Category Archives: Ballet inspiration

New Twinklesteps Dance Programme launches August 27th

Exciting news! We’re delighted to announce that our brand new programme for 3-5 year olds ‘Dance With Twinklesteps‘ will be launching on Thursday 27th August. The programme includes 50 tracks of original and specially composed piano music, two CDs of music for dance sequences, one CD of songs and piano instrumentals, a DVD introduction to the concept behind the Programme with storytelling and excerpts of some of the exercises/dance sequences, teaching notes (including a breakdown of the exercises, time signature, counts, etc.) and a copy of our story book ‘Twinklesteps and the Disappearing Bird Song’.  The program will allow licensed teachers to offer Dance With Twinklesteps classes in their area to help children develop a love of dance and music in a fun and imaginative way, as well as developing a good basic ballet technique from an early age.

Thanks so much to those teachers who have already pre paid for the package. Please email info@twinklesteps.com if you would like to be one of our licensed Dance With Twinklesteps teachers and offer classes in your area. Scroll down to see our FAQ’s about the dance programme:

Dance With Twinklesteps

How can the programme be used?

The programme may be used as a  whole dance class programme  with teachers having the opportunity to hold Twinklesteps Awards  and presenting Twinklesteps certificates and medals. It is also possible to integrate the content with other dance syllabuses to add variety and as a stepping stone to the more formal exams.

Who is the programme for?

Dance with Twinklesteps has been specially developed for the 3-5 year age group. However, the content and songs such as the ‘Little Birdie’ song and ‘Birdie Dance’ also make it very possible to adapt to a younger age group. There is also sufficient progression in the programme for children up to 6 years, which could be used in which ever way the teacher structures her classes. We will be offering add on packages to licensed teachers which will offer further progression as the children develop in their ability and maturity.

The storybook will really help to set the scene and transport children into the magical world of ballet and the programme uses story-centred sequences, covering all basic steps and movements in ballet, appropriate for the age group. We know that boys love to dance too so we do have some fun dance exercises for the boys. 

What’s on the CDs?

The CDs contain 50 tracks of original and specially composed piano music. Two cds of music for exercises and dance sequences, plus one cd of 11songs + piano instrumentals of four of the songs for teachers own use and choreography.

What’s on the DVD?

The DVD is an introduction to the concept behind the Dance With Twinklesteps Programme. Rather than being a technical DVD of a dance class, it demonstrates the concept through storytelling and excerpts of some of the dance/exercises sequences. With the help of a narrator, each exercise and sequence is linked into the next and excerpts from our book ‘Dance With Twinklesteps‘ are read out.

What’s in the Teaching Notes?

The teaching notes provide a breakdown of the exercises, time signature, counts,etc. They also contain some of the script linking to each exercise. This is entirely optional but teachers may find helpful to keep the theme going.

If you’re interested in purchasing the programme (price on request) or want to find out more, get in touch on info@twinklesteps.com or phone 01492 532822/07737 930818. Here’s our invitation:

Dance with Twinklesteps Leaflet 2

 

If you’re interested in becoming a licensed teacher and purchasing the Dance With Twinklesteps programme here’s our contact details again:

Email : info@twinklesteps.com

Phone: 01492 532822/07737 930818

We hope you’re having a great summer, from the Twinklesteps team 🙂

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Twinklesteps and Jett’s Dance Dares

During spring and summer we’re used to getting lots of the wet stuff as well as the hot! Whatever the weather, we thought it was time to head outside with Twinklesteps and Jett’s Dance Dares. Do you dare…?

Twinklesteps and Jett's Dance Dares

Our first dare is easy peasy – do you dare dance outside?

Wear whatever shoes you like (or no shoes at all) and have a go at dancing outside. We’re big fans of this and can guarantee you’ll have fun with all the space of your garden or park to play in. Practice your ballet moves or make something up. Dance alone, with a friend, a parent or even a pet.

Samba the Dog

Jett dares you to do an arabesque with a leaf between your toes…

This one’s a lot of fun. Find a leaf and put it between your toes (don’t go for a prickly one!). Now try and do an arabesque…is it easy or hard? If it’s super easy why not try with a leaf between every toe!

Twinklesteps dares you to make a dance obstacle course out of outside objects

Collect some twigs, stones, leaves (or anything else you find), arrange them on the ground and then make up a dance that weaves in and out of them. Add in some leaps and jumps and you’re away.

Twinklesteps and Jett dare you to dance as if you can fly.

Twinklesteps has wings and Jett has magical arm bands which help him to fly. Can you make up a dance and pretend you can fly too? Do some long graceful leaps and you might even start to fool the birds! If you’d like to make some flying wristbands of your own you can follow our craft activity here.

Practising ballet in the garden

Finally…

Twinklesteps and Jett dare you to dance using a stick as a wand.

Everyone loves a stick and Twinklesteps and Jett are no exception. Find a good stick and pretend it’s a wand. Use your wand to help you as you dance amongst the flowers and trees, sending magic to the plants to help them grow.

Well done for giving Twinklesteps and Jett’s Dance Dares a go. We hope you enjoyed them. If you have ideas for any more Dance Dares do share them here on our blog or on our Facebook page.

Here’s to lots of sunny days, from the Twinklesteps team.

 

Twinklesteps Ballet Themed Party Ideas

We love birthdays here at Twinklesteps and know that ballet themed parties are a great way to celebrate a love of ballet and dance with all of our budding ballerinas out there. So this week we’re delighted to share with you some ideas for a Twinklesteps themed birthday party. Yey!

First off we wanted to put together some fab making and moving activities your young party goers will love (Pssst…don’t forget to scroll further down for party bag ideas from our shop).

Twinklesteps Party Activities:

1) Decorate your own ballet shoes (read more and download the template for free here).

Twinklesteps ballet shoe craft

2) Make a Twinklesteps dancing puppet (read more and download the template for free here).

Twinklesteps Dancing Puppet

3) Get everyone up and moving with these magical flying wrist bands just like Jett’s (get this craft activity here).

Flying with magical wristbands

4) Make an imagination dance mat to get your young party goers exploring as a team (find out how here).

Dancing on the imagination dance mat

Twinklesteps Party Bag ideas:

Now you’ve got your activities sorted, we have all sorts of party bag ideas for you. From little purses with hair bobbles to take to ballet class, to a ballerina necklace and fairy wand. View these goodies and other fun party bag ideas over in our shop.

Twinklesteps ballet party bag ideas

For a really special present for the party bag our ballet adventure story book ‘Twinklesteps and the Disappearing Birdsong’ would make a great present. You could also read the story out at the end of the party as a lovely finishing touch before home time. Click here to view it in our shop.

Twinklesteps ballet adventure birdsong book front cover

We hope your child has an amazing party full of fun and excitement. Let us know how it goes and what other ideas you come up with by commenting below or over on our Facebook page.

Happy Birthday to all our ballet and dance lovers out there. Love from the Twinklesteps team 🙂

Ballet Craft: Decorate your own Ballet Shoes

We have a super duper new craft activity for you this week – decorate your own pair of ballet shoes complete with butterfly 🙂

This craft activity is ideal for a ballet themed party or for an afternoon of crafty fun with your children. The PDF template below prints out at A4 size so children could either colour it in as it is or stick the template onto card and decorate with tissue paper, glitter, sequins, stickers, string, ribbon and fabric scraps.

Twinklesteps ballet shoe craft template

Then simply punch a hole in the top of your decorated shoes and hang them onto a door or up in a bedroom with ribbon as a beautiful decoration. Here’s a couple we’ve just added to this blog post crafted up by one of our Twinklesteps fans and her mum – guess who did which 🙂

Twinklesteps ballet shoe craft activity for kids

Download for free hereBallet Shoe Craft Template

We hope you enjoy this Twinklesteps craft activity and we’d love to see what designs you come up with so do share your creations on our Facebook page. If you’d like to see our actual real life light-up ballet shoes you can check them out in our shop here. If you’d like to find out more about Twinklesteps you can find out more on our blog.

Here’s to crafty fun and ballet inspiration, love the Twinklesteps team.

How was Twinklesteps Created?

This week we thought you might like to know a little bit more about Twinklesteps: who she is, where she came from and how she was brought to life. Twinklesteps started out as a bright idea dancing in the imagination of Twinklesteps creator and dance school owner Yvonne MacGregor. However, it wasn’t until Yvonne met writer Andrea Wilder and illustrator Lisa Williams that Twinklesteps leaped into the world and developed into an inspiring role model, encouraging young children to dance through imagination and play. Read on as the Twinklesteps team share all of their secrets about Twinklesteps, the fairy ballerina…

Twinklesteps jumping in light up ballet shoes

How did the Story of Twinklesteps begin?

Yvonne: It all started from a wish to inspire young children to enjoy dance through the magical world of ballet. Most little girls who start ballet want to feel like a fairy or Princess and I wanted to encourage and explore this imagination. I was keen to make the early stages of leaning ballet into something magical, and at the same time provide a visual aid to help them to understand how to stretch right to the ends of their toes. I wanted to create a shoe that would sparkle when they had reached a full stretch through the foot to the ends of the toes – very important in ballet. This developed into the idea of creating a little girl /fairy character who loved to dance and had shoes that sparkled when she pointed her toes. Because the ‘Twinklesteps Full Stretch’ ballet shoes are taking time to perfect, and inspired by children in my own ballet classes who loved the idea of sparkly ballet shoes, I created a different set of ballet shoes that would light up and sparkle when the wearer dances and are not reliant on pointing their toes. The ‘Twinklesteps Light Up‘ ballet shoes have little lights under a pink butterfly that sparkle when the children dance – so adding to the magical world of fairies and ballerinas. The shoes are great fun and intended for imagination and play – the children can now have sparkly shoes just like Twinklesteps. Read more about our light-up ballet shoes here and buy your pair here.

What’s the meaning behind the name?

Yvonne: I thought of the name after developing the idea of the shoes but before I thought of the character. I searched for Twinkle related names but didn’t want the obvious Twinkle Toes. I decided on Twinklesteps, as the shoes twinkle on each step. Twinklesteps then seemed like the perfect name for our new little character. Twinklesteps has taken on a life of her own and the shoes are now just a product that add to the fun of dressing up like Twinklesteps. The boys have not been left out – Twinklesteps has a good friend called Jett who also enjoys dancing and going on adventures with her.

Twinklesteps and Jett ballet

Is Twinklesteps a fairy or a little girl?

Yvonne: I knew that I wanted her to be a little girl who all young girls could identify with and not just be a mystical fairy. I had some ideas of how I wanted her to look but needed help to take my ideas forward. I was fortunate to meet Lisa and Andrea who shared my vision and excitement. We had numerous meetings and discussions of how she would look and had great fun exploring ideas for her character. Twinklesteps was brought to life by Lisa’s wonderful illustrations and by Andrea’s exciting adventure stories.

Andrea: One of the biggest discussions we had early on, was about the magical content of the stories and in particular of Twinklesteps herself. Twinklesteps is a fairy but she’s also a little girl and I was keen to keep the part that children could relate to very strong. She can do extraordinary and impossible things, like fly, but I wanted her qualities to inspire children. I wanted young readers to feel that if they could be brave, courageous, determined, kind and funny like Twinklesteps, they could achieve their dreams or at least give them wings!

Anything is possible - Twinklesteps ballet inspiration

How did the character of Twinklesteps come to life?

Andrea: For me, as the writer, creating Twinklesteps was more a case of allowing her to step through the team’s collective imagination to reveal herself rather than consciously trying to construct a new character from scratch. From Yvonne’s first discussion about her, she very quickly appeared in my mind’s eye and so really my job was to allow that picture to become clearer and sharper in detail and then listen to her voice. That wasn’t very difficult as Twinklesteps has plenty to say!

We bounced ideas around as a team, which is always fun and inspiring. Encouraging children to dance by using dance terminology was always going to be a major feature of the stories. This gave me a very clear framework to work within. Once Lisa presented some rough draft sketches, the stories and characters of the Twinklesteps world took off very quickly.

Lisa: Twinklesteps came to life in the Step One studio – We decided that she was a little mischievous red head with freckles – We also decided that she loved dancing and dressing up in different fairy outfits. Twinklesteps is extra special because not only does she fly, she has special shoes that light up when she dances.

As Andrea, Yvonne and I chatted through our thoughts about the character she became more and more real to us – each of us added to the discussion and Twinklesteps evolved in to the character we all know and love today. When she flies in the rain she has waterproof wings – she even has glow in the dark wings for night time adventures too. I thought her skirt would flow through the air if it were in petal shaped pieces rather than a conventional pancake style tutu then she could return to her ordinary clothes when she is home being an ordinary little girl.

Twinklesteps is a kind friend …not everyone knows that she is a fairy, they think she is just a 'normal' little girl, but we know  otherwise don't we!

Which came first, the story or the illustrations?

Andrea: Lisa and I work symbiotically. I can suggest the way I imagine a character and their personality, Lisa will present some visuals, which in turn spark off stories and further ideas in my head. Before long the characters are chattering away and the stories practically write themselves. It’s wonderful seeing the characters come to life. The stories are queuing up to leap on to the page or, should I say grand jeté.

Practising ballet in the garden

We hope you’ve enjoyed finding out all about Twinklesteps. You can view and read her introductory story for free on our website and you can buy our first book ‘Twinklesteps and the Disappearing Birdsong here.

Happy dancing from the Twinklesteps Team 🙂

 

Win a pair of Light-up Ballet Shoes

News, special offers, competitions and more…We’re very excited to announce a fabulous competition to celebrate the launch of our e-newsletter. Here at Twinklesteps we’re dedicated to bringing you products, ideas and inspiration which inspire young children to enjoy the world of ballet and dance through imagination and play. We have now set up an exciting new e-newsletter to keep you up to date with our news, special offers, competitions and ballet and dance inspired ideas and crafts to try with your children. If you have children who love ballet or dance or you’re a ballet or dance teacher, you’ll love our e-newsletter.

COMPETITION TIME

All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning a pair of our unique light-up ballet shoes (pictured below), is sign up to our e-newsletter before May Day (1st May) and in a whirlwind of May Day Madness we’ll randomly pick one of our new sign-ups to win a pair of light-up ballet shoes.

Light-up Ballet Shoes

So, the most important thing you need to know now is where do I sign up? Head over to our home page, scroll down and you’ll see our sign up area. Pop in your email address and you’re done! We hope you enjoy our action packed newsletters as they come dancing into your inbox over the coming months, and who knows, you may be the lucky winner of a pair of light-up ballet shoes 🙂

Happy Dancing, with love from the Twinklesteps team.

 

Twinklesteps at the Move It Dance Show

We’re very excited to announce that we will have a stand at the Move It dance show this year on the 13th-15th February! Held in London, it’s the UK’s biggest dance event with an expected 24,000 dancers. This makes it a great opportunity for Twinklesteps to meet more people who love to dance and for you to have enormous amounts of fun! There will be live performances, classes, seminars, interviews, dance fitness demos, freebies, advice, shopping and exhibitions. We can’t wait!! See highlights from 2014 here:

We’ll be showcasing our new light-up dance shoes and our ballet adventure book ‘Twinklesteps and the Disappearing Birdsong’ as well as telling you about our new dance concept for your dance class: ‘Dance with Twinklesteps’ .

Twinklesteps ballet book and light up ballet shoes

We’ve had a lot of interest in our light-up shoes which are perfect for dressing up, dancing and imaginative play and are a wonderful way to inspire children to dance. We’ll be offering a 20% discount on the shoes if you buy or order them from us at the show too! Our book spreads a love of dance and ballet to young children by transporting them into a world of magical adventure with Twinklesteps the fairy ballerina as an inspiring role model.

Read our online entry on the Move It Show website here and book your tickets here.

We’ll be on stand 206 for all three days of the show and we really hope to see you there. Tweet us @Twinklesteps1 if you’re going and come and say hello 🙂