The Young Dancers’ Program

Philosophy

The Young Dancer’s program promotes body awareness, confidence, sociability, and early friendship bonds among young children. The class helps develop an appreciation of movement and music as it affects each child’s growing spirit. Individuality and unique personalities are encouraged while teaching the behavior and etiquette that is appropriate in a dance class setting.

Casco Bay Movers does not discriminate by gender, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or creed.  This is expressed in equal opportunities for participation and involvement.  We believe in a diverse world and know that our community is stronger when our doors are open to all.

Dance With Me

This class is for children 2-3 years who are not quite ready to enter the classroom independently.  Caregivers actively participate in the class, providing an added sense of safety and security for their preschoolers. They explore their creativity and the foundations of basic dance technique while building self-confidence.  No pre-requisites.  Dancers must be 2 years of age by the first class.

On My Own

On My Own is designed for the preschool student, 3-4 years old, ready to enter the classroom on their own, actively participate in class, and have emerging communication skills.  Dancers must be at least 3 years old by the first class and potty trained.

Dance Imagination


Our priority is to inspire each student to experience the joy of dance. In learning the beginnings of basic dance techniques, children will develop good alignment, coordination, elongation, and strengthening of the torso and limbs. Dance vocabulary and locomotion skills are introduced while exploring directions, patterns, and movement shapes. The class also allows for unstructured free dance to explore individual movement. Students learn to control and use different energies in dance, high energies, and soothing, relaxing energies. Through dance, young people develop body awareness, agility, musicality, creative thinking, analytical skills, and self-confidence.

Pre-Ballet and Combo Classes

These classes are designed for the child who is ready for a more structured dance class experience. Pre-Ballet and Combo classes both require a certain level of mental concentration and physical coordination and a more disciplined classroom environment.

Age Requirements

Because of the Danceimagination program’s desired goals, class sizes are limited to ten children for the two to three-year-old classes and twelve for our four to six-year-old classes. We have found it is in the child’s best interest and the class to adhere to the age requirements of each class. Students must already be the age listed before enrolling in the class. Dancers age 3 and up must be potty trained before starting class.

Before Class

We strive to begin and finish classes on time. Students must arrive on time and ready to leave their parents at the door. Rushing in at the last moment can be a rough transition for the little ones to make. Having time for the teacher to greet each child as they enter the studio can ease the transition and help the teacher determine moods, energy levels, and overall readiness. Arriving too early creates anticipation and may make separating from the parent more difficult. Fifteen minutes is plenty of time to change, use the bathroom, and exchange proper greetings. We understand that children may have attachments to a special item or toy. We request that these items be left at home or in the car. Personal items are not allowed in the studio unless the teacher has made a special request for children to bring something from home. Please make sure your child has had some nourishment before class. Hunger can be a detriment to a child’s ability to focus.

Studio Etiquette

The Casco Bay Movers’ Staff and teachers are very sensitive to the fact that Danceimagination maybe your child’s first experience with separation from parents for an activity designed solely for them. We encourage our young dancers to enter the studio ready and willing to leave parents in the lobby and enter the world of creativity and spontaneity independently. The ultimate goal is for each child to be inside the classroom for the entire class length with the door closed and without tears. For some children and their parents, this may mean an adjustment period of perhaps one or two classes. For the sake of our students, we try to conduct the class with a closed door. Entering and leaving the room during class time is disruptive and makes it difficult for children to focus. If your child is not ready to participate, it is fine to leave and try the next session. Our Danceimagination classroom does have a viewing window, where parents may take an occasional peek at the class in progress. However, hovering at the viewing window or the door distracts the class and can create a difficult situation for the teacher to cope with. Greeting your child with a smile and a hug after class gives them the security and encouragement they need to return each week.

Attire

You will want to dress your child in clothing that is comfortable for them. They can be as beautiful or sporty as they like (leotards, footless tights, T-shirts, sweatpants), anything loose-fitting that allows full range of motion (no jeans). Clothing that is too small or straps that fall are distracting. Dancing barefoot is best. Socks and tights with feet are too slippery and hazardous. Hair should be pulled back off the face.

Make-Ups

Due to the class structure and limited size, we cannot allow children to make up missed classes. We schedule a general make up class once a year at the end of March (date and time to be announced).

Performance

Twice per year family are invited into the studio to observe the class and are welcome to bring photo and video cameras to record their own student.  This allows the dancers to share their experience and is conducted as a regular class. All of our trimester or year-long classes will have the opportunity to perform in the studio’s annual Spring Concert created especially for our younger dancers. The performance is short, family-friendly and the dancers sit in the auditorium to watch the other performers while not on stage.   We traditionally hold this concert at the Westbrook Performing Arts Center.  We are holding our spring concerts at an outdoor venue to ensure safety is paramount during the pandemic.

Let us Know

We live in a complex and ever-changing world. We understand that families today face numerous challenges in child-rearing. We encourage you to share any changes in your child’s daily life that may affect his/her behavior and ability to focus. Sharing these changes with your child’s teacher makes a big difference in their ability to interact with your child inside the classroom effectively. Please be assured that privacy issues are held in high regard and sensitive issues will be held in strictest confidence.