Children are born movers — scooting, crawling, walking, running, jumping and skipping,” says Jeannie Fleming-Gifford, executive director, Fairmount Center for the Arts. Dance and movement provide opportunities for children to explore their body’s natural development, learn new ways to express themselves and connect with others “joyfully and safely,” she explains.
The center’s dance curriculum is offered to toddlers through adults, and programs include creative movement, ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, contemporary, modern, African dance and Spanish dance. But it’s also fun and important to channel children’s energy in any environment, says Fleming-Gifford. She suggests:
- Use music at home to explore movement at different levels (low to the floor or reaching high) and at different speeds.
- Teach children your favorite line dance. (“Remember Cha Cha Slide?” asks Fleming-Gifford.)
- Play freeze dance and stop moving when the music stops.
- Create a dance based on inspirations around you: move like leaves blowing in the wind or a bird in flight.
“It’s astounding how much gross motor movement takes place during childhood,” says Fleming-Gifford.
8400 Fairmount Road, Novelty, 440-338-3171, fairmountcenter.org