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Dance classes encourage development in toddlers
Buy this photo » Sarah Gaustad uses bubbles as one of her activities to encourage physical development in the under-fives
PARENTS are giving credit to the boogie for the early development in their babies’ movement and confidence.
DancePlus, a creative dance and movement innovation aimed at improving under-fives’ co-ordination, rhythm and creative skills, has been run by Sarah Gaustad since its February launch.
The classes started at Robert Le Kyng Children’s Centre in Westcott Street, but have most recently been instructing parents and children at the Arts Centre in Devizes Road.
Sarah’s two afternoon classes every Monday in Old Town form part of a wider programme across Swindon which takes in another three-and-a-half hours of activity at three other locations.
It may have been seven months since the programme started up, but Sarah is unwilling to make any firm assessments of where this business is at in terms of success.
“It’s good, to be honest, though it’s still early days to an extent. It’s gradually getting more popular,” she said.
“I am still trying to find more and more venues to get it out to more local people.
“I am still trying to make people aware we have something going on down here. I still want it to grow and I think it will do that.
“We have had plenty of people booking and then coming back for repeat sessions.”
In the Mini Movers classes put on by Sarah at the Arts Centre, she plays a variety of children’s music, rhymes and includes a range of tactile elements, including books, bubbles, bells and balls.
Jessica Mullan, 36, a psychology practitioner of Edale Moor, with a daughter at the Mini Movers class, said: “It’s nice because it’s a quite small group, which suits my daughter and I.
“I can see the movement in her improving and progressing week-by-week.
“I thought about music [as a development tool] in the past, but never dance, until I saw it advertised here.
“I didn’t expect her to take to it as well as she has.”
Carrie Morgan, 28, of Celsus Grove, has been attending the Old Town classes for three months with her nine-month-old son.
She said: “It’s a real chance to bond with your child. This is my one day to have time with him since I went back to work after his birth.
“I have seen him develop day-to-day from not being able to stand up to moving around and joining in with the class.”
DancePlus’s two Old Town classes take place at the Arts Centre from 12.45pm to 1.15pm and 1.25pm to 2pm every Monday. For more information, visit: www.danceplus.uk.com.
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