Artplay Melbourne – Family Dancing Sessions

During winter our week ends tend to revolve a lot around sport. Currently we have a soccer game Saturday morning, then two games of football on Sunday (at different times usually). While I like watching my older kids play sport, it isn’t so much fun for the younger kids to have to be dragged around to their games every single week end.

So often on a Sunday as a family we split up. The three younger kids and I will do something and dad will take the boys to their games. It’s not ideal but it works for us at the moment. Melbourne has a fabulous range of free and low cost activities and as I have mentioned many time before Federation Square is my absolute favourite.

Everyone can dance… Tap! @ Artplay

Last week end 7, 4, 2 year old and myself hopped on a train and went into an “Everyone can dance… Tap!” session at Artplay. Artplay is located just behind Federation Square at Birrarung Marr. The session was a family based session taken by Grant Swift. You didn’t need to take tap shoes and we just used our hands and feet for the session. Swift is very charismatic and got the kids and adults straight into it with a quick run around the room.

I wasn’t sure how my 5 year old son would find the session, but the very active start was brilliant for him. (Notice his soccer outfit which is worn pretty much every second day at the moment!) The set up of the session was informal and worked really well for families like us that had kids of varying ages. We worked in a large circle so kids could be near their parents and not feel in the spot light.

About 10 minutes into the session I really wished I had worn a t-shirt. Tap dancing with a toddler on the hip was quite a work out. One thing that stood out to me about this kid’s activity session was how much fun the adults were having, me included. Swift sung this song, that is still stuck in my head and the kids and I have been singing and clapping all week “Savion Glovers’ got the happy feet” – “you know that!” (Apparently Savion Glover was the dancer behind Mumbles in the movie Happy Feet.)

We all got to jump down in time from boxes:
Jumping from the boxes

Practice out co-ordination with a little step he called fish and chips (clap in front, tummy and behind).
Fish and Chips

Practice shifting the our body weight from heel to toe.
On our heels

The session went 1 1/2 hours, which was a little too long for the younger kids. My 5 year old zoned out at about the 45 min mark. This wasn’t a problem though as the set up allowed him to sit easily to one side and just watch his sister and I dance. The 2 year old joined him not long after.

It was noticeable at the end that it was predominantly the adults still dancing and how happy they all were doing it. Often you take kids to activities and while you enjoy watching the kids enjoy themselves, there isn’t always that much fun it for the adults. I left feeling I had as much fun as the kids! I loved how it was an active way the kids and I could do something together.

For the kids, it was then topped off by being able to roll down the lovely mounds at the back of Artplay.
Rolling Down The Hill

This week they have another family dance session at Artplay:

Everyone can dance… Swing!

Bring the whole family to ArtPlay to try your feet at swing dancing. Jitterbug and jive your way across the floor, then swing, jump and twirl as a dancing team. We’ll play some real 50s classics to get you in a swinging mood and then it’s go, cat, go!

When: Sunday 22 May
Cost: $20 per adult and child pair, bookings essential
Time: 10.30am to noon; 1pm to 2.30pm.
Contact: 03 9664 7900

More Family Dance Sessions

If you can’t make it this weekend or if it has already booked out there are other family dance sessions over the next few months, including:

  • African
  • Contemporary
  • Hip Hop

I think I will have to book us into the hip hop session as my 5 year old thinks he is some what of a master of this genre!

Planning With Kids received complimentary tickets to the “Everyone can dance… Tap!” session at Artplay.