At J&J’s Dance Depot, Inc. our Early Childhood Program is specially designed to provide children with a strong foundation in movement and dance. Basic elements such as locomotor skills, musical rhythm, opposites and elementary positions of dance are taught in our program through the use of musical instruments, educational props and fun songs.
Integrated with these physical aspects are the intellectual concepts of self-awareness, socialization, creative expression, imagination, teamwork and basic health awareness. Through participation in these classes, students will also learn the basics concepts of classroom behavior and manners. These concepts include learning how to take turns, following others, working together and having a positive attitude. Educators now know that training children in the concepts of movement, sequencing and special relationships lays a strong foundation for later development in reading, mathematics and other educational goals.
Above all, our Early Childhood Program emphasizes age appropriate developmental skills and the love of dance.
Here is a breakdown of the age groups and what their program offers:
1 ½-3 Year Olds
Class Selection: Tiny Tots
Tiny Tots Express is a fresh, new, developmental program for early learners and their caregivers. Boys and Girls ages 18 months-3 years will get a chance to learn movement through music and activities, all while having fun. Our six week sessions are set up in themed one-hour classes. Each class has instructional time where we learn basic Acro-Gym skills, Motor Skills, Interactive Songs, Basic Dance Skills and more. Then there is also a portion set aside for Sensory Learning. Tiny Tots is set up to follow the Ohio Learning Development Standards and is geared towards building up and nurturing your child in a loving environment.
3-4 Year Olds
Class Selection: Creative Movement
Three & four year olds are quite new to learning how their bodies move and how to behave in a formalized atmosphere. Children in this program are gently introduced into the classroom environment. Because a child of this age loves (and needs) repetition, the same class is repeated several times before advancing to new material. Frequently different approaches will be taken to develop the same skill.
Some of the concepts taught are: following instructions, waiting their turn, stretching of the feet, balancing on one leg, weight transfer from one foot to the other, safely stretching the muscles and locomotor skills across the floor. Beginning elements of Acro-Gym are also introduced. Front and Back rolls are taught with the aid of progression gymnastic mats and balance and coordination are expanded through the use of a balance beam.
Creative Movement is used as a stepping stone to prepare young children for dance class. Children who have previously taken Creative Movement experience a smoother transition to the Tap/Ballet class.
4-5 Year Olds
Class Selection: Tap/Ballet and/or Acro-Gym
Students at 4 and 5 years old continue to work on the same concepts, but in greater degrees of complexity. Classes are separated into areas of concetration. One of the child’s choices is the Tap/Ballet Combination class. Here, concepts such as balance, opposition and musicality are developed as well as their knowledge of dance steps.
Another class option is Acro-Gym, where more challenging flexibility & acrobatic skills are learned. Upper body muscles begin to be developed allowing students to perform a sequence of skills.
5-6 Year Olds
Class Selection: Tap/Ballet, Acro-Gym, Jazz and/or Hip Hop
By ages 5 and 6, children are ready to begin the transition to the primary levels of all areas of dance. Classes begin to take a more disciplined format and the classroom environment becomes more familiar.