We’ve wanted to introduce our son to music and dance for some time, and today our family attended the perfect class to do just that: Soul Groove Kids.
What is Soul Groove Kids
Soul Groove Kids is a class for children (6 months to 4 years) that combines creative movement with colour, rhythm and costume. It is a sensory feast for the children and their parents.
I will describe the class in detail below, but first I have a confession to make… I think I enjoyed the class more than our son! The unabashed jumping and dancing felt like I had permission (from myself, of course) to be as silly and loose as I wanted. The more energetic — the better. “Oh, it’s for the kids!” Yes, of course. *wink*
Soul Groove Kids classes run in the Blue Mountains region. If you live in the area, come along! And if not, use ideas in this post to get your kids started with music and dance in a fun and enjoyable way.
Here is how the class went.
Swirling Dance with Colourful Silks
The class began with a heart-opening song. The words went something like, “The light in me sees the light in you”. Warm vibes spread through the room.
Next was a dance with light silks. Each parent and child held a piece of light flowing fabric in bright colour. We swirled around to some soul music and played “peekaboo” with the kids.
At this point Rohan was getting a little overwhelmed by all the action, but all was saved by flower garlands.
Hawaiian Dance with Flower Garlands
Sasha, the class leader, handed out Hawaiian flower garlands to the participants. Rohan forgot his unease, and was taken away by the act of putting the garlands on and off.
We danced to Hawaiian music by moving our hands and hips in an islander fashion. We made circles with our wrists, and I felt festive and even sensual. Wait, is this a class for babies or for Mums? 😉
Rohan really enjoyed the flower garlands. This gives me an idea to make Hawaiian garlands at home. Perhaps I could cut out flowers from paper or felt and thread them on a string. Secure each flower with glue or by making a knot before and after it. Of course, flower garlands are easily bought at a dollar shop. I just thought it would be a fun craft project to do with the little one.
Yoga Dance with Sun Salutations
It’s great to start the day with sun salutations.
We danced to a song with lyrics that walked the group through a modified sun salutation sequence. Something like…
Raise your arms in the air,
Drop down, pull through,
Now rise up to the downward dog,
Breath, be present, be you.
This would be a good way to introduce yoga to kids.
I tried doing yoga while Rohan is engaged in play. But he gets interested right away and starts to climb me. That’s the end of my yoga session, as it usually ends up with him feeding. However, doing yoga poses as a dance worked really well.
Swirling Dance with Ribbons
I heard a Dad in the group say, “This one is the winner so far.” I agree.
Each parent and child had a stick with a light ribbon on it. We moved and swirled to a pretty energetic song. The parents usually held the smaller babies, while the older babies enjoyed making ribbon shapes in the air.
It’s a very simple and effective concept that can easily be achieved at home. Two strings of light colourful ribbon attached on an end of a stick.
At this point the intensity of the class was rising, moving into the crescendo of the next dance.
Drumming Dance with Percussions
Sasha brought out a basket of various percussion toys: maracas, tambourines and mini-drums. Each of us grabbed one.
The music for this dance had a strong rhythm. We formed a circle and went around the room. The essence of this dance was to alternate vigorous movement with periods of complete stillness. Sasha would give a cue “Freeze!” and we would all freeze, preferably in a funny awkward pose :). All drumming stopped too, and only the music was heard.
We drummed quietly…. ring ring ring…
We drummed LOUDLY…. BANG BANG BANG!
And then it was all quiet.
Savasana Dance with Waves
The power of contrasts… Energetic drumming was followed by a “dance” of silence.
Well, it wasn’t a dance, really. We laid the babies down on the floor (some parents lied down with their children for comfort — I was one of those parents, ha). The standing parents waved water-coloured silks above us, like water waves gently washing up and down. Very comforting.
Sasha narrated a story to the sound of soft music. I don’t even remember what it was about, or if it even was a story. It just felt emotionally powerful with a sense of a journey.
The space was very cosy. Like being in a nest.
To close the session we all had warm chai tea — the perfect companion to good conversations. Here we are with Rohan enjoying a cuppa.
Mums (and Dads) shared their parenthood stories, exchanged resources and passed around snacks.
Nothing opens the heart more than an hour of music, drumming and good body-shaking. As Sasha says, “We all need more natural movement in our lives.”
If you live in the Blue Mountains, check out Sasha and Soul Groove Kids. If not, use these ideas to enjoy your children and the time we have with them .