If you follow us on social media you may have noticed Indiana shaking pom poms and dancing about a whole lot more. At the end of last year we were lucky enough to be invited along to our local Diddi Dance classes (Diddi Dance West Kent) to see what we thought!
Diddi Dance was started in 2003 by Anne-Marie Martin in London. The classes are aimed at both boys and girls aged 18 months+ (they do have younger children join in, but I wouldn't say they'd benefit as much from it). The classes are full of energy and enthusiasm and get the children interacting from the very beginning!
Each term is a different theme, and we joined a couple of weeks into the Jive theme. At first I didn't think this would appeal to children, but surprisingly they loved it and it was great fun! When we first arrived our class instructor Angie came over to introduce herself. Every week she was full of enthusiasm and encouragement, and definitely made the classes more enjoyable.
Each week followed a similar structure. We all started in a circle to introduce/say hello to everyone. This was followed by other activities such as the circle dance, 'good toes / naughty toes', the Jive aspect and then each class ended with the props. I'm glad these were left until the end, as I know plenty of children (including Indiana) wouldn't want to put them away and carry on, if they were brought out first.
I think the repetition has it's positives and negatives. I think it's great to make your child feel comfortable - they can remember what to do and feel safe knowing it's familiar. However I do think by the end of the term, Indiana did get a little bored with the activities. She did perk up when the props came out, but I'm not sure if maybe mixing it up a bit more towards the end of the term would be better.
Parents are very much encouraged to join in and interact too. I think Indiana loved dancing with me and showing me what she could do (and I must admit I did have fun too). The first week she clung to me pretty much the whole lesson. But by the end of the term she was up dancing by herself and interacting the with the other children, which was lovely to see. I did worry about taking Parker with me (he was 3 months when we first went), however most other parents had a younger child too, and where it was so relaxed I felt confident enough to just hold him and join in if I needed to.
Throughout the class aspects of learning and 'proper' dance are subtly included. The counting song has actually taught Indiana to count her fingers (although she's still a bit young for the French and Spanish haha). The children are asked to put the pom poms in their left and right hands by colour, shake certain body parts and more. Again, where it's so relaxed the children probably don't even realise they're learning, they're just having fun!
Overall we loved our classes. Every week when Jack came home Indiana would tell him what we got up to. She's been galloping around the house ever since too, which I think shows just how much she learnt from the lessons! I think the best way to show whether it's worth it or not, is to see whether we're going to continue after our review term, and the answer is YES! We've just had confirmation that we can make it back onto the class for this term which is fantastic, (I'll also add it was so popular we had to be put on a waiting list!).
If you're interested in joining the classes, Diddi Dance offer a FREE trial session (contact your local class to apply). After that each session is £6 - you pay for a block in advance though. Just check their website to see where classes are currently on offer.
Disclosure: We attended 4 free sessions in exchange for our review. However all opinions are honest and my own.