Tag Archives: children

The Qualities of a Dance with Twinklesteps Teacher

We’ve had lots of interest in our exciting new dance programme ‘Dance with Twinklesteps’ for 3 – 6 year olds, so we thought it would be useful (and fun!) to share the very special qualities of a ‘Dance with Twinklesteps’ teacher.

We have written and presented the Dance With Twinklesteps programme with the understanding that the teacher has experience in teaching young children and has a strong background training in dance and in particularly ballet. Twinklesteps teachers carefully teach the foundation of ballet technique by following the guide lines in the Twinklesteps syllabus, which uses parallel feet for the very young child. The progression exercises in the syllabus provide a natural and safe development for the children to progress to the next level (primary).

For more on what’s included in the Dance With Twinklesteps programme see here.

Qualities of a Dance With Twinklesteps Teacher

Well Number 1 of course is that all our teachers love children and enjoy interacting with them. They also have the ability to make things fun. Our teachers are great at getting the right balance of structure, imagination and play. Drawing on play as the natural learning method of younger children, means you’re working with, rather than against, your class. Dance with Twinklesteps teachers incorporate role play, storytelling, sensory experiences and, of course, participation. At Twinklesteps we’ve found that engaging the children in the story telling, asking them about their ideas and then acting them out in the class really works: incorporating chances for the children to be involved in the class makes them active and interested learners.

Since these are very young children who love to (and learn through) play, our teachers are able to immerse themselves in all the imagination of this age group and encourage the children to use their own imagination within the class. To be creative and imaginative, to be able to motivate and excite the young children in the class, encouraging the relationship with the main character Twinklesteps, is a great quality for our Dance with Twinklesteps teachers.

We always say to new teachers that it’s important to keep the Twinklesteps’ character real and a focus point in the class, as an inspiring role model for the children and as a tool to base the learning around. After all, we created Twinklesteps as a little girl who loves ballet, so children should feel an affinity with her (Twinklesteps’ best friend Jett has been created as a role model for boys). The addition of her magical fairy powers taps into the imaginative world of this age group and helps them learn some basic ballet steps and movements through imagination and play. The fact that Twinklesteps has shoes that sparkle when she points her toes encourages children to point their toes too. Linking the characters from the Twinklesteps book in the class and even adding some of the children’s own imaginary characters helps the childrens enjoyment of, and learning within, the class.

Leading on from this, Twinklesteps teachers are also great at taking a flexible approach. When teaching this age group on some days you have to be prepared to throw out your planned lesson and go with the mood of the children. This doesn’t necessarily mean always thinking on your feet, many of our teachers have worked out a plan B, C and D to deal with any situation! If the children are lacking in focus for a technical exercise, a back up plan (something more play based for example), can really help. Being able to assess the ability of each child and plan the class to suit the children makes life so much easier for our teachers. The accompanying Dance With Twinklesteps programme music is aimed at encouraging teachers to be flexible in helping the children to respond in different ways through dance.

All our teachers are genuinely warm and kind, with an encouraging style. They understand that young children respond really well to reward and praise and they recognize children’s efforts. Stickers, certificates and praise all help the children to feel proud of their efforts and pleased to be in the class.

Children move on from ‘Dance with Twinklesteps’ with a basic foundation in ballet as well as having enormous amounts of fun! The syllabus is intended to be entertaining but also educational as we aim to encourage a love of dance and music in a natural and progressive way through play, storytelling and imagination.

To find out more about our dance programme ‘Dance With Twinklesteps’ visit here. Email Yvonne MacGregor (‘Dance With Twinklesteps’ creator and coordinator) at info@twinkesteps.com if you’re interested in becoming a ‘Dance With Twinklesteps’ teacher.

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 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 🙂

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 🙂

Twinklesteps Dancing Puppet

CRAFT ACTIVITY: Today we have a fab craft resource for you! It’s a Twinklesteps dancing puppet and it’s super easy to make. All you have to do is download the following PDF and print it out. Roughly cut out Twinklesteps and stick onto card (an old cereal box will do). You then cut around her more carefully and also cut out the two circles on her dress. Then poke your index and middle finger through the holes and you have a fabulous puppet to dance across the table, around the room or up the stairs (Psssst! She likes dancing in the garden too). Guess what? You can even colour the picture in if you like too! Or why not put on some music to dance your puppet to? Hehe what fun.

Download the puppet PDF here: twinklepuppet.pdf

We hope your enjoy our little craft activity – it might be a good one to beat the wet weather blues 😉

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 Light-up Ballet Shoes!!

Yeeeeey!!! We’re bursting with excitement here at Twinklesteps because our long awaited sparkly dressing up ballet shoes are now available in our shop.

Light up ballet shoes for children

Our NEW Dressing Up ballet shoe has little lights under a pink butterfly that sparkle when your child dances. These gorgeous shoes are perfect for imagination and play purposes and the fact they are ballet shoes means they’re ideally suited to dancing, twirling, leaping and pirouetting. The shoes are based on the magical character of Twinklesteps, a little girl who is also a fairy, who LOVES to dance and has shoes that sparkle when she points her toes. The children can have lots of fun creating their own stories or enacting some of Twinklesteps’ adventures (buy the Twinklesteps book here).

Our new shoes are a play version of Twinklesteps’ ballet shoes so will light up simply by moving about – there’s no better way to get your child inspired to dance! They’re great for giving little shows at home to friends and family and to add to the excitement…..dim the lights! Twinklesteps creator and dance teacher Yvonne MacGregor explains why she was inspired to develop these unique dance shoes:

“When teaching little children to point their toes I tell them to imagine they have diamonds in their shoes, but they will only sparkle when they point their toes. With this in mind I started to create a shoe that would be magical and at the same time would motivate them to stretch right to the end of their toes. My little ballet girls inspired me to create the Dressing Up shoe. They kept asking. “When are we getting the sparkly ballet shoes?” I realised that they just wanted shoes that sparkled when they danced. I put the first shoe on hold and started working on a shoe that would light up and sparkle when they danced and that was not just reliant on them pointing their toes.”

How do these amazing ballet shoes work?

The idea to create a magical ballet shoe that would flash led light has certainly been a challenge. The difficulty being that a ballet shoe has virtually no sole and is of very thin fabric/ leather. The trainers and outdoor shoes with the flashing lights, have thick soles in which to house large battery units and sensors.

The sensors and components for the ballet shoes had to be small enough to fit on a circuit board that was not going to take up too much room on the shoe. The biggest challenge with both the shoe projects was finding a way to attach the unit safely to the shoe without causing any discomfort to the children given the thin fabric and make- up of the shoe.

The software programme has been developed to detect the movement and to activate the led lights to flash. The unit has been programmed to turn off automatically, if there is no movement after 30 seconds . The shoes can then be carried in a dance or school bag and so saving the life of the battery – it is possible to change the battery if need be. The ballet shoes have been inspected and evaluated in respect of the EN62115:2005.

Help your child love to dance by buying your pair here.

Enjoy, from all the team at Twinklesteps 🙂

Twinklesteps wearing sparkly ballet shoes