by Sandy Bartholomew
A dance recital with no makeup or costumes? Just three little girls whirling around the dance studio at Kearsarge Conservatory for Performing Arts with their parents and siblings sitting on the floor - laughing and cheering.
This winter, I asked Angela Tarleton, owner of KCPA, if she could arrange a dance/tumbling class for toddlers that focused on their joy of movement, rather than a recital. She promised a half hour each of dance and tumbling. So when we all collected at her studio to see what the kids had been working on, I was prepared to smile a lot, but I was blown away by what Miss Angela had taught these little whirlwinds. Yes, they had learned summersaults and walking on a low balance beam and "Itsy Bitsy Spider". But she had also taught them musical notation with flash cards and instruments, piano notes, ballet moves, and improvisational dance. Wow! Best of all, she had reinforced their natural love of dancing. Each child enthusiastically showed off her skills while peeking over her shoulder to smile at her parents.
So, if you have a toddler who loves to move (don't they all?), contact Miss Angela and tell her you want "in" for the next session. Your child gets a wonderful experience and you get an hour to go grocery shopping in peace (the studio is on North Road, behind Market Basket).