Hi Sarah, tell us about Tiny Tutus
I established Tiny Tutus almost ten years ago when I lived in London, and before having children. I wanted to provide ballet classes for really young children, starting from when they can walk. Most ballet schools will only take children from 3 years, but I adore toddlers and wanted to provide a special class just for their age group, which would spark an interest and love in ballet – and also in music, movement and creativity. I wanted Tiny Tutus to be, most of all, inspiring and friendly. Having met a plethora of quite terrifying ballet teachers over the years, I felt, and still feel, that in order to develop the next generation of dancers it is of primary importance to make sure that from an early age the children enjoy the lessons and were excited about coming to class.
I run Mummy and Me classes for the very little ones (18 months -3 years) and Baby Ballet classes in conjunction with D2Dance for those who are happy without having mum or dad in the lesson with them. This is usually for those around the pre-school year, 3.5 years and older. I also teach at private nurseries, for example Teddies in Tonbridge, which has embraced ballet with gusto! Dance is a great medium for expression, even in those of a young age, and I feel very privileged to be in a position where I can be part of introducing this into a child’s life.
The Tonbridge & Hildenborough Mums website is aimed at families in and around the local area. How do you think Tiny Tutus would appeal to them?
There are plenty of toddlers and pre schoolers in and around Tonbridge and Hildenborough, and plenty of different classes in which they can participate. Our Tiny Tutus classes are unique, however; we are the only ballet specific class for this age group, and we really do teach proper ballet (albeit on a level and using enjoyable and engaging techniques for learning). Our classes are a lot of fun – we have a great time using imaginative stories, props (scarves, animal puppets and ribbons play a big part in the Tiny Tutus’ curriculum), and I adore coming up with new scenarios, stories and music for us to dance to each week. As an added bonus, our Mummy and Me classes are drop in, you just pay for each lesson that you attend. There is no termly commitment – as a mummy to two little girls I know only too well how frequently classes can be missed and how annoying it is when you’ve paid out for a term of lessons only to make half of them!
Tell us a bit about what Tiny Tutus bring to the local community
Although Tiny Tutus pupils are only young, the classes encourage children to lead a healthier lifestyle by adding 30mins of movement and exercise into their weekly schedule. For those a little older, ballet is a great way to gain core strength, lengthen and strengthen muscles, attain fantastic posture and improve overall fitness levels.
Where can we find you?
Most of my classes are based at Hildenborough Village Hall, although I also teach at private nurseries in the Hildenborough/Tonbridge area. Mummy and Me drop-in classes are on Friday mornings – 09.15am or 10am and last for 30mins with time for a drink, biscuit and a chat at the end.
Lastly, tell us an interesting fact about yourself!
Despite being a dancer, I do have an adventurous side and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in 2007 with my now husband, miraculously and against the odds reaching the very highest summit. I can’t say it was the best week of my life (it was SO hard!) but I am glad I did it and we raised some money for charity too which was what it was all about… I won’t be repeating that experience any time soon though!