Tag Archives: ballet

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 🙂

Dance With Twinklesteps

We’re very excited to tell you that our exciting new dance concept ‘Dance with Twinklesteps’ is launching mid August ready for the September term. Dance with Twinklesteps is a new and exciting introduction to the world of dance and ballet for young children, encouraging the development of a love of dance and music in a fun and imaginative way.

Twinklesteps and the birds

Dance teachers will love our programme which includes:

– Detailed Teaching Notes

– CDs (approx 40 tracks)

– DVD (excerpts of dance material)

– Twinklesteps Storybook

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. 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 contains over 40 tracks of specially composed music including dance exercises/sequences and songs with alternatives and choices, plus extra tracks for teachers own use and choreography.

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. Hurry there’s a 10% discount if ordered on or before 14th August. Here’s our invitation:

An Invitation to Dance with Twinklesteps copy

Please help us spread the word about this exciting new dance programme by sharing this post and passing on to any dance teachers you know. Tell us what you think on our Facebook page or Twitter account.

Find out more about Twinklesteps on our website and don’t forget to get in touch on info@twinklesteps.com.

Happy dancing, love the Twinklesteps Team. x

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 🙂

 

Make a Nature Ballerina

The summer sun is shining (well, sometimes!) and flowers are multiplying in the garden. If it’s not enough to make you want to dance with the birds like Twinklesteps, it might be sunny enough for some outdoor ballet inspired crafts. Today we thought we’d share with you how to make a nature ballerina with your kids. This is great fun and is an activity to try anywhere – in your garden, on the pavement, in the woods, in the park or even on the beach. All you need is a space to hunt for found objects and a bit of imagination.

How to make a nature ballerina

1) Collect petals, stones, shells, twigs, grass or little outdoor treasures.

Make a nature ballerina

2) Assemble them together to make a ballerina.

Making a nature ballerina

3) Step back and admire your work! Here’s some we made earlier 🙂

Nature Ballerina 1 Nature Ballerina 2 Nature Ballerina 3 Nature Ballerina 4

Have fun collecting garden treasures and make sure you post your creations on our Facebook page. If you need some ballerina inspiration here’s Twinklesteps dancing in the garden.

Practising ballet in the garden

This was a ballerina craft idea brought to you from the Twinklesteps team. Sign up to our newsletter to receive ballet craft and inspiration ideas straight into your inbox, as well as to be the first in the know on competitions, special offers and new products.

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.

 

Spring into Spring with a Fairy Ring

Yipedeedoo! We’ve now officially bounced into spring and we’re all very excited at Twinklesteps HQ about the lighter days, flowers exploding into colour and those exciting glimpses of warm sunshine. The fairies are starting to yawn and stretch and make an appearance in the garden, so maybe it’s time to discover your fairy name, dream up some magical powers and get out there and join them. We have a fun new play activity to get your going. Find out how to Make a Fairy Ring below…

The sun is shining and there’s so much to do out there in the garden. The birds love to watch Twinklesteps when she practices her ballet moves, I bet they’d love to watch you too!

spring into spring

Can you dance like Twinklesteps in the garden to entertain the birds? You could wear ballet shoes, boots, trainers or even dance barefoot in the spongy new spring grass. For extra magical effect dance in our light-up ballet shoes, which really encourage dance, imagination and play (more here).

To make things even more magical in the garden why not Make a fairy ring?

You will need:
Long ribbons, tulle or strips of material
Bamboo canes (or use existing trees)
That’s it!

Weave ribbon in and out of trees or push a few bamboo canes in the ground and let your child make their own magical space to dance or play in – they might need help to make a doorway. Here’s one of our Twinklesteps fans making a fairy ring. These can create hours of fun and could be as big or small as you wish – the simplest ideas are the best 😉

Fairy Ring magical play

Pssst, Easter is coming. Try our Ballet themed Easter Hunt here.

Have fun, from the Twinklesteps Team.