The babies at Kingscliffe Nursery have been dancing since July 2018. Twice a week practitioners clear a space and invite the babies to dance with them.
Using the Our Creative Adventure toolkit, the practitioners and children have been dancing together. The pictures and films on this page are just a small segment of what the babies have explored and the dances they have danced.
Being held and ‘rough and tumble’ dance play has resulted in joy, connection and raised well being for both practitioners and babies. Research shows us that when a baby is held their heart rate and brain waves synchronise with the person holding them. The non-verbal communication and intersubjectivity (the sharing of feeling or experiences by two or more people) as well as the physical exercise means that, after dance, the babies are regulated, calm and happy. Dancing has provided us with a way to achieve ‘mindfulness in action’. We have been using the 5 ways to well being - connecting, noticing, giving, being active and learning.
Babies are creative: Observations of babies creative behaviour showed that in a 2 min chunk of time babies displayed over 38 different ways of exploring materials. Children being wholly immersed in what they are doing (and therefore at their deepest level of learning), has come from the ‘in the moment’ happenings that we could not have predicted.
Mirroring and reflecting is key: the babies play and dances has built self-esteem because the babies have received unconditional acceptance of who they are and what they have been trying to achieve. Every time an adult copies a baby’s dance the more sure that baby is that they are accepted and loved.
The babies will continue to dance, and when they transition into the toddler room at nursery the practitioners in the next room will be training in the approach so that their journey with creativity and communication can continue.