This hour-long instructional DVD is a teaching tool from Magical Kingdom of Dance for use in preschool and pre-ballet classes. Developed by Mary Alpha Johnson over the course of 67 years of teaching, and continued by her daughter Tonie Johnson Bense, the curriculum in this DVD is designed to inspire young dancers with the use of characters, poems, and songs. There are games for learning right from left, using directions in personal and general space, and for basic ballet and locomotor steps. All the French ballet terms used are paired with a character to make memorization fun and meaningful: Saute the Bunny, Port de Bras the Octopus, and Bouree the Bumblebee are just a few friends featured on the DVD.
In The Magic of the Mat, Johnson Bense leads a group of sweet three- to six-year-olds through their paces on an illustrated 52” square mat. While the DVD and mat are designed to be used together, the exercises Bense teaches her young dancers could be easily adapted to any pre-ballet class setting. They would make an especially good starting point for someone new to teaching little ones. From putting on diamonds out of a jewelry box to buzzing around an imaginary front yard with bourees, The Magic of the Mat contains great strategies for a fun, imaginative, disciplined, and joyful pre-ballet classroom. The DVD and many other teaching tools, along with more information about the curriculum, can be found online at MagicalKingdomOfDance.com