Dance with Ms.Allegra:
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 her 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 and is recommended for ages 1.5-4 years.
Allegra Glinsky is a dance instructor and choreographer. She holds a B.A. in Dance, with a minor in Wellness from Mercyhurst University. She studied at the American Ballet Theatre Teacher Training Institute in New York City and is an ABT® Certified Teacher in Pre-Primary through Levels 6, 7, and Partnering. She currently dances professionally with Dance Cat-alyst, as well as teaches dance classes in Brooklyn to ages 1 through adult.
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.