Most modern parents believe that their child must first learn to read, write and read well, and less attention is paid to aesthetic development. As a result, the baby begins to develop the left hemisphere to the detriment of the right, and such an important area of mental development as emotions and intuition remains underdeveloped.
“All emotions live in the human body, which is why movement is one of the main ways of expressing feelings along with speech. Through movement and dance, children become acquainted with themselves, gradually begin to understand and accept their own emotions, as well as the emotions of other people, learn to interact with each other.
In modern psychology, there is even such a thing as “nonverbal intelligence.” It is formed through early bodily and motor experience and affects our ability to communicate effectively and successfully with other people, ”explains Evgenia Rubina, a children’s and family psychologist, teacher of movement and dance for children. – And more. Dance is the best school of creativity and artistic expression.
When a child dances in front of his parents, he shows a real little show that he invented himself. Such an opportunity to express oneself strengthens his self-esteem and forms a healthy personality. ”
Teachers, psychologists, musicians are unanimous in opinion that it is necessary to introduce a baby into the world of music before birth. The baby is able to hear sounds for three months before birth, and to pick up oscillations of sound waves – much earlier. Music contributes to the active growth of the future baby’s brain, activates the formation of cortical zones responsible for speech, logical operations, intuitive and associative thinking.
Well, after the birth, at the age of three or four months, the baby does not just listen to the music, but also perceives it emotionally. You will bring great pleasure to a child who does not yet know how to sit, if you take him by the hands and under rhythmic, cheerful music, you will bend and unbend them.
And even better if you take the crumbs in your arms and dance with him, moving in time with the music. “Having been born, the baby is in the mother’s arms: he hears the familiar and native heartbeat, feels tender touches, is lulled by walking and wiggling. This gives the baby a much needed sense of security, and also contributes to the development of the vestibular apparatus and brain regions, which are responsible for fine and large motor skills.
It has now been proven that a fully lived “manual” period has the most favorable effect on the future development of a baby. Along with caresses, dance helps maintain the necessary contact with your own child, as well as constant daily care: bathing, dressing, etc., ”says Yevgeny Rubin.
If you are in doubt about where it is better to start the musical and dance development of the baby, feel free to go to special classes for parents with babies from 4 months old. Today, there are many different motor and dance classes for mothers with children of infancy: yoga classes for newborns, baby contact groups (dance classes for mothers and babies from three months to three years).
Typically, during such classes, teachers use ideas, techniques and exercises from dance and contact improvisation, dance and movement therapy, work with voice and sound, combine game moments, movements and dances in plays, round dances, and dances with objects. As a result of classes, mothers and children are charged with energy and positive emotions.
“Mom can provide the child with many opportunities for motor development from the first months of his life: these are different ways of holding him in her arms, and experimenting with various rhythms of walking, swinging. The main rule here is to stay in contact with the baby, to follow his reactions. It is important that the experiments were a crumb to the joy: the mother needs to be sensitive to the signals that the baby gives.
If a child expresses dissatisfaction, anxiety or fear, you should stop. It is also important that while moving and dancing with the baby, the mother remembers her own physical comfort: the poses and movements should be natural, the movements should be soft, relaxed.
Body clips and stiffness in the mother’s body are felt by the baby and are expressed in its tension, ”says Yevgeny Rubin.
“Maintaining a close relationship between mother and baby is especially important in the first year of a baby’s life,” says Dina Weimer, head of Duncan’s Studio Dance-o-Dora, teacher of Mother and Child dance and development groups and Babies. –
In the “Mother and Child” group, where we take parents with children from 3 months, we have a whole range of exercises that are not only useful for the physical and musical development of the child, but also contribute to a better understanding between the mother and baby. In order to better hear and understand a very young child, there is a simple way – to establish contact with him through the body, through movement.
To make this path pleasant and creative, we create a space where mother and baby can be light, free, and relaxed. ”
In the age period from one to three years, the capacity of the baby grows: he already knows a lot and is becoming more and more independent every day. At the same time, he still needs his mother’s support, both psychological and physical.
“In the period from a year to 2.5–3 years, the kids are still the most useful and psychologically comfortable classes with their mothers: on the one hand, they are already able to actively explore the space, there is interest in other children and adults and attempts to communicate with them . On the other hand, the children still need a mother, which gives them a sense of security (it is important to run up to the mother, hug her, take her hand and do something with the mother), ”says Yevgeniya Rubin.
“Usually at the age of 1, children start to walk, and they get so much pleasure from this process that it’s almost impossible to make them sit in one place,” says Dean Weimer. – Therefore, in my classes I try to alternate music and dance tasks as often as possible. The music is chosen so that the little ones can explore the possibilities of their own body in accordance with it and without experiencing any discomfort.
So that they could both run and march, and at some point sit down and chat with their feet or clap their hands. We also work with objects: bells, flags, ribbons, rattles and cubes. From about the age of one and a half years, we try to minimize the number of real objects involved and introduce exercises and dances with imaginary objects (we represent the steering wheel of the car, we stroke the imaginary cat, etc.).
It helps to develop creative thinking, with which many children have problems (unless specifically addressed).
In the modern world, visual culture is strongly developed, television, everything is clearly drawn, shown to the smallest detail, the child does not even have the opportunity to expand his imagination. For two years, the child is ready to perform coordination exercises.
And here again images come to the rescue. Indeed, it is much easier to master the movement if it is “understandable” and not conditional (simply because the teacher said so). Poskok and gallop are horses, light running is butterflies, strong fast-paced running is flying airplanes, alternating hand movement – swimming, etc.
In addition, in the classroom we teach children at first glance simple compositional things – the ability to walk smoothly one after another, walk back and forth (back to front), hold a circle. Usually, when the kids go in a circle, it quickly narrows, sometimes in general someone goes only forward, that is, in the middle of the circle. It is not easy for children to keep the circle; Moreover, there are mothers who find it difficult to give.
This is a violation of coordination (which may not manifest itself in ordinary life, but is immediately visible in the dance composition), a gap that could have been filled in childhood, especially doing this. In general, the method of musical movement, coming from the ideas of Isadora Duncan, helps emotional self-regulation and self-realization of a person, develops the art of improvisation, removes physical and mental clips. “
Two “kinds” of children could especially benefit from dancing: humble and restless. “This activity, especially if practiced in a group, can really help your little fidget to direct their energy in the right direction. If the music is fast, strong, emotional, he can relax, let off steam.
But when the music slows down, he also has to adjust to her rhythm and calm down. A child’s observation of a group of more balanced children will be able to direct him: he will try to do as they do, ”says Dina Weimer. “If a child is notorious or shy, the dance will help him to relax, especially if the child does not follow abstract instructions, but the music itself – various musical works, each of which has its own mood and character.”
“It is important that the baby likes to dance. Classes from sticks will not benefit any child, ”says Yevgeny Rubin.
If we talk about dance styles, then from the age of three or four years, children can be given choreography lessons – in a playful way, kids will master the basics of classical dance, develop coordination of movements, sense of rhythm, plasticity and expressiveness. It’s great if in the classroom the teacher will offer the children to invent their own movements or even small dances.
Classical ballet training lays the necessary physical base, which further allows you to master almost any dance styles.
From 4–5 years old, children are also waited in rock-and-roll classes: this cheerful, dynamic dance is very much in line with children’s nature (jumps; fast, rhythmic, requiring good coordination of movement and incendiary music). Dance requires some stamina and is suitable for those tireless children, who always have a lot of energy.
However, slow and timid children can help to become more active and relaxed. Classes in folk dance ensembles are also suitable for children of this age.