Kid Magazine recently interviewed our Principal and founder of Tiny Toes Ballet, Rebecca Kidner. “I was equal parts thrilled and humbled to have been interviewed for Issue 41 of Kid Magazine”.
Let’s see what Rebecca had to say …
how long have you been teaching ballet? did you have a career as a ballerina prior to starting tiny toes?
I have been teaching ballet for 22 years now. I did full time professional ballet training and had the opportunity to follow my love of ballet overseas or stay with the love of my life (now husband) in Sydney. Here I am 25 years later still with this amazing man and our two gorgeous children. A ballet school with 1000 budding ballerinas and ballet danseurs, 12 amazing teachers, 6 gorgeous assistant teachers and 4 incredible office admin staff!
what is the benefit of ballet/dancing lessons for kids?
The benefits of ballet/dance lessons are endless. We are almost always a child’s first structured activity. The benefits of school readiness – lining up, taking turns, making circles, hands up before speaking, manners, following 3-5 part instructions, listening skills, learning choreography, social skills, co-operating, sharing, imagination, creativity, singing, use of animation and expression, performance experience, confidence, self esteem, independence, full brain functioning, exercise for full body, co-ordination, strength, aerobic exercise, health, musicality, rhythm, exposure to the arts, learning from amazing role models (our assistant teachers and teachers), last but not least learning classical ballet and dance technique, vocabulary and style and the JOY of dancing!
what kind of skills, other than ballet skills, are parents going to see in their children?
Perseverance, resilience, determination, discipline, goal setting, always looking to be the best you can be, the ability to give and receive feedback. Learning dance helps creates an eye for detail. Children who learn dance generally grow up to be amazing at customer service and are wonderful at greeting others and including them. Dancers are known to have incredible work ethic. They know how to work in a group really well. They learn the ability to prioritise – they have windows of time for homework and dance and social life.
what has been your proudest moment as a teacher? and your most challenging?
I have so many proud moments as a teacher. My biggest joy is teaching a group of children from babies for years and watching them grow up and develop into the amazing individuals they all are. Developing a rapport with them and their families and still keeping in touch with them til this day. I have many students who I have taught in companies around the world, however I have the most affection for the ones who have completed their performing careers and are now teaching for Tiny Toes Ballet! It truly comes full circle. I love mentoring young women and girls and creating job opportunities for them. My staff and I treat every student as if they are our own children. We love our babies and their mums. They are our babies! I am incredibly proud of all my ex-students even if they haven’t gone on to become dancers. I know the skills they learnt dancing helped them become who they are today, making them more employable.
what advice would you give to parents who have a child who is shy but really loves to dance?
One of my very first ever students used to sit under my chair crying at the start of every ballet lesson when she was 5. She is now a lead dancer in ‘The Lion King’. Parents need to remember, as people some of us are introverts and some are extroverts. Children are not performing seals. Every child ‘cooks’ at a different rate. Some children need marinating and slow cooking, you cannot microwave confidence or dance technique. These children need extra patience, love, time and encouragement. We have a gorgeous Dance with Mummy/Daddy class for children who want/need a bit of time with their primary carer to help them get used to this new/exciting learning environment. All things come with time. Every flower blooms at a different rate.
how can parents encourage a passion in their child when they themselves don’t share that passion/skill?
Oh wow, I think as parents our job is to give hope, support and inspire each of our children and encourage any spark inside them. My Dad didn’t know anything about ballet. He would take me to auditions and sleep in the Green Room. It was so comforting to know that if he could sleep through an audition it mustn’t be as big and scary as I felt it was.
Sometimes I think it is better if you don’t know anything about your child’s chosen passion. If we did we would be so picky and terribly critical and probably not embark on the crazy journey!
as a ballet teacher, if you could let parents know one thing, what would it be?
Make sure you choose a ballet school that encourages the creative potential of your child. And enjoy the journey!
obligation free trial
If you have a two to seven-year-old who loves to twirl and leap, Tiny Toes Ballet might be the right fit for your child. Why not come along for a trial lesson.
Call us on (02) 9620 9620 for an obligation-free trial class.
We have classes located at Baulkham Hills, Beaumont Hills, Beecroft, Castle Hill, Chatswood, Cherrybrook, Concord, Crows Nest, Five Dock, Hornsby, Kellyville, Kings Langley, Rouse Hill, The Ponds and Winston Hills.
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