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  • Writer's pictureThe Academy of Dance Arts

Cultivating Creativity in Young Children Through Nurturing, Patience, and Love

Updated: Jun 23, 2023

The Academy of Dance Arts has an excellent teacher named Penny Bovelli who not only teaches dance, but also life skills to her young students. By providing a nurturing environment of patience and love, she helps young children grow and develop a passion for the performing arts.

We recently asked Miss Penny to tell us more about growth in dance.

What does growth mean to you?

Growth is to become more; to expand your knowledge, abilities, and spirituality.

How does that relate to dance?

Dance education provides a student with many opportunities for growth from learning a new concept, conquering a new step, to the ability to “feel” what you perform. Many of the lessons

learned are also applicable to our everyday life.

What does a "growth mindset" mean?

A “Growth Mindset” allows a dancer to take inspiration from others, accept criticism and learn from feedback. I feel that many dancers have this type of mindset because they tend to work hard to overcome challenges and they tend not to give up.

How do you encourage children to think outside the box?

Young children have wonderful imaginations, usually a prompt of an idea or theme will bring about many suggestions.

As a dance teacher for many years, what encourages you to keep teaching the next generation?

I have been blessed to be able to teach dance for most of my life. I’m encouraged every time I step into my “littles” class and see how excited they are to be in class. With our hectic lifestyles and technology, I believe the importance of movement and art in our world is more evident. I believe dance can be very helpful at any age and can lead to growth on many levels. The students are definitely what encourages me, from the young attending their first dance class to the adult beginner wanting to try something new to the student making her

professional debut.

What is the importance of "play" in your dance classes?

Children learn to make decisions, exercise self-control, and problem solve through “play”. Social interaction is an important part of cognitive development and cooperative play allows them to explore working with a partner. It is always a joy to hear a child’s enthusiastic idea and see how creative they can be using their imagination. Being actively engaged in dance

movement promotes a deeper understanding of learning.

How do you prepare young dancers for the next level of dance?

As a young dancer progresses, the challenges a teacher can present to them become more structured. They also begin a more formal approach to the particular dance form they are studying. I always try to keep the student engaged and striving for more growth.

What is one life lesson you have learned about growth that you feel worth passing along? Growth is a continual process ~ Enjoy the Journey!

Learning to plant seeds.
Miss Penny recently taught her creative movement class about seeds growing in a pot in preparation for their recital dance. Just like flowers in a pot, dancers need to be nurtured to grow!

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