If you can walk, you can dance!
Think your preschooler is too young to start dance? Think again! SRL Irish Dance Academy is proud to offer the Jump’n Jig program for our littlest dancers, aged 2 to 5!
Split into two age groups (2-3 Tiny Jig and 4-5 Pre-Beginner,) this program was designed by early-childhood expert and ADCRG, Fiona Holmes. Classes start with helping our newest dancers learn how to act and engage within a dance class and move on to developing motor skills and musicality (all while making sure there’s plenty of fun in the meantime!) And with each class starting with a friendly welcome where they can bring along their favorite stuffed friend from home, SRL’s adoption of the Jump’n Jig program has helped get even the most reticent new dancer into the studio!
There’s plenty of benefits to starting your child in Irish dance (and starting them early!) and both our Tiny Jig and Pre-Beginner classes cover all the bases: safe social interactions with peers, instructors, and student mentors, working on not just foundational dance skills, but listening skills, and a way to grow a sense of personhood and independence. Beyond that are the physical benefits! We utilize two movement stations—circle time for direct interaction and a “track” across the room to practice skills solo—to work on single leg balancing (adding accessory movements gradually,) leg and foot strength, foot placement for Irish dance, moving on or around markers and targets, and concepts like right/left and front/back. These skills form a strong base for all forms of movement (think about football players taking ballet!) and many Tiny Jiggers move on through the levels and become life-long Irish dancers!
Irish dance has a long and rich tradition and history behind it, but you don’t need to have Irish heritage to be an Irish dancer. While the steps and the music are part of Ireland’s cultural heritage, Irish dance has become a global community—and SRL is a tight-knit and supportive community within that larger sphere. In this encouraging environment, dancers are exposed to a culture beyond their own while they develop a strong sense of musicality and rhythm—learning to actively listen to the music, find the beat by clapping, and utilizing props so they can dance with the music instead of to the music (the hardest thing to teach a dancer!)
A successful SRL dancer isn’t just strong on technique—we see success as a confident, happy, and comfortable dancer! While classes run on a school year schedule from September to June, we have a special offer to let new dancers get a taste before they sign up in the fall! SRL’s Intro to Irish Dance Summer Camp sign-ups are now open for new dancers 2-12, with two sessions available at work-friendly drop off times for parents. Learn more about the program here, or feel free to reach out to our Office Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org. They’re happy to help!
This post is part of a series. Take a look at our last 411 post, about the benefits of Irish dance, here. Also: check out the blog every Monday and Thursday for more posts about Irish history, dance culture, community news, and spotlights on our dancers, staff, and families—among other fun projects! And don’t forget to dance along with us on both Facebook and Instagram.
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