Ms. Allegra’s classes are always engaging and use the children’s own creativity to keep
kids having fun while moving and learning. Her patient and innovative approach to teaching
fosters each student’s unique qualities to bring out the best in every child. During each class
she strives to connect with all students and provide them with an experience that helps shape
their bodies and minds during formative years. Ms. Allegra created the Daycare Dance
curriculum in order to share the physical, cognitive, and emotional benefits of dance with young
children. The program involves a number of different dance styles including ballet, hip hop,
modern and jazz.
Q: Is the program inclusive for boys too?
A: Definitely! In class we explore different forms of dance through imagery that all children can
relate to. Instead of talking about the ballet “first position” of the feet, we talk about making our
feet look like pizza. In addition to the ballet, classes also include the beginnings of hip hop, jazz,
and modern dance.
Q: Is my child too young to dance?
A: No! Children love to express themselves through movement at any age. In addition, daycare
is a great place for a young child to try out dance for the first time. Young children might not be
ready to separate from parents for a dance class outside of school. However during daycare
classes, children feel secure in their environment and are more able to be independent and
enjoy the class. Side note--one of Ms. Allegra’s 1 year old student’s first word was “echappe,”
which she learned in dance class.
Q: What are the physical benefits of dance for young children?
A: During a dance class, children practice exercises that test their coordination, strength and
balance. Children naturally tend to favor one side of the body, however in dance, we practice
both sides equally which improves children’s coordination and overall strength. Flexibility and
spatial awareness are also increased during dance class through simple exercises and
imaginative play. A child’s imagination is the key to learning dance at a young age and is
something that Ms. Allegra encourages during each class. For example, while adults do
burpees at a gym, children can accomplish the same thing from pretending to be a lion and a
jumping frog. During exercises such as these, a wide variety of muscle groups are
strengthened. With strength, comes a greater ability to complete new movements seamlessly,
which build’s a child’s confidence in trying new and challenging things throughout life.
Q: What are the cognitive benefits of dance for young children?
A: Studies have shown that exercises in which children cross the midline of the body help
develop the part of the brain that is used for learning to read. With this information, Ms. Allegra
designed the curriculum to improve cognitive function through specific exercises, rhythmic
counting and remembering directions. Throughout the session, children learn to take directions
quickly and accurately, which is what Ms. Allegra likes to call one of dance’s ‘employable skills.’
By practicing patterns of steps as a group and one-on-one, children develop the ability to focus
on directions with greater detail. This skill transfers over to anything children strive to
accomplish in life.