After many years as a professional actor/singer/dancer, I decided to open a studio focusing on musical theatre for young children. Having had two kids of my own, I can see the relevance and importance of structured play and how one’s imagination is the key to so much success in life, be it on stage or not.
Cabaret Kids’ aim is to create a happy, safe, creative environment where we can expose children to a world of imagination through song, dance and drama while learning life skills.
We learn to skip, gallop, hop, leap, weight transference and dance steps which we then integrate into songs.
I aim to expose the children to the art of singing, dancing and acting all at the same time, the importance of clarity of speech and story-telling, how to warm up their body and voice and how to stay calm and focused.
We concentrate on how to show emotion not only in the face, or feel them inside, but also how to physicalise these emotions in our bodies.
We exercise our memories through poetry and memory games and now and then we work with percussion instruments to learn to understand rhythm and tone.
We learn the all-important art of breathing. Breathing to stay calm, breathing to energise ourselves, breathing to project our voices… I am big on breathing!
We do lots of team building games, dress up, puppeteering and tongue twisters, and we do all this, so we can learn about working together, space, placement and improvisation in drama and dance.
Ever so often, I throw a theatre term or two so if you hear your kid shouting at her friend to “please stand downstage!”, you’ll know where it comes from.
It is important to believe in yourself. It is important to trust your voice not to shake when you need it to be strong. It is important to walk into a room of intimidating people and be able to stand your ground politely. It is important to make eye contact. It is important to be empathetic. It is important to be able to read others body language. And it is so important to be creative.
Life demands from us to improvise constantly. Life is not scripted. Life throws us curve balls and we need to catch them and move on. We need to do this with confidence, perseverance and commitment.
Through learning to create on the spot, be a part of live theatre, and find a solution mid game, young children are all learning to trust their instinct.
There is no wrong answer in my studio. Everyone gets a chance to explore, create and direct.
We learn from each other, we give and we take generously. Learning to sing, dance and act all at the same time is learning to juggle many proverbial balls in the air at once - a skill set that will win in any profession.