Courses

Beginners Children Dance    
Creative Dance From ages 2-5 Dance / Floor Barre / Music, Drama and Movement
Pre Ballet From ages 4-6  
Children Dance Classes    
Ballet From ages 6-7 Primary, 1st, 2nd, 3rd Grades - Character, Floor Barre, Modern
Intermediate    
Ballet From ages 9-10 4th, 5th Grades - Character, Point Work, Floor Barre, Modern
Advanced    
Ballet From ages 12-13 6th, 7th, 8th Grades - Character, Point Work, Floor Barre, Contemporary
Vocational    
Ballet From 12+ Character, Point Work, Floor Barre, Contemporary
Repertory / Classical and Creative Choreography/ Variations, Pas de Deux
Complementarity    
  From 8 + Jazz, Tap, Street Dance / Commercial - Musical Theatre
Toddlers and Parents Classes    
  From 16 moths +  

Methods and Programmes

Littlehelper Dance Academy, Arts School London has a team of specialised professionals in multiple artistic fields: Dance, Music and Musical Theatre with diverse methods and techniques, commandeered by its Pedagogical Director, specialised in Educational Administration Studies, where she developed her scientific knowledge in the fields of educational, administration and artistic education. Therefore, our Programmes are, at first glance, our own, innovative and Creative Methodology, in other words, adequate, in each school year, to each group of pupils, according to its own characteristics.

Besides Programmes with our own Methods, Littlehelper works with, in the field of dance, with the IDTA, RAD (English Schools) and Vaganova (Russian School).

All these Programmes and methods are important in our Academy and, each year, our pupils are prepared for examinations by the teachers at Littlehelper or other teachers invited by the Academy. Littlehelper certifies its pupil’s examinations and attendances, as well as presents a yearly report, consisting of the pupil’s evolution of technical work, behaviour, assiduity and punctuality.

Littlehelper Dance Academy, Arts School London takes part in Presentations, various Events, Shows, Contests, Festivals, Workshops, Master Classes and Open Classes for the whole family every year.

 

Dancing isn’t only fun but also provides physical and emotional wellbeing.

Dancing improves motor skills and helps children in becoming more disciplined and driven.

 

 

Beginners Children Dance

Creative Dance

“The copying of their surroundings is a way children use their known Universe by copying objects, animals and other people, thus creating a vast array of facial and body expression” (Garima Augusta)

This form of dance expression emerges from the studies done by Rudolf Von Laban, based on space organisation of movements and the qualitative aspects of movement. Inspired by Laban, at Littlehelper, Creative Dance is aimed at children from the age of 2 ½. In this age group, the child needs to better understand their body, space and social environment. Their imagination and creativity is also very prodigious at this age and requires stimulation. Thus, by playing, it enjoys learning about itself and their surrounding world. Values and rules are a must and always present in our work. Through disciplining, children learn about their limits, without even noticing, for they work with utmost freedom, spontaneity, imagination and responsibility. In this phase, besides being fun, children learn to be more independent, autonomous, to control their motor and intellectual skills and to recognise their strengths.

Classes take place twice a week, however, if coupled with Musical/Dramatic expression and Floor Barre, then the learning experience becomes richer as well as the children’s development, for they learn with greater support, more stimulus, motivation and joy. These classes are broken down into 3 phases:

  • 1st - Introduction to the Theme/History
  • 2nd - The sharing amongst children and teacher of the possibilities of movement construction
  • 3rd - Real experimentation of the space

The classes are varied, appeal to the continuous creativity of the children and is guided only by the teachers.

 

Pre Ballet

“In this initial stage, the classes have a playful nature where the children get in touch with their bodies and slowly experience an array of movements coded by classical technique.” (Garima Augusta)

Which is why, at this stage, we begin preparation for Pre Ballet which will demand more rigor and concentration moving forward. Pre Ballet is the Level that follows Creative Dance and is a good introduction and bridge into Ballet which, in our institution is always coupled with Floor Barre.

 

Floor Barre

It’s an essential and complementary component of dance and consists of adapting Ballet exercises for a horizontal level. The main objective is the correct use, stretching and control of the muscles, posture correction and balance improvement thus enhancing strength and preventing localised injuries. This activity gives the dancer the opportunity to have an excellent physique, an elongated posture and a well-toned and elegant body. Having this initiation early on will give children greater body elasticity and flexibility, important for the continuous work of dance.

 

Music, Drama and Movement

“Music is more powerful than any other medium, for the rhythm and harmony are rooted in the soul. It enriches the latter conferring it grace and illuminates the one receiving a true education.” (Plato)

Having experiences with one’s voice (to sing, laugh, speak, cry…); Following songs using various body parts with gestures and rhythmic beats; Simultaneously using the reproduction of sounds with one’s voice and body rhythm accompaniment; Moving freely through vocal sounds and melodies; Experimenting with the sound of certain materials and objects; Emitting low, pitched, strong, weak, long, short sounds; Exploring percussion instruments and with these, playing various rhythmic games. These are the objectives of our training of young children where Music coupled with Drama and Movement enriches and complements the learning experience.

“The Drama and Movement games widely satisfy all the children’s needs and specially their need to express and create.”  (Alberto B. de Sousa)

By understanding that the body is the main instrument of communication it is important to know, dominate and express it. Thus, according to some authors, Drama and Movement as a flexible and broad edutainment activity, enables and promotes socialisation, integration, sensorial perception, intuition, motor activity, creation, recreation, communication and expression.

From an early age, children discover their bodies and capacities for action and exploration, thus, acquiring a structured body expression. Drama and Movement is an activity that completely engrosses the individual. These ludic activities favour transversal learning: on a cognitive, affective, sensorial, motor and aesthetic level. It promotes excellence and incentivises creativity.

 

“Through games of imagination, all pleasing to children, they should experience different body ways and attitude as well as personal ways of developing a movement (…). To progressively acquire space dominance, the child must use, adapt and create (…). The imaginary use and transformation of an object are stimuli of the ability to recreate or make up characters and develop situations.”((MEP) Dramatic Expression and Education Programme)

Drama and Movement is, per se, something told through gestures and words (tale, story, poetry…). It can be told by some and acted out by others or told and acted out by these, simultaneously or not.       

 

Children Dance Classes, Intermediate, Advanced and Vocational

Ballet

Ballet plays an important role in the children’s development, besides being a stimulus. Ballet is highly recommended by Pedagogues, Sociologists, Paediatricians, Nutritionists, Orthopaedists and Psychologists, for it favours not only the imagination, creativity, musicality and group work, but it also promotes motor coordination, self-discipline, boosts concentration, self-esteem, self-confidence and flexibility; provides greater body resistance and space and localisation awareness; corrects and improves posture and elegance and stimulates intellectual development; it helps to express and communicate their feelings through movement, making the person more extroverted; helps one to familiarise oneself with their body; to express, exercising memory; to learn how to interpret music and how to responds to it’s different rhythms; and the building of friendships.

Ballet demands vast amounts of discipline, musicality and body dominance. Through a sequence of exercises, classes follow basic movements with barre and centre exercises whose aim is to develop and strengthen the leg muscles, body posture and motor coordination in a gentle and harmonious manner so as to please children and youngsters.

Ballet consists of the union of technique, music, movement and expression. Ballet embrace the practice of Character and Point Work. The Variations and Pas de Deux, as well as the Classical Repertory/Choreography are intimately intertwined with Ballet.

The Ballet Course follows these Levels: Children Dance Classes – Primary, 1st, 2nd and 3rd Grades, may include Modern as Complementary; Intermediate - 4th and 5th Grades, contemplates Point Work and Contemporary, as Complementary; Advanced - 6th, 7th and 8th Grades, includes more demanding hours, dance style versatility and technical work variety.The Vocational is aimed at students with a more mature work and the Program will be in accordance to the Level/no. of students in a group, time and desired Course: Classical, Contemporary, Modern Jazz, Musical Theatre or others.

 

Character

Character is important in the development of strength, rhythm and style. It is a dramatized expression of a national dance, using folk dance and original songs, which have been freely adapted for theatre. Hungarian, Polish, Russian and Italian styles are a few examples. Character is part of ballet and was progressively implemented, with the objective of being developed by more mature students, using, among others, Mazurkas and Czardas*, from the Ballets such as “Swan Lake”, “Sleeping Beauty” and “Coppélia”.

Character Dance, in particular, helps to develop the natural sense of rhythm of children and youngsters. The very nature of Character work with basic movements such as walking, running, clapping, pressing and stomping their heels makes it valuable training for rhythmic sense. Some movements are coordinated to develop a basic understanding of pulse, beats, tempos, rhythms and syncope. Character work also gives an opportunity to experience dance with songs different from the ones used in Ballet and, as a result, a keener ear is developed for new types of rhythm.

 

Point Work

Point Work is a specific technique for ballet dancers which can also be practised by those who have a great passion for dancing, however, it should be done consciously and with good physical preparation. According to scholars, Point Work allows the Ballet student to achieve the pique of ballet expression and, in this regard, Rosário Vale states that it is “the way of feeling its wholeness” and the possibility to be trained in Point Work constitutes a higher privilege.

Besides other benefits, this technique develops: strength, muscular resistance and coordination: leg, ankle and feet strengthening; posture improvement, significantly altering the way one carries oneself as well as balance; body fat reduction, muscle and breathing ability development; full body work in perfect coordination; beauty and well-being: correction of flat feet and inward knee inclination and improvement of posture; precision: disciplines the nervous system, muscular and mental ability.

Point Work is an excellent supplement to the Ballet classes and is a great incentive for Stage Work which our Vocational contemplates.

 

Repertoire/Classical and CreativeChoreography

From the French, Ballet d’action, it is translated as Repertoire Ballet which is characterised by having a story, represented through dances and being comprised by a group of dancers and choreographers that make adaptations. Thus, sometimes, there are choreographers that make adaptations, with the most well-known being: “The Nutcracker”, “Swan Lake”, “Giselle”, “Coppélia”, “Fire Bird”, “Esmeralda”, “Dom Quixote”, “Sleeping Beauty”, “Paquita”, “La Sylphide”, “La Bayadère”, among many others.

Our students have this subject as Complementary and the main objective to their Ballet activity, seeing that it is part of our Choreography and stage work.

 

Variations/Pas de Deux

Ballet Variation is, in a way, a small excerpt of a certain Classic Ballet, for example; referring to a Variation of the Esmeralda Ballet, in Solo: this has a repetitive choreography, which demands the repetition of the movements by the dancer, maintaining the technical quality that requires flexibility and strength. This way there are calmer Variations, simple to perform and others with more diverse and complex techniques. The Variations are part of the Classical Ballets and are normally also highlighted and singly performed on stage: shows, festivals and dance contests which fulfils one of the objectives, apart from the training, the artistic works for our students with a more advanced classical techniques, especially the Pointe Technique, although they way also use the Half Pointe.

To dream of dancing a Pas de Deux in Ballet Pointe Shoes is the highlight in every ballerina’s life. The Pas de Deux is a dance in which a ballerina and ballet dancer dance together, and according to the more knowledgeable, it turns into a “Competition” between the dancers in which the dispute is to see who has a the best technique and greater movement control. As it is Ballet, it has to comply to the following order and the choreography is divided in four parts: 1st – Adagio; 2nd – Male Variation; 3rd - Female Variation; 4th – Final Coda (jumps and aerobic part) according to the Dance Movement Theory.

 

Modern

Modern is characterised as a modern technique. It focuses on core work, contact, fall, improvisation, breathing, spinal and joint movement in different levels of muscle tension/relaxation as well as floor work and is normally interpreted barefoot.

Amongst the main dancers who started this movement are the Americans Isadora Duncan (1877-1927), the “Mother” of Modern Dance and Martha Graham (1894-1991) who created the first structured technique in the beginning of the 20th Century.

Today, Modern is also danced by classical dancers, who interpret this dance with great spiritual feeling, soul, heart and mind. Thus, children who acquired a technical base in Ballet, can, through Modern, express themselves with a different freedom, spontaneity and harmony.

At Littlehelper, Modern is followed by Contemporary at a later stage.

 

Contemporary

Contemporary emerges in the 1960’s, as a protest against classical culture. Since 1980, it begins to define itself and to develop its own language although, at times, having classical ballet references.

Scholars understand that Contemporary is a “collection of systems and methods developed from Modern and Post Modern”. In this dance, the interpreter/dancer acquire autonomy to construct their own choreographies according to the methods and research procedures, amongst them, improvisation, contact – improvisation, Laban Method**, among other methods and techniques. In Contemporary, the body is normally constructed from somatic techniques, which gives body and movement awareness.

Contemporary is practised by Vocational students because of its work characteristic.     

 

Jazz

Jazz is one of the most important ways of artistic expression in the field of dance and is inspired by, to structure itself, Modern Dances various styles and technical principals. According to specialists, Jazz has its popular roots that evolved in parallel to Jazz music in the United States and born from black culture. Mário Gonçalves (2015), emphasises that “while jazz music flourished throughout time, through varied ways and styles, capturing the attention of varied audiences and originating new tendencies, Jazz Dance only took the stages of Broadway and Harlem in New York, where it became popular with the birth of Musicals in the 1920’s. During the 1940’s, while Jazz’s popularity increased all over the world, through swing, theatrical Jazz suffered influence marked by the classical forms of ballet and Modern Dance, besides other forms of Ethnic Dance, Latino, Folk, and Tap clearly linked to the Repertoire demands of Musical Theatre.

A Jazz Musical artist has to know how to express themselves and communicate through acting, singing and dancing, demonstrating versatility, balance and virtuosity. Obviously, to be a good performer, one does not have to be a dancer, but must surely be able to dominate the main forms of dance used in the musical repertoire. This is clearly the main objective of this subject. To provide technical and body language to respond to the demands of this complete artistic style.

The Jazz subject works the body awareness, developing elegance, strength, beauty, focus and balance. Develops temporal, spatial and dynamic perception and the quality and movement functionality. In truth, it allows pupils to gain stage performance awareness, work as bridging between the various demanded artistic abilities, supplying body and projection awareness as well as a critical, aesthetic and plastic sensibility. In this subject we intend on providing a new approach of the body as an aesthetic and communicational instrument associated to other dance styles, creating body language and physical condition to explore and optimise their infinite capacities. We also intend on developing a strong work structure that favours socialisation and group spirit, but also the development of the artist’s personality through expressiveness allied with discipline.”

Main benefits: balance, strength, flexibility, well-being, motor coordination, agility, musicality, rhythm, memory and others. It also favours the correction of posture and muscle stretching and strengthening. At Littlehelper it can be practised from ages 9+ and is a dance branch that constitutes a strong supplementary training of the Vocational Dance Course for the more ambitious dance pupils.

 

Tap

Tap is a dance style native to Ireland, where dancers produce rhythmic sounds with their feet while dancing. This dance usually uses small plaques (taps), fixed to the shoe heel, enhancing sound quality.

Later, in the United States, this dance style was developed from the fusion that united rhythms, slave dances, with their own style based on body and tap sounds practised by the Irish and English arriving from Europe.

In the beginning of the 20th Century, tap-dancing gained strength and popularity with the great Musicals and artists like Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Ginger Rogers, among others. Thus, American tap added to the Irish dance form all the musical richness and rhythmic movements danced by the Africans, creating a type of dance that would spread worldwide.

 

Street Dance/Commercial

“Anyone can attend this dance style, however always respecting the limitations of each pupil (…) for children (…) the activities should be more recreational and less technical, for the child’s body and joints are still in development.” (Eládio Prados)

Street Dance is a popular dance style for it joins a few elements of street dance. It brings various benefits to its practitioners: physical, cognitive, social and affective development; it stimulates psychomotor functions; develops musical and rhythmic sensitivity; prevents physical and postural abnormalities; eases interaction in a group, develops creativity and provides the acquirement of an agile, elongated and healthy body.

The exercises practiced in class are very particular, their language being very broad depending on the line the teacher structure and orientates their class. Thus, this may vary with free movement classes or classes with basic pre-existing movements, ending in intentional stretching, back to tranquillity and relaxation.

Street Dance is very demanding and beautiful, if practised with harmony and beauty. Normally, a group of pupils are prepared for competition, where you need lots of “discipline, keen work in the physical and technical part and many hours of rehearsal”, says Professor Eládio. After this, comes the creation of choreographies and on the eve of contests it is necessary to “lapidate” the physical and technical part and finally “clean” the choreographies, a process dedicated to the synchrony of movements.

Street Dance is a supplementary subject that is sought out by many children and youngsters.

 

Yoga/Pilates

It is called Yoga because of the traditional physical and mental disciplines of Indian origin which is linked to the practice of meditation.

Yoga’s benefits: greater tranquillity and concentration; energy management learning; relaxes; frees from fears; improves sleep, maintains flexibility; increases physical strength, acquirement of good body positions; learning to take care of oneself, of others, and of nature.

Pilates is a muscle control method created by Joseph Pilates, in the beginning of the 20th Century. Today, it is widely recognised and used as treatment and prevention of spinal problems.

Pilates is composed of a group of exercises that demand discipline, concentration and balance. The exercises are controlled, paused and methodical, exercising all the muscles of the body, strengthening mainly the back muscles, avoiding contractures. It is also an excellent physiotherapy exercise for any type of problems or physical disability according to scholars.

Benefits: Provides elasticity and flexibility allows more harmonious movements; defines and tones the body; it helps to better understand ones body; stimulates the mind; contributes to self-knowledge; decreases anxiety and stress.

 

Musical Theatre

Musical Theatre combines in an articulate fashion three forms of stage work: singing, dance and acting. Today, Musical Theatre is spread all over the world but more famous and elaborate productions are those of Broadway in New York, West End in London and in France.

The Course begins at age 8/9, so that the student may evolve progressively in the three artistic competences. The structure of this work plan is based on a unique and adequate methodology to the learning process. The biggest aim is to introduce the three areas of Musical Theatre through various choreography excerpts, songs and representation of Musical Theatre works, throughout the school year and according to each age and level group. Thus, our work follows the following structure: 1st – Technical Preparation of the three sections but not articulated; 2nd – Initiation of the articulation of Song/Dance; 3rd – Articulation of all three areas to the adaptation of the intended Musical Theatre piece, for a final performance and evaluation.

Thus, children and youngsters will have very dynamic classes where they sing very well-known songs from Disney musical and films while simultaneously dancing through fun and magical choreographies, such as “Beauty and the Beast”, “The Little Mermaid”, “Cinderella”, “The Lion King”…, among other more complex choreographies for students with a more work maturity, with the performance of the musicals “Cats”, “Chicago”, “Grease”, “Mamma Mia”, “The Sound of Music”…

 

Toddlers and Parents Classes

These classes are about engaging with our children in a fun and creative way, using dance, rhyme and music. Full participation of the parent is essential! Particular emphasis is placed upon observing our children, giving them our attention, and responding to their creative impulses. These classes also aim to build mind-body coordination, cooperation, confidence, curiosity in the world around us, and a love for Dance and Music. Each class is organized around a particular dance concept/theme (i.e. place, direction—up/down, size—small/big, tempo—fast/slow, rhythm…), which introduces the children to new vocabulary and different ways of moving. We begin class with a nursery-rhyme/song warm-up, which follows the basic developmental patterns that each of us went through in our first year of life. (Repetition of these patterns is used in both dance and various types of therapies, and have been proven to strengthen focus and coordination - skills which are essential for further development, reading, sports, school…) Children and parents delve into dance explorations and improvisations that integrate and explore the concept of the week.

Fun Dance Classes that emphasize the child’s creative and thinking body. These Classes develop fitness, coordination, balance and body awareness. We will explore movement vocabulary and rhythm, putting the child’s creativity at the heart of the sessions.

 


*Mazurkas and Czardas are Russian dances with a folk rhythm

**Laban Method – Named after its creator Rudolph Laban (1879-1958), great dancer, choreographer, playwright, musicologist, considered the greatest dance theorist of the 20th Century and as the “father of dance theatre”. He dedicated his whole life to the study and systemisation of the language of movement in its many aspects: creation, notation, appreciation and education.

Nuno TavaresNuno TavaresNuno Tavares

Today 5

Yesterday 7

Week 45

Month 125

Total 7268

Lampadinha Academia de Dança

Address: Rua Abílio Miranda, 52

P. Code: 4560-501 Penafiel

Phone: +351 255 711 394 / +351 925 204 047

Email: lampadinhapenafiel@gmail.com

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