Mabie loves to dance. Over lockdown she had been watching dance videos on youtube and would be begging me to put them on so she could try and copy the different moves. Her favourite was a video of the Royal Ballet doing the Nut Cracker. We must have watched it a 100 times. So when we found out that Summerbell Dance Academy ran by the lovely Miss Jennie had started a new class for 3 year olds I was quick to sign Mabie up.
Having been a toddler at Ballet myself I had memories of stuffy rooms, thick tights and wooly itchy cardigans. But the experience Mabie had at SummerBell dance Academy could not have been further from this. From the moment we signed up using the easy online forms sent though by Miss Jennie it was made very clear that this was a dance school with a difference. Mabie could wear whatever she felt comfortable in. No expectation for uniform for the preschool class, meaning added excitement as she got to choose a lovely tutu she had asked for while copying the royal ballet.
The dance school is based out of St Andrews Church Hall, Starbeck, Harrogate. Mabie was greeted at the door by the very lovely and smiley Miss Jennie who immediately put Mabie at ease and meant any nerves ( if she had any) were gone. As you walk in the room it becomes clear very quickly that this is a family run business. We got to meet and say hello to Auntie Gill who is Miss Jennie’s mum who helps out with the class and it was lovely to see the older dance school pupils there to help keep the little ones entertained.
Once in and settled the little ones were encouraged to come and sit on the floor and tell Miss Jennie all about their day. They each had time to speak and you could see the group slowly shake off any last min nerves. Then class then starts. The class was a mix of the classic good toes, naught toes, feet positions and magical imagination games with bubbles to end the session. Not at all what you would imagine a ballet class to be. It was all about the little ones being themselves and having fun. Miss Jennie was such a good teacher I found myself doing good toes naught toes and joining in with the class. Parent participation is encouraged in the first class to make the little ones feel comfortable.
The cherry on the cake was the very thoughtful dance certificates Mabie got at the end of the class. She was so proud and before we had left the room was already asking when we could come back.
The whole experience was magical, easy and just a delight to be part of. There is a show that Mabie can be part of which includes the whole school, 100 children, 50 adults and 3 teachers, ages ranging from 3 to 100! I can’t wait to see Mabie in the show.
If you are looking for a dance school that is all about building confidence, making friends as well as all the added benefits of ballet such as posture, balance and strength then this is the dance school for you. It has such an inclusive and warm feeling about it. First class is free so go along and try it for yourself if you don’t believe me.
*Disclosure – this review was written by Mumbler Volunteer Anna, owner of the wonderful Mabie Makes. The review was entirely voluntary and not endorsed by SummerBell Dance Academy in any way, although permission was sought from the course leader beforehand.*