As fun moves indoors this fall, little ones can keep moving in new ways. Kids can learn dances led by princesses or try exercise classes with characters encouraging them to try something different.
Royal Princess Prep Entertainment company offers dance, yoga and movement parties led by more than 120 characters ranging from a snow queen to a unicorn princess. All performers are professionally trained dancers, singers or yoga instructors. Owner Kelsey Edquist says, “Before a performance at a party or venue, some kids are a little nervous if they’re not used to doing activities without their parents, or they don’t think they’ll like yoga or ballet. But once a character they idolize comes in, they love it and join in.”
Oh My Goodness Kids open play center co-founder, Nina Elenis, agrees. “We’ve brought superheroes into events and princesses into our yoga classes because when kids see their favorite characters doing movements, they’re mesmerized. They definitely gather around and follow.”
Sandra Cimono of Oceanside hired a dance leader dressed as Barbie for her 8-year-old daughter’s birthday party. “The kids at the party were captivated and participated right away because it was Barbie,” she says. Her daughter, Alessandra, chimes in, “Don’t be afraid to try. It’s really fun.”
DANCE WITH PRINCESSES
At A Dream Is A Wish Parties, dance classes led by princesses are offered at a party space in Mineola , in open play centers and other venues, or in private homes. A favorite character can lead an elegant dance where kids will learn twirls, curtsies and more. A princess can also teach a ballet class. All characters are performed by professional dancers of diverse backgrounds. Recently, a Black beauty princess danced at one party, and an Indian Cinderella performed at another.
“We try to make sure kids see themselves in the characters,” owner Michaela Vivona says.
At Royal Princess Prep Entertainment, dances led by princesses and storybook characters are highlights. “All our dances are based on exactly what each character would actually do and say,” Edquist says. The Little Mermaid will do a dance based on the sea, while The Island Wayfinder will dance out a cultural story.
TRAIN WITH SUPERHEROES
Kids can train to be a superhero of sorts at Royal Princess Prep during exercise classes led by characters. The superheroes help them maneuver through obstacle courses. At a recent event in Sea Cliff, a patriotic hero led a group of kids doing “blasts forward” jumps, crouch-down-and leap-high lunges, and power stretches with imaginary shields.
A Dream Is A Wish also offers a superhero experience. As Vivona describes it, “Kids will run in place really fast with high knees or jump up and land in a superhero pose. Kids and heroes show off their strength while doing push-ups or fast jumping Jacks.”
YOGA WITH BARBIES & BEARS
A yoga Barbie doll (with flexible wrists and knees), puppets and teddy bears are involved in many kids' classes at Revolution Yoga. Owner Amanda Digiovanna explains, “If the kids aren’t focusing, we bring out a Barbie or puppet and they’re captivated.”
Since a lot of yoga poses are based on nature, every class has a theme. If it’s a jungle theme, lion, tiger, giraffe and panther puppets tell yoga stories and pose. “We’ll use a cat puppet to show how it stretches its back,” says Digiovanna. “It helps kids to better understand how to stretch their own bodies.” Sometimes kids balance stuffed animals on their heads to keep a straight spine.
Oh My Goodness Kids hosts “the fairest princess" yoga and a meditation yoga with a teddy bear known as Meddy Teddy. Elenis says, “If we need a moment for breathing or meditation, I’ll sit the bear in front of me. The kids and I will have our legs crossed and our eyes closed, and we’ll practice our breathing.”
A Dream Is a Wish 500 Jericho Tpke., Mineola; 516-430-7525; adreamisawishparties.com; party prices begin at $215 for 30 minutes, ballet parties begin at $395 for 90 minutes
Royal Princess Prep Entertainment 516-639-3939; royalprincessprep.com; event/party prices begin at $250 for 45 minutes; upcoming events at: Let’s Craft in Westbury on Oct. 9, Oct. 28 and Nov. 10; Cooper Bluff in Oyster Bay on Oct. 14 and 15
Revolution Yoga 7 N. Village Ave., Rockville Centre; 516-619-6421; revolutionyogaspace.com; kid yoga classes through November; classes are pro-rated, $160 for full program
Oh My Goodness Kids 301 Main St., Port Washington; 61 New Hyde Park Rd., Garden City; 516-636-5444; ohmygoodnesskids.com; event price: $45 for 60 minutes