- Transitioning to Tap
- Should I buy tap shoes?
- New Classes
- This month’s curriculum focus
These changes will apply only to our Wednesday 2pm class and our Saturday 12:45pm class. All dance and performance classes are not affected by these changes.
We have some exciting changes to announce this year for our Basic Ballet Technique class which will soon be renamed to “Intro to Ballet”. These mark the first major improvements we have made to the “Level-Up” classes since we have added them to our schedule. Our Level-Up classes are for school age kids ages 5-7. Most of our focus over the years has been on developing curriculum for our preschool classes, and now we have made our first big step towards developing a school age curriculum. This will help distinguish our Dance & Performance classes from our Level-Up classes and create a sense of progression towards a more structured class. It will also help prepare your dancer for their next dance studio when they graduate from Small Fry Dance Club.
We know a lot of the parents have been waiting for this moment, so we are pleased to announce these changes will be effective immediately. The schedule for the older dancers will now resemble a more traditional studio schedule that has them preparing for a Spring recital each year.
To view a detailed schedule of what the ballet dancers will be learning please visit our curriculum page. There you will find what the dancers will be learning each month as well as a rough outline of the plan for the spring performance.
If you have any questions about the curriculum or the new required dress code please contact our office any time. Thank you.
Always trying to improve,
Jana, Carlos, and the Small Fry Staff.
Dance is an excellent way for your child to stay active and healthy. In addition, dance develops discipline and offers children a creative means for expressing their emotions, an opportunity that is not offered through general academics or athletics.
Perfect Even for tiny dancers
Young children have a natural appreciation for music and dancing. Dance offers an excellent opportunity to explore their interest and develop confidence as they perform at center stage. And, more than typical structured sports programs, it is safe to dance at a young age. Your child will enjoy twirling and jumping away all their extra energy.
Builds Strong, Healthy Bodies
Dancing helps children build strong, healthy bodies by improving overall fitness, strength, and flexibility. It is a very physical activity and can burn as many calories as swimming or biking. A half hour of dance burns 200-400 calories! In addition, dance builds muscle strength as it requires controlled movements which demand a dancer to resist his or her own body weight for sustained periods of time. Leaping and jumping are both great ways to strengthen young legs. Finally, dance enhances flexibility through stretching and movement.
In fact, dance techniques are used to train professional athletes. Dance helps athletes develop and strengthen smaller muscle groups to better avoid injury. In addition, improved ankle and foot flexibility gained from dance boosts an athlete’s agility on the field or court.
An Appropriate Emotional Outlet
Children often struggle to understand and express their emotions in an appropriate manner. Through dance and creative movement, a child is taught to move like they are “excited” or “angry”. As they get older kids learn they can use dance as a non-verbal means of expressing how they feel. At every stage, dance offers children an effective outlet and helps them manage their emotions. Dance also offers children a way to gain praise for expressing themselves. Of course, the praise a child receives for expressing themselves leads to greater self esteem and confidence in all aspects of the child’s life.
As children grow and continue their involvement in dance, they also learn the importance of discipline. Older dancers practice several times per week and must perform the same skills repeatedly to master the proper movement and form. Through dance, students learn first-hand the importance of hard work and persistence.
Yosemite Dr and Humboldt Ct, Pacifica
Designed by the families of Pacifica and hand built by the community, Frontierland Playground is one of the bay area’s hidden gems. The large, enclosed play area makes it easy for parents to keep an eye on kids running loose. The playground includes a small climbing wall, musical areas made out of metal pipes, and a well/dungeon made out of tires perfect for climbing. There are slides, swings, and a tot area with a train depot for pretend play. When temperatures soar, the water misting area helps little ones cool down. Adjacent to the play area, picnic tables and a large grassy area are perfect for picnicking, kicking a ball or flying a kite.
Did you know that there is a water park in San Mateo that is kid friendly? We didn’t either! Summer is here so we thought we would share our findings.
Ryder Court Park
1801 J. Hart Clinton Drive, San Mateo
When the coastal fog rolls in thick, head on over to sunny San Mateo. The water fountains spring unpredictably from the ground, keeping you on your toes. The park’s well manicured lawn is perfect for picnicking and the playground is not too far from the BBQ area. While reveling in some water fun, the kids can work up an appetite as dad grills up some burgers and hotdogs. The park also has a paved bike path, which takes you on a fantastic ride along the shoreline. For the airplane enthusiast, there’s also a good view of planes landing at SFO.
Rinconada Park Pool
777 Embarcadero Road, Palo Alto
Recently remodeled, the Palo Alto facility’s kiddie pool appears in the shape of a five-petal flower. Each petal has its own swimming, water fun area, including “lemon drop” geysers, a circular waterfall, and water bicycles. For older swimmers, there’s two diving boards and 14 lap lanes. Admission is $5 for adults (ages 18 - 59), $3 for seniors (60+), $4 for youth (ages 3 - 17), and $1 for infants (2 and younger). Recreation swim membership is also available for Palo Alto residents and non-residents. Street parking only.
By Rachael Carnes
Every person can learn from dancing. Not everyone will grow up to perform dramatic leaps in a corps de ballet or to shuffle off to Buffalo with the Rockettes, but every child deserves the opportunity to dance. For babies and toddlers, creative movement offers a range of experiences that facilitate natural, easy play and proper development of alignment, neurological coordination and a fundamental exploration of baseline concepts that are the building blocks for future learning. For preschoolers, children about 2 1/2 to four, movement play in a creative dance setting can help to provide an essential educational experience. Through movement, songs, games and rhymes, children not only flex their muscles as they gain strength and endurance, but they challenge themselves emotionally and cognitively as well.
Creative dance for small children approaches many ways of learning. Inherently kinesthetic, a solid creative dance class should be appealing to both boys and girls, offering ample opportunity to hop, bound, run, dive, leap, jump, turn, kick, and stretch. Kids, of course, love to move. As an educational model, dance uses rhythm, honing children’s aural skills, and giving them a chance to approach conceptual ideas through their bodies. Creative dance also relies on linguistic play like rhymes and games that involve the use of fun new language and vocabulary. Academically speaking, in a ten-week session of creative dance for preschoolers, your child can and should be exposed to most of the basic academic bases they’ll climb to in their elementary education. But they’ll tackle these new ideas not through tests and standards, but through fun, playful and engaging activities.
When children dance together, something amazing happens. Creative dance is a tremendous learning modality for the individual, but what’s thrilling to see as a teacher and parent is the way children begin to embrace new ideas that foster community building and social connections. Under the care of a dedicated teacher, even the tiniest dancers can look at and appreciate each other’s choreographic efforts, applaud each other’s determination and zeal and work together to solve problems. While they’re just having a great time singing and dancing and being silly, they’re also addressing important meta-cognitive learning needs. Simply put, these small dancers can begin to see the differences in the way they think and feel compared to other people, to accept and celebrate these differences, and to have the necessary vocabulary to sort out their experiences. This level of objectivity about other people is something that will serve any child well as he or she encounters the larger classes and variety of experiences that loom in early educational experiences. The creative dance method offers children and their caregivers tools for learning for a lifetime.
As with any enriching educational activity, consistency is key. You and your child can play at the pool once or twice over the course of a few months, and have a great time. But if your goal is to have your child become safe and comfortable in the water, you’re probably going to want to take regular lessons. That’s why it’s recommended that children be involved in a regular creative dance class, so they can get to know the teacher and his/her classmates, so they have the chance to build on the conceptual vocabulary that has been worked with in previous weeks and so they can gain a greater understanding of the material. But most importantly, consistency and the repetition and affirmation it affords will provide your child with a wider launch pad for their own creativity both in and out of class.
Here are a few of the benefits of Creative Dance for preschoolers:
- Increased body awareness, kinesthetic comfort and ease
- Improved alignment, flexibility and neurological patterning
- Emotional and social growth and development
- Greater self-esteem and autonomy
- Linguistic and aural (listening) skills enhanced
- Beginning understanding of academics such as math, reading, spelling and science
- Approaches ‘classroom skills’ necessary for school experiences, such as taking turns, following directions, listening, sharing and communicating needs and feelings
- Develops an early creative spark in individuals and groups
For more information on the benefits of dance and other art forms on early childhood education, please refer to this website’s links to other organizations dedicated to improving children’s learning experiences.
Small Fry Dance Club - June 2012 Performance - 4pm Show
These are kids from our Saturday 9am group. They are all 4-6 years of age and have been with us for at least 2 years. They were the guest performers at the 4pm show and pulled double duty performing in the Hip Hop piece in the 5pm show. Great job dancers! We will post more pictures and videos as we have them available.
Congratulations to all the dancers that participated in the June 2012 Hip Hop Performance. You all did an amazing job! The teachers, staff, and all the parents are very proud of you. It is always great to see all the progress the kids make in class and how that culminates at our performances. We had a blast with Hip Hop, thank you for the great memories.
As Spring comes to a close it is time to plan ahead for our next performance rotation. The focus for our next performance piece will be Ballet. The teachers and staff are working hard on choosing a song and developing the start of the choreography. We will begin implementing it over the next few weeks.
We will email all families with information for the fall/winter performance sometime in the August/September time frame.
Small Fry Dance Club is a proud sponsor of the San Carlos Hometown Days festival. Hometown Days was voted best family festival by Bay Area Parent Magazine. We will be there all weekend. Swing by our booth to learn about our programs. Everyone that signs up for a demo class will get a free $10 gift card to use on deals at PlumDistrict.com. Which by the way we will be offering a deal through next week. (plum district offer will be for new families only)
So come check out the festival, there is live music, food, games, a petting zoo, and much much more!
We hope you like it - www.smallfrydanceclub.com
We are happy to announce that we are launching our new website. We designed the new site with our users in mind and hope that it creates a better online experience. Throughout the next few days and weeks we will continue to make minor improvements and changes as we see how our families, and potential customers adjust to the new website.
Additional ways to communicate with us
Because a majority of our families dance off-site at preschool locations and not at our studio we know that staying connected with us can be difficult. To improve our communications we have made sure to make ourselves easily accessible through social media.
Along with the new website we have added this Tumblr.com blog as our news page. If you haven’t done so already please consider following us. You will get updates on classes, performances, special events, and deadlines.
Your opinion is valuable to us
Please feel free to contact us with any comments of questions regarding the new website. We will continue to do our best to improve our product and bring you the best child dance classes in the Bay Area.