Toddler Workshops

Ros Shaw runs the Toddler Workshop, which has been described as a ‘magical morning of dance, music and mime’ for infants.  Here she explains the benefits of the sessions and tells us how they work.

Q. What age group are the classes aimed at and are both boys and girls welcome?
A. Oh yes, we have both boys and girls, it’s very beneficial for them to mix and the ages range from two and a half years old through to school-starting age.  And we offer a free visit for all children, so parents can try things out before making a full commitment.

Q. And do parents get involved in the classes?
A. No. Parents leave the children for the two-hour session, so it’s a great opportunity for them to be ‘child-free’ and grab some breathing space.  There are always two of us looking after the group, so there’s ample supervision.

Q. And how are sessions structured?
A. Sessions run Monday and Tuesday, 9.30 to 11.30am, term time only. Each week we choose a story and the children act and dance it out using costumes and props. Next, we provide a drink and snack and then it’s on with some drawing and colouring, followed by musical activities, which could be anything from finger rhymes to playing instruments.  It’s full on, extremely active and perfect for children with lots of energy. And most children really enjoy being creative and using their imagination.

Q. What would you say are the main benefits of the sessions?
A. It’s the perfect way to get the children involved in movement, dance and drama without them really noticing! They’re learning to express themselves without realising.  It builds confidence and gets them used to socialising with other personalities.

Q. And do parents get to see the results ?
A. We put a show together during the summer and again at Christmas.  It’s a joy to see the children performing and it demonstrates how much they’ve progressed.  It’s very rewarding.

Q. Can you tell us a little about how and why the workshop was set up?
A. I’m a classically trained dancer and have danced since I was two years old.  Growing up, I attended the local Chalke Valley School of Dance (which no longer exists) and the workshop grew out of that.  It’s the perfect opportunity for me to pass on my knowledge and experience and of course, a great way for me to continue doing something I love and still enjoy.

And here’s some feedback from one of the parents –

‘Our boys both look forward to the toddler workshop, especially the dressing up and music.  The care of Ros and Caroline is superb, both have a very kind and nurturing approach.  They provide plenty of enthusiasm every week, teaching new skills while entertaining the children with stories and dance.  Our boys always come out of the class smiling, proud of their artwork and excited to tell me about the fun they’ve had.’

The Toddler Workshops will be starting again as soon as The Centre reopens
If you’re interested in registering your child, contact Ros Shaw on 07841 600432 or email Ros on