Category Archives: Ballet/dance events for children

Winter Ballet Shows for Children 2015/16

Hi everyone, we hope you’re enjoying yourselves in the sporadic autumn sunshine we’ve been having. As the leaves start to crackle and fall into a blanket of autumn crispiness we thought it was time to look ahead at what dance delights are in store this winter. We love live ballet performances, there’s no better way to inspire your kids to love dance and also to bring a bit of magic into your lives as the summer waves us goodbye and the winter beckons us in.

First up is the brilliant Ballet Black with their charming performance of Dogs Don’t Do Ballet. The ballet follows the story of Biff the dog who loves tutus, tiaras and ballet a whole lot more than chasing sticks and fetching newspapers! This ballet is suitable for children aged 3+ and is on at Watford Palace Theatre on the 30th and 31st October and Swansea University on the 14th November. One of our Twinklesteps team has seen this and can thoroughly recommend it 🙂 For more info see here.

Dogs Don't Do Ballet

© Bill Cooper.

Wee Cinderella is a delightfully fun pocket sized version of Cinderella by the wonderful Scottish Ballet. Your family can follow Cinderella on an enchanting journey into the woods filled with adventure, imagination and festive charm. This ballet is also suitable for children from 3+, so a big thankyou to Scottish Ballet for offering a ballet aimed at delighting younger children and their accompanying big people. It’s only on up in Scotland during December and January, but might just be worth venturing over the border for! More info here.

© Scottish Ballet

© Scottish Ballet

Get into the festive season with one of Hans Christian Anderson’s classic fairytales The Snow Queen. Follow Gerda’s fantasic adventure across the frozen north to rescue her friend kay from The Snow Queen’s Palace of Ice. Ballet Theatre UK are touring The Snow Queen this autumn and winter in a huge array of local venues (find out more here). Here’s a clip of one of Theatre Ballet Uk’s previous tours of The Snow Queen:

Other ballets you can look forward to and find out more about over on our events page are The Tortoise and the Hare, by Northern Ballet and My First Ballet: Sleeping Beauty by English National Ballet. So cosy up and watch a children friendly ballet performance this winter: as the nights start to draw in, the magic of ballet awakens 🙂

Let us know what you think of any performances you see and give us a nudge if you see any ballet shows for children we should add onto our events page.

Here’s to a wintery season filled with the magic of ballet, 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 🙂

New children’s ballet show roundup for 2014-15

Oh my goodness, we’re getting fidgety toes with excitement here at Twinklesteps HQ because there are sooo many fantastic ballets to take your little people to out there. Do you feel that Autumn nip of late? We all know that when swirls of frosty air start to gather on our doorsteps that Nutcracker season is gathering momentum. Check out our what’s on page for performances.

Not only that, we’ve also seen that a children’s version of Swan Lake by English National Ballet is going on tour next year – yey! With a narrator to help the young audience follow the story, and Tchaikovsky’s wonderful music, this is the perfect way to introduce children to classical ballet. Here’s their gorgeous poster:

My First Ballet Swan Lake English National Ballet

For ballet fans in Leeds you’re in for a treat in October because Northern Ballet has the Elves and the Shoemaker for you (please take this on tour soon Northern Ballet!). Here’s a realy fun clip of their reheasals:

What’s just as exciting is that London Children’s Ballet are performing Snow White again next year. Yippee! Check out some snippets from their 2009 production:

Check out our What’s On page for details of all these ballet shows and do let us know if you hear of any more shows suitable for younger children please ballet fans.

Psssst, we have a secret we’re desperate to start shouting about so watch this space and follow our blog to be the first in the know 😉

Have a lovely week from the Twinklesteps Team

The Magic Word – new ballet show for children

The Twinklesteps team are delighted to hear that, following their sell out shows last year, Let’s All Dance returns with another gorgeous, classical ballet for children: ‘The Magic Word’. Their last ballet, The Princess & the Frog, was a magical fairy tale ballet with the theme of friendship at its core. Find out what more about ‘The Magic Word’…

In a secret, magical forest lives the beautiful Forest Queen. In the summer the forest is warm and the Queen loves dancing in the dappled sunlight. But in the winter she becomes cold and hungry.

ballet dancer magic word

One day she decides to visit the Forest Elf on the other side of the wood, as she knows he has food and a warm cloak.

ballet dancers magic word

But the Queen is rather spoilt and does not know how to ask nicely. Once she learns The Magic Word she discovers the beauty of sharing and the joys of true friendship.

Children will be enchanted by the magical dancers, stunning costumes and crystal clear story-telling. With themes of kindness, good manners and friendship this is a heart-warming tale for all ages. The show lasts approximately 45 minutes including a meet the dancers session afterwards.

So far there are tickets on sale at The Riverside Studios, London for 27th – 29th June. If you book tickets before the 28th Feb & then email quoting “Valentine Magic Word” you’ll receive an autographed poster. Book here.

If you’re a school or nursery, Let’s All Dance also take the show in to see you and are currently taking bookings for the autumn term.

Let us know if you go and see it and in the meantime enjoy some magical adventures with Twinklesteps the fairy ballerina and her magical ballet shoes in our new book:

From The Twinklesteps Team.

London Children’s Ballet

We’re really excited that the talented London Children’s Ballet are going to be performing their own spirited version of Nanny McPhee this year. Packed with humour, fiendish trickery and budding romance, the story tells of a father with seven unruly children in desperate need of some discipline. The children’s terrible behaviour has driven away every nanny in the village until one day a curious stranger comes into their lives!

The London Children’s Ballet was founded in 1994 as a charity to give talented young dancers, whatever their background, the opportunity to perform as part of a professional ballet production. They have performed more than 13 ballets, including The Secret GardenA Little PrincessSnow WhiteBallet Shoes and Rumpelstiltskin. They support young composers and choreographers by commissioning them to create new full length ballets. Although their dancers are young, their productions are of a really high standard and are always a sell-out success.

Here are some fun extracts from ‘The Secret Garden’ which ran last year:

You can also watch London Children’s Ballet’s performance of The Little Princess for FREE on YouTube. This was a lovely gesture by the ballet company to allow every child around the world to enjoy a full length ballet for free:

With the Channel 4 series ‘Big Ballet’ just premiering, which focus’s on people’s ability to dance, regardless of their size, it’s nice to note the similarity in London Children’s Ballet’s approach. This quote is from the LCB website:

” London Children’s Ballet (LCB) was founded in 1994 to give talented young dancers age 9-14 (boys 9-16) a unique opportunity to perform as part of a professional ballet production. The 6-month audition to performance experience is free and the company of 55 is an exuberant and mixed bunch united by their passion for dance. LCB stands apart from other dance companies as the audition judges look for children who, regardless of physique, have that special star quality that makes a dancer beautiful to watch.”

You can also find out more about the London Children’s Ballet in this interview with professional ballet dancer Jonathan Cope:

Nanny Mcphee runs from the 25th-27th April at the Peacock Theatre in London. Book tickets here.

If anyone goes, do keep us posted and let us know what you think.

We hope you have a ballet-filled week, from the Twinkle Team 🙂

New Tour Dates for 3 Little Pigs Ballet

We’ve just heard Northern Ballet are extending the tour of their latest ballet for young children. Yippee! Our blog post last week featured Northern Ballet’s latest production ‘The Three Little Pigs’ which you can read about here, but we thought it would be worth listing their tour dates in full. Do go if you can and let us know what you think. Has anyone seen it already? Most of the dates are in the north but there is one at Southampton and one in Milton Keynes so check out the list, find a small person to take and huff and puff your way along to the front row!

Northern Ballet’s ‘Three Little Pigs’ Tour Dates:

Middlesbrough Theatre, Tue 11 March, 12.15pm, 2pm & 5pm, Box Office 01642 81 51 81

Hull Truck Theatre, Thu 13 March, 12.15pm, 2pm & 4.30pm, Box Office 01482 323 638

Goole Junction, Sat 15 March. 2pm, 4pm & 6pm, Box Office 01405 763 652

Liverpool Playhouse, Mon 17 March, 12.15pm, 1.45pm & 5pm, Box Office 0151 709 4776

Berwick-upon-Tweed The Maltings, Sat 22 March, 12.15pm, 2pm & 4pm, Box Office 01289 330 999

Barnsley Civic, Tue 25 March, 12.15pm, 2pm & 4pm, Box Office 01226 327 000

Bradford St. George’s Hall, Thu 27 March, 1.30pm & 6pm, Box Office 01274 432000

Bridlington Spa, Fri 28 March, 12.15pm, 2pm & 4pm, Box Office 01262 678 258

Doncaster Cast, Sat 29 March, 12.15pm & 3pm, Box Office 01302 303 959

Stirling Macrobert Theatre, Mon 31 March, 12.15pm, 2pm & 4.30pm, Box Office 01786 466 666

Durham Gala Theatre, Wed 2 April, 12.15pm, 2pm & 6.30pm, Box Office 03000 266600

Lancaster The Dukes, Fri 4 April, 12.15pm, 2pm & 4pm, Box Office 01524 598 500

Blackpool Grand Theatre, Sat 5 April, 12.15pm, 2pm & 4pm, Box Office 01253 743 346

Harrogate Theatre, Tue 8 April, 12.15pm, 2pm & 4pm, Box Office 01423 502 116

Leicester Curve Theatre, Fri 11 & Sat 12 April, 11am, 2pm & 4pm, (Fri 11 no 11am perf), Box Office 0116 242 3595

Barrow-in-Furness, The Forum, Tue, 15 April, 12.15pm, 2pm & 4pm, Box Office 01229 820 000

Huddersfield, Lawrence Batley Theatre, Thu 17 April, 12.15pm, 2pm & 3.45pm, Box Office 01484 430 528

Norwich, Theatre Royal, Fri, 16 May, 11.30am & 1.30pm, Box Office 01603 630 000

Milton Keynes Theatre, Fri 23 May, 11.30am & 1.30pm, Box Office 0844 871 7652

Southampton Mayflower Theatre, Fri 30 May, 11.30am & 1.30pm, Box Office 02380 711 811

Read more about the new tour on the Northern Ballet website here.

And since we’ve all made it through Blue Monday this week (officially the saddest day of the year!) we thought we’d share with you a TwinkleTip from Twinklesteps:

“Blue, red, black or green, whatever colour suits,

Dancing makes you feel brighter – in ballet shoes or boots!”

Twinklesteps Dancing

Twinklesteps Dancing

Have a lovely day from the Twinkle Team 🙂

Ballet Shows for Young Children

It’s so important to inspire young children to dance at a young age which is why it’s fantastic news that there are some wonderful ballet shows aimed at younger children about at the moment. With productions which are shorter in length, use music with strong melodies, fun choreography,  simple narratives and characters children will love, you have all the ingredients for a great children’s ballet show to inspire the next generation of dancers.

After the success of their first ballet show aimed specifically at young children (The Ugly Duckling), Northern Ballet launched the ‘Three Little Pigs‘ last year. This year you still have the opportunity to catch it in Bradford (27th March) or Southampton (30th May). Check out this trailer and you won’t be able to resist!

English National Ballet have a beautiful looking show launching in April. My First Ballet: Coppélia tells the tale of an eccentric toymaker and his mechanical doll in a beautifully adapted version for young audiences. Read more about it here and check out the tour dates on our what’s on page.

English National Ballet: Coppelia

English National Ballet: Coppelia

We try to keep our blog updated with ballet shows aimed at (or suitable for) younger children, so bookmark our what’s on page and let us know about any children’s ballet shows or events coming up near you. Follow our blog to keep up to date with children’s ballet shows, ballet and dance ideas, ballet gifts and products, ballet crafts and tips, news, magical play ideas and inspiring ballet and dance themed stories. Our magical ballet play shoes launch soon so watch this space!

Keep on your toes and learn how to do the ‘Duckling Dance‘ on the Cbeebies channel. Have fun, from the Twinkle Team 🙂

Nutcracker Season – the magic begins

As winter draws in and the nights get darker and darker, clouds of midwinter magic start to swirl, coaxing us out to play. There’s no surer way to sleigh ride you into a festive mood than by going to see ballets most famous winter offering: The Nutcracker.

For those not familiar with the story here’s a super brief version. It’s Christmas Eve and Clara’s Godfather Drosselmeyer brings Clara a beautiful wooden Nutcracker. She falls asleep with it in her arms and wakes up at midnight to a frightening scene. The toys have come to life and Clara’s Nutcracker is leading the soldier toys into battle against the Mouse Army. As the Nutcracker is cornered Clara throws her slipper at the Mouse King and helps defeat him. The Nutcracker turns into a handsome prince and he leads Clara through the moonlit night as snowflakes dance around them. They continue their journey to the Land of Sweets and meet the Sugar Plum Fairy who has been ruling the Land until the Prince’s return. In their honour a celebration of sweets from around the world is held with dancing and festivities. It ends with the famous Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Clara wakes up the next day with the Nutcracker still in her arms. Was it a dream…

Here’s an enchanting version of the Waltz of the Snowflakes by Royal Ballet with a beautifully graceful Clara:

There are some fun craft activities around to get your kids bubbling over with excitement about The Nutcracker. We like these colouring in characters from Pacific NorthWest Ballet and here’s some printable puppets too. We also have adorable Twinklesteps imagining she’s Clara for you to colour in here. If only she could imagine her bunny into a prince…

Don’t forget we have listings for performances of The Nutcracker shown on our Children’s Ballet Events page here. Let us know if you hear of any we need to add. Also, check out our shop for ballet goodies to get your ballerina’s imagination whirring.

Finally, here’s a lovely little clip from Pacific NorthWest Ballet showing young dancers auditioning for The Nutcracker. Worth a look for any budding ballet dancers out there wondering what an audition may be like:

We’d love to know what you think of The Nutcracker and which bits you like best. Let us know by commenting below 🙂

By the Twinkle Team

Northern Ballet bringing classic children’s tales to life

It’s so lovely to see Northern Ballet putting on ballet productions for young children. Their first ballet aimed especially at children aged 0-8 years was The Ugly Duckling and this October they are launching the Three Little Pigs. The performances are short, colourful and fun, bringing children’s classic tales to young audiences in a new way – through ballet and music. We’re huge supporters of making ballet accessible to younger children and new audiences and what better to do it than through tales all children know and love. Let us know if you go to see it.