There are dance opportunities to suit every under 5’s taste in Bloomsbury, from rave to ballet. Â Bloomsbury Festival, held last weekend, celebrated our neighbourhood as London’s most inspiring cultural quarter. Â We agree, and think that it’s not just for grown ups….For sheer exuberance, and a chance to dance, gallop, hula hoop and try out dance styles from around the world, get along to Diddi Dance every Thursday at Coram’s Fields. Â Ruthie is a whirlwind of energy and enthusiasm, encouraging everyone to get involved in the warm up, circle dancing and (my favourite) the counting song…Each half term she features a different dance style and children are encouraged to wear something or bring a suitable prop. Â She manages the resulting potential mayhem brilliantly, helped by her ability to remember every child’s name. Â My daughter always left with a big smile on her face. Â Suggested Donation Â£2 per child.
We haven’t made it yet to Baby Rave, but it sounds like a brilliant concept – music for the adults to enjoy as well as the kids, in a venue designed to rekindle festival and rave vibes for parents who are missing that part of their lives. Â It is also conveniently timed on a Sunday afternoon (although early hours of the morning might work just as well for quite a few of our babies come to think of it…) Â Keep an eye on their site for the next rave date.
Before I saw my little girl trying out ballet for the first time, I was a bit cynical about it as a rather stereotypical girls’ activity. But I found myself with a lump in my throat and a total overdose of motherly pride as I watched her try out her first ballet steps. Â She was enthralled by the imaginary worlds conjured up by her teacher, Miss Abigail each week. Â She loves the structure and discipline of the session, along with the chance to emulate all the ballerina characters little girls’ worlds are populated with. Â It is not surprising that ballet classes are available all over the neighbourhood. Â The wonderful Miss Abigail runs the Clerkenwell School of Ballet at Exmouth Market Centre, and there are also classes at Bedford House and Central School of Ballet.
Dancing is great for keeping parents fit and healthy too, and West End Children’s Centre (based at Fitzrovia Community Centre) has had the genius idea of combining a ‘Dancercise’ class with a Stay and Play every Tuesday morning from 10.30-12.30. Â It is free of charge, so no excuse not to give it a go!
We are also lucky enough to have some worldÂ class dance institutes within easy reach: The Place is the UK’s premier centre for contemporary dance, and mostly caters for older children in its community outreach programmes, but it does sometimes put onÂ events for under 5s, so it is worth keeping an eye on its website. Â We also went to a fantastic show and workshop at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire over the summer for 3-6 year olds called ‘No Fear’. Â A bit further out in Deptford, it is well worth travelling to for its shows, and the ‘teletubby style’ hills outside which your little ones will love running up and down!
What’s your little one’s favourite dance session? Â Do they have a special tune they love to dance at home? Â Share it with us!