Tag Archives: Ballet dancer

Dance With Twinklesteps all around the UK!

The brand new ‘Dance With Twinklesteps’ syllabus is now gaining momentum around the United Kingdom with classes starting up in Scotland, England and Wales. Lots of happy 3-5 year olds are enjoying the world of ballet and dance through imagination and play: looking for the Goblin, exploring Twinklesteps’ garden and lots, lots more. We also have classes starting up in Portugal as well as teachers across Europe who are interested in using the Syllabus – fantastic! We were thrilled to get this feedback from two of our new dance teachers:

Classes are going brilliantly! Thank you so much for creating an excellent Ballet programme!!! The kids love it and everyone is commenting on it.” Justeen Randall, Principal of Razzle Dazzle Performers

Lessons are going great. Children are enjoying them. We read a couple of pages of the story a lesson and then incorporate a different exercise or 2! We love the story!!” Katie Readman, KTZ DANCE

We also had this lovely feedback from one of our Dance With Twinklesteps children who was asked by her mum which ballet class she wanted to go to:

I want to be a Fairy Ballerina just like Twinklesteps so I want to come to Twinklesteps classes.”

To give you a real feel for the content of the ballet classes and the imagination and play elements we’re aiming for, we thought we’d share some photos. These photos are from the DVD, which comes with the Dance With Twinklesteps syllabus. They hopefully give you an idea of the kind of exercises the programme contains:

Twinklesteps’ Garden: the children visiting the fairy houses in Twinklesteps' garden.

Twinklesteps’ Garden: the children visiting the fairy houses in Twinklesteps’ garden.

Sparkly toes

Sparkly toes

Twinkle Twinkle little star

Twinkle Twinkle little star

Twinklesteps and some of the birds looking for the Goblin

Twinklesteps and some of the birds looking for the Goblin

Dance With Twinklesteps Ballet Programme - Music like the Birds

Elves Making Music

Twinklesteps Storytime

Twinklesteps Storytime

Dance With Twinklesteps aims to encourage children to enjoy the world of ballet and dance through a syllabus they’ll fall in love with. Yvonne MacGregor (Twinklesteps Director) and Stephanie Gardner (Musician and Composer) who developed Dance With Twinklesteps, both have a special interest in teaching young children, with the aim of developing a love of music and dance through imagination and play:

We wrote ‘Dance with Twinklesteps’ with the view to introducing very young children, in a fun and playful way, to the world of dance and in particular-ballet. It’s fantastic to hear such lovely feedback from some of the teachers saying that their classes are going really well and that the children are loving them. We are delighted that teachers are embracing and capturing the whole concept of imagination and play, involving the Twinklesteps character and her story book’- which is what we hoped they would do. We hope everyone  will enjoy dancing with Twinklesteps as much as we have enjoyed creating her little dances and music.” Yvonne and Stephanie.

Contact us at info@twinklesteps.com if you’d like to find out more or teach the Dance With Twinklesteps programme in your dance school. Read more about the programme here.

Dance with Twinklesteps Leaflet 2

We hope you’re having a magical autumn. From the Twinklesteps team 🙂

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

Garden flower ballerina games

Have you got ballerinas hiding in your garden? If you look carefully you’re sure to find some, you might find they even dance in the breeze! A great game to play is looking around the garden and seeing how many different flower ballerinas you and your child can find. If you have lots like these fushias, why not pick a few and play with a whole fairy ballerina family. You could watch how the flowers move in the breeze and ask your child if they can move like a fairy ballerina too: light, airy and gracefully.

Fushia ballerina.jpg

These flowers might not look so much like a ballerina, but they do bare a resemblance to a tutu. Maybe your child will be inspired to put on a tutu or a swooshy skirt and dance like a flower ballerina. Imagination and inspiration brings out some very expressive dancing 🙂

Flower ballerina tutuIf those flowers reminded you more of a pancake tutu, these ones might remind you of a Romantic tutu:Flower fairy hat

I wonder if the designers of Marie Taglioni’s beautiful Romantic tutu were inspired by nature?

Marie Taglioni wearing a 'Romantic Tutu'

Marie Taglioni wearing a ‘Romantic Tutu’

Do you think Twinklesteps skirt looks like a flower? – she is a nature lover after all and likes nothing better than practicing her ballet in the garden with the birds.

Practising ballet in the garden

Have some fun in the garden looking for flower ballerinas and dancing using movements and dressing up inspired by nature. Don’t forget you can buy our sparkly tutus and ballet adventure book (which the image above is taken from), in our shop here.

Have  fun dancing and exploring outdoors, from the Twinklesteps team 🙂

It’s World Dance Day!

It’s World Dance Day 2014 – woohoo!! We hope you’re enjoying yourselves and finding lots of ways to celebrate. You can always check out ideas of great dance themed ideas for kids in last week’s blog post here.

Our drawing competition ended last tuesday and we now want to share with you drawings by our two fabulous winners who created beautiful dance inspired drawings to celebrate International (World) Dance Day.

We had two categories for entries, the 3-5 years category and the 6-8 years category, so it gives us fairydust clouds full of pleasure to share with you a drawing by Wiktoria, aged 4:

Ballerina Drawing by Wiktoria

Ballerina Drawing by Wiktoria

and this lovely drawing by Hannah, aged 6 of a ballerina holding the world:

Ballerina dancing on World Dance Day by Hannah

Ballerina dancing on World Dance Day by Hannah

Well done to both of you, your ballet themed goodie bags are making their way to you now. Also a huge congratulations to all of the children who drew pictures and a big thanks to their parents for entering them. You’ll be receiving a magical note from Twinklesteps so you know how much we loved getting your entries.

Follow our blog (click ‘Ooo yes please’ on the right) to keep up to date with future competitions, ballet news, children’s ballet events, crafts and dance ideas. Get your own Twinklesteps ballet adventure book in our shop.

Happy World Dance Day from the Twinklesteps team 🙂

10 Fun Ways to Enjoy World Dance Day with Kids

With World Dance Day ready to leap into action on April 29th we thought we’d give you a few fun suggestions of ways you could celebrate it with your children. 1) Dance somewhere different. How about dancing in the park, in the supermarket, in the sandpit, on your garden wall, in the swimming pool or in the bathroom!

Ballet in the Bathroom

Ballet in the Bathroom

2) Make some World Dance Day celebratory footwear and add some bling to your ballet shoes! Read our post on decorating your ballet shoes here for inspiration.

Ballet Shoe Rosebuds

Ballet Shoe Rosebuds

3) Put on music which never fails to get your feet tapping  – you know what tracks get you twirling, swirling, stomping, sliding and spinning.

Music tracks to get your feet tapping

Music tracks to get your feet tapping

4) Find a friend to join in the fun. Can you dance with your whole body from your head to your toes – even your tongue can dance!

Dancing with your dog!

Dancing with your dog!

5) It’s time to treat yourself and the kids to some live ballet. Check out our ballet events page to see what’s on in the world of ballet – let us know if you hear of any must see ballet shows suitable for kids 🙂 6) What’s your child’s favourite book? Could they act it out in dance and do a little performance for you and the family? These excerts from Northern Ballet’s ‘The Three Little Pigs’ might kickstart ideas: 7) Sign up for a dance class and try something new. We’re obviously big ballet fans here and would humongously recommend trying ballet whether you’re a child or a parent, but if you’re already doing ballet well hey, why not try something else too? See what’s on near you and give it a whirl, a wiggle or a wobble. 8) Get inspired with some new dance moves by checking out this World Dance Day Celebration video from Slovakia! It’s a lot of fun 🙂 9) Check out ‘Twinklesteps and the Disappearing Birdsong‘ and enjoy World Dance Day by snuggling up together at the end of the day with this action packed ballet themed adventure book.

Twinklesteps Ballet Adventure Book

Twinklesteps Ballet Adventure Book

10) And if you didn’t get chance to dance ALL DAY on World Dance Day, make sure you dance in the dark!

Ballet by moonlight

Ballet by moonlight

Happy World Dance Day from all the team at Twinklesteps. Let us know what you get up to in the comments section below. Watch out for our World Dance Day drawing competition winners being announced next week – exciting!

Don’t forget to sign up to our blog for ballet and dance inspiration, crafts, competitions and fun! Look over to your right and hit the ‘ooo yes please’ button 😉

We love ballet shoes

We love ballet shoes here at Twinklesteps. The possibilities feel endless and creativity flows freely once a child puts on a pair of ballet slippers. Even before children are old enough to learn ballet steps, just putting on ballet slippers can make them feel like a dancer and inspire them to do some creative movement. Ballet slippers are close fitting and comfortable and make the wearer feel elegant and light footed – they aren’t like other shoes in that they give the illusion and feel of being barefoot. They also enable the wearer to move from a flat footed position to an elevated position on the balls of their feet. Both ballet slippers and pointe shoes (see below) mean that when the dancer’s toes are pointed the ballet shoes extend the line of the leg to it’s longest possible appearance.

Twinklesteps dancing in her ballet shoes

Twinklesteps dancing in her ballet shoes

Most ballet slippers are made of a thin leather sole stitched to soft leather uppers and held onto the dancer’s foot with a single piece of elastic over the instep. Although leather is the most common material, ballet slippers can be made of satin or canvas as well. The colour of ballet slippers varies and although you’ll generally see them in pink or white (or black, white or skin tone for men), slippers can be made in any number of colours.

As well as ballet slippers, female ballet dancers also wear pointe shoes once their feet are strong enough and their teacher feels they’re ready. They have a solid toe box, called the block, that enables the dancer to lift up on to the points of their toes. Intrigued about pointe shoes? Find out more in this video:

Pointe shoes are almost always made from satin stitched to a stiff leather sole. The sole is designed to support the dancer’s arch when she lifts herself up onto the point of the shoe. The point itself, also known as the box or the block, is usually made of layers of material and glue that have dried into a hard platform for the dancer’s toes to stand on. See how pointe shoes are made in this video:

We’ve had a lot of fun on Pinterest putting together various ballet shoe boards. Check out our ‘Ballet Shoes for Dance and Play’ board here.

Happy dancing from the Twinklesteps Team. Watch out for our magical play shoes coming soon in our shop.

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 info@lets-all-dance.co.uk 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: www.twinklesteps.com/shop-disappearing-birdsong.htm

From The Twinklesteps Team.

Imagination Dance Mat

What can you do to have fun at home on a rainy weekend? Whilst we’re big fans of dancing in the rain, sometimes you just want to wrap up, stay indoors and keep cosy. If you want to keep your kids active (and maybe even practising their ballet) and get the creative cogs a whirling, you need to create the outdoors indoors! Children love this..

Get out a large piece of paper (wall paper offcuts, old wrapping paper or a few pieces of paper stuck together) and suggest to to your child that they make up their own world to dance in. From there on in let your child’s imagination take over and, if you want to have some fun, join in too. You could either just use crayons or colouring pens or find some coloured paper to cut out and stick on.

We had fun with one of our Twinkle fans making ‘Strangeland’ complete with a river to paddle in and flowers to pick. It doesn’t take more than a sprinkling of imagination to make it come to life:
dance mat magic

Now comes the fun part. It’s time to dance! Take off your shoes and socks or put on your ballet shoes and explore your new world. Dip your feet in the river, ‘pick’ flowers, dance over the rainbow and wave some magic with your wand. How about putting on some music? Careful you don’t trip, we stuck our paper down with tape so it didn’t move about.

Dancing on the imagination dance mat

It’s easy to create an inspiring space to dance in and a fun way to spend a rainy morning. Have you made up your own dance space? Let us know in the comments below. If you want any accessories to make the magic complete, visit our shop for ideas.

A Twinklesteps adventure, brought to you by the Twinkle Team. Happy dancing 🙂

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 🙂