This article is sponsored by Frisco School of Music and Performing Arts.
Once upon a time, in a wonderful school not so far away, a group of little ballerinas began a magical journey… A journey of exploration, creativity, and joyful learning.
Frisco School of Music and Performing Arts’ new Fairy Tale Princess Ballet class is a truly enchanting introduction to dance.
The class, designed for beginners ages 3-6, combines classic ballet technique with fairy tales from around the world. Through music, storytelling, and creative teaching, students are inspired to develop a love of dance.
As a mom, as soon as I learned about the concept, I was intrigued. After discovering more, I cannot wait for my own little girl to enroll.
Fairy Tale Princess Ballet is a unique introduction to dance, designed for the hearts and minds of children. It’s everything you’re looking for in an intro class – and so much more. As with all of the offerings at Frisco School of Music and Performing Arts, Fairy Tale Ballet combines the best of professional instruction with creativity and innovation.
Doesn’t every little girl want to be a princess?
I mean, really, don’t we all? Through fairy tales and imaginative play, this class brings that dream to life!
The ballerinas dance “through” a different tale from around the world each month, as magical multi-cultural stories are woven through the lessons. Fairy tale stories from Germany, Ancient India, Native America, Russia, Japan, France, Ireland, the South Pacific Islands, Africa, and South America are featured.
Every week, your little princess will be transported to a faraway land where she can frolic, leap, giggle and learn with friends!
It’s a Journey of Joyful Learning.
Chris Duncan, the visionary founder of Frisco School of Music and Performing Arts, developed the curriculum for this class herself. She wanted to offer a class based on the multi-cultural princesses, but couldn’t find an existing curriculum that creatively captured all the aspects of her vision.
Being the innovative artist that she is, Chris created her own program. And parents, it’s fabulous! The class teaches the traditional step by step basics of pre-ballet and movement, along with foreign language words, geography, and multi-cultural customs.
Every aspect is thoughtfully designed to maximizing your child’s learning – about dance and about the world around them.
Each class opens with imaginative flair – the “royal entrance” of the dancers – followed by a brief storytime. Every month, the class features a different princess from a different country. Chris explains that at the beginning of each class the teacher reads to the students.
One part of our monthly four-part princess fairy tale is read aloud by our teacher. There’s a mild cliffhanger at the end of each story part, and each week our princess dancers can’t wait to hear the next part of the story when they get to class.
The one-hour class continues with traditional pre-ballet activities (like plié, tendu, rises, twirls, pique, passé, and sways). These core ballet basics are common to all ballet classes. “The twist,” Chris says with excitement, “is the dance music used in the class is from the current princess story country!”
The music is part of the multi-cultural experience, with composers from the featured country and music that’s inspired by that country’s traditional songs.
The class also includes keywords in the language of the featured country. As a result, students learn new vocabulary words each week that are part of the story. Chris explains,
As an example, in our Ancient India story, we dance to music by composers from India and some keywords we learn are sultan, namaste, odissi, bamboo flutes, sitar, sari, dhoti, and more. These words are used in the story and repeated in our traveling movement/story movement section of the classes, where dancers ‘act out’ by being the featured fairy tale princess through her adventures.
Ballet technique, music, vocabulary, geography, and cultural traditions are all beautifully woven together. It’s a playful, imaginative way to teach children and your little princess will be thrilled to come back week after week to see what’s next!
It Inspires a Love for Dance that Lasts a Lifetime.
We all want to get the most out of our children’s activities and this class provides great value, in every sense of the word. Chris says,
Our goal is for students to learn to enjoy ballet and want to dance for a lifetime! Parents are searching for their children to find their niche, something they want to pursue and learn how to give effort to succeed. We hope our dancers will continue on in dance, music, and the arts.
Chris continues, sharing some of the reasons she thinks the program is different from the usual beginner class. To being with, the experience helps children to see that while we may be different from one another in some ways, we can appreciate what we have in common.
The multi-cultural aspect of our curriculum is just amazing. Families in our community are from all over the world! Children love to learn about their heritage and share that with their friends. Plus, students learn about other traditions from around the world.
In order for a child to love a dance when the’re very young, they need to be excited to come back week after week. The fairy tale theme and “cliff-hanger” stories draw students into the world of dance.
Chris and her teachers make it easy for parents to continue the dialogue at home. They provide a go-home coloring sheet each week for our princesses that includes the weekly story for parents to read to their dancer at home.
This answers the “what did my child do at class this week” question and helps families continue the learning experience.
The class is only $16 per week, and from now until 2020, comes with a $60 Royal Dance benefits package that gives your little ballerina all kinds of fun perks – including costume rental for the recital. (See the FSMPA website for details.)
The Fairy Tale Experience Has a Very Happy Ending.
Every princess fairy tale ends with a royal ball, right? Fairy Tale Princess Ballet’s very special end-of-the-year performance is a highlight of the experience, for both the dancers and their parents! It’s thoughtfully designed to be a unique, age-appropriate, and delightful experience for all.
Picture this: the music begins and the “Royal Herold” steps to the stage to announce the arrival of the princesses! “Here ye! Here ye!”
The adorable princesses from each country step to the stage and perform an opening dance. Then, the princesses representing each country perform individual dances, complete with music and costumes from their featured culture.
For parents, it’s a dream come true, too! The Royal Ball is fun for everyone (unlike, let’s be honest, some of the day-long dance recitals we all know and dread. The performance is short and (very, very) sweet.
During the one hour show, each little princess performs three times, so dancers get lots of participation and parents get to see three “awww”-worthy performances. Plus, there are no neverending rehearsals, no waiting around for other numbers, and no additional costume fees!
Frisco School of Music and Performing Arts keeps the focus exactly where it should be – on providing a joyful introduction to dance. We all love happy endings in our fairy tales, but when it comes to our own little princesses, the gift of a happy beginning is even better!