Nan Klinger Excellence in Dance is home to the Cuyahoga Valley Youth Ballet as well as a community ballet program for kids of all ages and interests. What makes Klinger unique is that they offer both a community program and a professional program, to offer the gift of dance to everyone. They are on the Becaon’s Best Top 10 list too!
My 5 year old girl, Elizabeth has taken a couple summer ballet dance classes and liked it. We were able to review the preschool ballet class at Nan Klinger Excellence in Dance Studio for this review.
Nan Klinger Excellence in Dance Preschool Ballet Class in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio Review
Studies show that there are many benefits of both music and dance from cognitive development to developing neurological networks for math and reading to the love of the arts, confidence, and poise.
My expectations were just for Elizabeth to have a fun time dancing and making new friends. What we got from Nan Klinger Excellence in Dance Preschool Ballet Class was that and so much more.
Nan Klinger Excellence in Dance Instructional Dance Video[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tjY0-HU15M[/youtube]
Kristen Habel, Instructor
Ms. Kristen teaches a number of classes at Klinger including Preschool Ballet & Tumbling I & II, and Ballet for school-age kids. She also teaches advanced classes of Pointe for the professional student classes. Having such a fantastic instructor for the preschool ballet was surprising and appreciated.
What impressed me the most was how she treated each student as a real ballerina while teaching them real ballet techniques, all while having fun. When I told her how impressed I was at what Elizabeth was learning and not just there to have fun, she remarked that what’s the point if we don’t teach them real ballet?
What kids learn at Nan Klinger Preschool Ballet
Ms. Kristen refers to the students as ballerinas when she addresses them, not kids or girls. This sets the tone for achievement, respect, and really makes the students, I mean ballerinas feel proud. She had incredible energy and did a fantastic job teaching the ballerinas beginning ballet stances and movements while incorporating age-appropriate themes.
For instance, when teaching the ballerinas how to lift their legs straight with pointed toes, she called their legs crayons. She had all the girls lay down on the floor and pretending they were crayon boxes. Then, she asked them to pull out one crayon. Of course, the ballerinas lifted their legs with bent knees. She explained that nobody wants “broken crayons” and to keep their knees tight and straight.[slickr-flickr tag=crayons]
Ms. Kristen went to each girl straightening their knees/crayons. For the evening class, there is also an assistant there to assist Ms. Kristen. From there, she explained that we want sharpened crayons, not flat and for the girls to point their toes. Adding the age-appropriate imagery for the preschool ballerinas made it fun and easy for them to understand.
During each class time, they would have time on mats for stretching and developing ballerina skills.
Below, you’ll see how Elizabeth was taught to make her neck long like a giraffe.[slickr-flickr tag=longneck]
They also learned first position of Ballet. Ms. Kristen was great at teaching them form. I was surprised at how much Elizabeth enjoyed this part of the class compared to the active dancing part.[slickr-flickr tag=firstposition]
The preschool ballet class also learned how to point their toes properly.[slickr-flickr tag=toepoint]
Elizabeth enjoyed the activity where they carried a basket to Grandma’s house. In this, the preschool ballerinas would hold their arms out and high, holding the basket – without the basket, it’s an actual ballet move. They would lift their legs high as they danced across the studio floor.
Nan Klinger Excellence in Dance Preschool Ballet Activity[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-uchCVpKVY&feature=youtu.be[/youtube]+
Each week, Ms. Kristen added something new to the class like obstacle courses, ballet wands, tutus, etc. For Christmas, she even had the girls do a couple short dances for the moms to see. They had on tutus and danced to music. It was beautiful. At the end of the Spring, they will perform a recital too.
And of course the best part, at the end of each class, kids get a stamp on their hands and stickers on their ballet slippers.
For this review, I was only allowed to take photos and video of my own daughter, which I totally understand. That being said, I was unable to capture the moments of the ballerinas interacting with one another or of the times they were doing dance moves and active movements. Ms. Kristen would explain and show each move to the students beforehand. Then, she would turn the ballerina music on and the the preschool ballerinas do the move she taught them. She and her assistant would then help them.
Cuyahoga Valley Youth Ballet
Nan Klinger Excellence of Dance students make up the Cuyahoga Valley Youth Ballet (CVYB). For students to join, they must audition and be accepted into the Professional School first, then into the CVYB. This year, they will perform The Little Mermaid at the Akron Civic Theatre in March. In recent years, they have performed Madeline at the Circus , The Nutcracker, and Fancy Nancy LIVE in Akron. When my daughter saw her first CVYB performance, she said, “I want to be up on stage one day”. Who knows! Maybe I have a ballerina on my hands!
Sign up for Preschool Ballet Classes at Nan Klinger Excellence in Dance
You can sign up for Preschool Ballet Classes at Nan Klinger Excellence in Dance by calling 330-928-6479. Prices are $42.00 per month for 45 minute classes or $15 for those wanting to pay by the single class.
Pre-School Ballet & Tumbling 1 Class Times:
Mondays and Wednesdays at 5:30 – 6:15pm, or Tuesdayss 10:45 – 11:30 am, Thursdays 4-4:45p
Parents may observe the first class of every month.
Nan Klinger Excellence in Dance
2315 State Road
Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44223
Win Summer Ballet Classes at Nan Klinger Excellence in Dance (Cl0sed)
You have the chance to win a week’s worth of Summer dance classes at Nan Klinger Excellence in Dance. Choose from Preschool for ages 3-4 or Beginner Ballet Classes for ages 5-7. They meet Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Up to $36 value.
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Contest ends at 11:59pm EST on February 1, 2012 when a winner will be drawn at random. I will notify the winners and they will have 36 hours to respond or another winner will be selected!
This was not a paid post. My own opinions were used based on my perceptions and experience. Thank you to Nan Klinger Excellence in Dance who provided the classes for review and giveaway.