What Does “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” Have To Do With Ballet?

There is absolutely nothing more adorable than watching a toddler boogie to their favorite songs. Their huge smiles and joy is contagious! They’re having a blast and exploring new movements, but did you know they’re actually learning fundamentals of ballet?

It may seem like we’re just dancing along to silly children’s songs, but there is a purpose for every movement in every song. We are developing the foundations for future dancers. This groundwork will not only ensure they become more aware of their bodies, but will help them grasp ballet technique much faster as they get older. Of course, we’re working on gross motor skills and coordination- “But what exactly are we working on, and what does it have to do with ballet?”, you may ask..

In addition to moving their bodies in new ways, little ones are discovering:

  • Levels (high and low)
  • Dimension (big and small)
  • Dynamics in time (moving with the music)
  • Three major types of coordination:
    • Oppositional
    • Parallel
    • Cross-lateral
  • The seven movements in dancing:
    • Plier (to bend)
    • Etendre (to stretch/extend)
    • Relever (to rise)
    • Glisser (to slide)
    • Sauter (to jump)
    • Elancer (to dart)
    • Tourner (to turn)

All of this is taught by nurturing teachers in a carefully crafted program designed so that toddlers can understand. They have no idea what they’re learning, and it’s important to keep it that way. It has to be fun- otherwise they won’t be engaged and they won’t learn.

You may think “It’s just ‘The Itsy Bitsy Spider”. Oh, but it’s so much more. That little routine is opening up your child to the world of dance!


Click here to learn more about toddler classes at ABC’s of Dance!

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