a huge company employing lots of teachers.

There is so much to learn and keep up to date about each dance style that generally it is hard for a teacher to remain current with technique and new steps, exercises or syllabus. So by focusing on a few similar styles they are able to specialize and stay current, meaning they can provide high quality lessons.

We teach ballet, tap, modern and musical theatre as this is where our strengths lie. Our classes are all taught by the Principal to ensure they all meet our high standards. We do enjoy having our qualified Guest Teacher too who can bring new ideas and styles to our classes.

Dancer leaping in a ballet tutu.

Qualified Trained Teachers

So you might initially choose a school because it fits in with your existing commitments. But it is really important to make sure that the classes are being taught by qualified dance teachers. Worryingly teachers in the UK don’t have to have completed any dance training or teaching qualifications to be able to teach dance! So you really need to look at and ask about their teaching qualifications and check they are from a reputable dance organisation.

Dance organisations and syllabus

The most well known international dance qualifications are the RAD, ISTD, IDTA and BBO. These organisations not only train their teachers in safe practice and technique but they also ensure that their teachers undertake regular CPD to remain current and up to date with safe teaching practices. You may find that the classes are slightly more expensive but you really are paying for their training and expertise. They will have learnt anatomy and safe practices for teaching children and teens as well as adults. If the school doesn’t use qualified staff they may unknowingly teach unsafe methods and movements that aren’t suitable for children or adults, which could cause injury or health issues.

The Royal Academy of Dance

The Royal Academy of Dance is one of the world’s most influential dance education and training organisations, internationally recognised for its attention to detail and technique. The RAD’s patron is Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Prince George and Princess Charlotte take RAD classes, which demonstrates the high standards of the dance syllabus and training. Dame Darcey Bussell is the President of the RAD. Darcey Bussell is a former Principal with The Royal Ballet and the most famous British ballerina of her generation.

The RAD is one of the largest dance organisations in the world in 79 countries with 14,000 members. Established 100 years ago the RAD was developed by a group of dance professionals representing the leading ballet styles. It continues to be world renowned for its classical ballet examination syllabus.

Exams

When choosing between schools and academies you can also look at what they offer. Do they offer exams? Are they compulsory or optional. Check that the exams are accredited. The dance organisations listed above are accredited with Ofqal. With the higher grades they receive UCAS points, that are used to get into University. The fact they are recognised by Ofqual is a sign of a quality dance syllabus.

The RAD’s examinations are recognised by Ofqual and contribute to UCAS points, needed to get into University degrees. The English National Ballet School, the Royal Ballet School and Elmhurst Ballet school all take vocational exams with the RAD.

Continuous professional development of Teachers

High quality dance schools and Teachers invest in ongoing training and development to enrich their classes and bring out the best from their students. It is important to check that this is a feature of the dance school. Are Teachers relying solely on exam work or do they opffer new styles, workshops and experiences for the students? A sign of a creative and innovative school is the training they invest in and the opportunities they provide their students.

The RAD qualification includes training and assessments in child development, safe working practices and technique and performance. As well as this stringent training qualification all RAD teachers have to participate in 25 hours every year of ongoing training to keep their practice current and up to date. This means that all our classes are taught to the most professional standards in a safe teaching environment and our dance skills are up to date. The classes are innovative and interesting and promote a love of dance.

This year we have completed Silver Swans licensee training, First Aid training, Mentoring training and Mental Health training. We love to learn, develop and improve.

Uniform

You might also want to find out about the uniform needed and its costs. How many items do they need for each class? Can they wear the same items for every class or does the school ask you to purchase different items for every class, which can soon add up. Does the school offer a uniform purchasing system which passes on discounts to parents?

We order and bring uniform to class and even swap them for you if they don’t fit. We use a local company in Burton On Trent and support local business. We use our trade account to buy items and pass on the discounts to our parents.

Christmas dance party classes are on this week!

We are excited about our party dance classes this week in Anslow, Tutbury and Willington.

We will be performing our Elf – Santa’s Helper dance in our preschool classes as well as playing dance party games.

We will be performing our Dancing Dolls and the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Prince from the Nutcracker and our Sparkle and Shine dance as well as playing dance party games and choreographing our own festive dances in our special ‘Teach the Teacher’ event ! Expect lots of fun and laughter this week!

Toddler Christmas classes

We have been enjoying our Christmas dance classes and have been snowmen, penguins, Santa, elves and have had lots of fun throwing snowballs!

We have enjoyed singing along to our favourite Christmas songs, playing musical instruments and dance party games. Come and join the fun on Saturdays 3-3:45pm in Willington at The Old School on Castleway, Willington, Derbyshire DE65 6BT

Nutcracker workshops

We are so excited to begin our Nutcracker workshops this week. The children will learn about this wonderful children’s ballet, its story and its characters. We will learn about the music in the ballet and how this impacts the movements and styles. We will learn about character national dance which is a fantastic way of exploring different cultures, music and steps. We will learn some of the dances from the Nutcracker! This will be so much fun!