Dance class can get toddlers off on the right foot

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Parents rearing a toddler know their little tyke has a lot of energy to expend, and officials in Aiken Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department want to provide an outlet.

Starting in October, the department is offering Kids in Motion, a creative dance class for ages 3-5.

"We are continuously looking for programs for toddlers because we feel that's where our need is at this time," said the department's Jessica Campbell. "We don't have many activities for those under the age of 5."

Dance instructor Anna Ehmen approached the department about teaching some dance classes, and Ms. Campbell talked to her about classes for toddlers.

The class will utilize music and props along with the dance movements.

And while it is designed to be fun, children will "learn their motor skills, work on right and left and basic dance steps to get them ready if they wanted to go on and do ballet and tap," Ms. Ehmen said.

"A lot of it is coordination and memory skills, so they can repeat things back to me on movements and stuff."

Ms. Campbell said the class will take up to eight participants, and she hopes that next month's class will be the first of many.

"I believe this will be a continuing part of our toddler program that we offer here at the center," she said.

Ms. Ehmen teaches all ages at the Carolina Dance Studio. She said she enjoys toddlers because of their enthusiasm, energy and love of learning.

"They're also fun to watch because I like to give them a basis to go from and then let them be creative," she said. "It's fun to see what they'll come up with on their own - if you give them an idea and what they turn it into. That's the really enjoyable part of the class, to see what they create."

Reach Michelle Guffey at (803) 648-1395, ext. 110, or michelle.guffey@augustachronicle.com.

LITTLE DANCERS

what: Dance classes for ages 3-5

meets: 1:30-2 p.m. and 2:15-2:45 p.m. Wednesdays beginning in October. Classes at H. Odell Weeks Activity Center

cost: $30 per month for in-city residents.

call: (803) 642-7631


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