Any movement teacher will tell you, that five minutes into a class or practice they just KNOW which individuals have experience with complex physical and mental exercise, and how much. Dance generally, but Irish dance particularly, requires a unique set of skills. Coordination, balance, communication between right and left sides of the body (and brain!!) and preferred learning style all play together to create early class experiences. Focus and concentration, attention to detail and the ability to translate directions from teacher/coach into the body are critical. AND theres the element of memory! Learning Irish dance is akin to learning an entirely new language with its own complex vocabulary. Much of this early learning is best when it is fun, so we make an effort to incorporate games, props, brain gym, and other tactics into class so the process is engaging and joyful. How can you support your kiddo's learning at home? Encourage them to practice daily, utilize resources such as written words and videos, or even jump up and give it a try ! (kids love to teach their parents!) Narrate your actions when they involve directionality, and especially right/left, forward/backward side-to-side. For example, when on a walk, encourage your child to balance on their right leg, or reach for a rock with their left hand. Take four steps forward and two steps back. Set up hopscotch or get out the jump rope. Build spatial and body awareness into your daily life, and have FUN with it!
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