Learning to dance at a young age can have a profound impact on young children’s creativity and confidence. We are passionate at Tot Bop about facilitating both creativity and confidence in the children we teach. But which comes first? It’s a little bit ‘chicken or egg’ in that one can’t really exist without the other and the two have to go hand in hand in order to both develop. A child must have a certain amount of confidence to be bold enough to begin to explore their creativity. Once they do and creative skills begin to develop, huge amounts of confidence come from it as a result.
Praise and Encouragement
At Tot Bop, we’re all about ‘bigging the children up’ as much as possible to build that confidence, right from the offset. We are proud to have an ethos of positive praise and encouragement throughout every section of our classes, so children build their confidence every step of the way. Then the safe space and non-pressurised environment we create encourages children to be brave enough to try new things and begin to explore their creativity.
This then encourages them to begin to take risks and explore emotional expression. At Tot Bop we encourage the children to express themselves through movement, fostering creativity as they explore different ways to interpret music and tell stories through their bodies. Trying new dance styles or moves is the first step in taking creative risks. We do this in the music section of our classes, as children get introduced to different musical genres and different ways of moving, which also touches on how different musical styles make us feel, introducing children to emotional expression.
Emotional expression and musical interpretation continues in our storytime section, as children immerse themselves in their imaginations and use their bodies to tell a story. With guidance from the teacher, children get thoroughly involved in the story, be it imagining they are a creature in woodland or on a space mission to an alien planet. It’s truly wonderful and such fun to help the children thoroughly invest in the story and explore their creativity through their imaginations.
If you’ve been to a Tot Bop class in any age group, you’ll know that ‘crazy shapes’ are a huge part of our world! Making a ‘crazy shape’ with their bodies encourages children to take risks and make a choice about the position they want to create. This gives them freedom of choice and introduces improvisational skills, which are the corner stones of creativity. Making the choice of what shape to create gives the children a sense of identity or self, which immediately feeds their confidence.
Our ‘Tot Bop Boogie’ is our fun party dance, which happens at the end of a Tot Bop class (for ages 2 and a half and above), before the cool down. It is a short, accessible sequence of movement that the children follow but crucially also includes a ‘freestyle’ section. This encourages children to move in a way they feel is appropriate for the music. Again, this explores creativity, as it is encouraging the children to improvise and create their own moves and sequences. This freedom to experiment and create helps nurture their imagination and innovative thinking.
Overall, our aim at Tot Bop is to instil a love of movement and artistic expression, setting a foundation for continuous growth and exploration. Through the growth of confidence, creative boundaries are explored and built upon, setting the stage for the future in every child. Indeed, in overcoming challenges and pushing boundaries in a supportive environment encourages children to take risks in other aspects of their lives, boosting self-assurance.
If you’d like to find a Tot Bop class for your child, click here to view our timetable and book in.
We look forward to helping your child explore their creativity and build their confidence.