Every Fairy Ballet class commences with the girls selecting their favourite rainbow, pink or sparkly scarf as a prop for their first 5 minutes of the lesson. I’m sure you have observed some little ones must have the same scarf each week, others are happy to let their teacher choose, and for others the fun is in having a different colour for each lesson.
As the lesson begins, the children (and teachers) improvise or “free-dance” with the scarf to classical music. There is no set choreography, and no set moves or patterns, the children are just free to create their own dance and to move around the room however they like. The activity lasts for around 3 minutes and is how every single Fairy Ballet lesson commences each week.
Now you may be thinking…it is just a scarf? Why do the girls need to dance around with a scarf as the first activity of the lesson every week? She can do that in the lounge-room at home? What makes this such an important part of the lesson wouldn’t it be better just to skip it all together and get into the real dancing?
Familiarity and repetition for children = CONFIDENCE.
Every week in class we are covering different steps or moves, and using different music. However one thing always remains the same – our humble opening scarf dance. Children love to have structure and a plan and be aware of what is happening especially in new or unfamiliar surroundings with new faces that aren’t Mum or Dad. By having the consistency of knowing that each week when they come to Fairy Ballet they will sit down, select a scarf then perform their scarf dance. There are no surprises, no new challenges, and nothing to be upset or afraid of which sets your child up for a successful lesson each and every week.
In addition to this, the scarf acts as a comforter. Something the child can hide behind if they are shy, and believe that people are looking at the scarf instead of them. Think of yourself as an adult in a new social situation or an event where you are meeting new people for example… Do you feel more comfortable standing around empty handed, or with a coffee cup or glass of wine in hand?
So I know that whilst it may seem like the girls are “Just dancing around with a scarf in their hand” this exercise is so important to set the tone, feel and vibe of the lesson and essential to your dancers experience at Fairy Ballet.