I have always been asked what I would do if I couldn’t dance anymore and my answer was, “I would dance!” Even if I’m not physically rehearsing and performing everyday, my life will still revolve around expressing and sharing my love of dance and movement.
I grew up assisting my mom at her jazz and tap studio, and I’ve always loved teaching. When I first started teaching creative movement/pre-ballet on my own, I was lost. I searched for books with games and exercises for my class with little luck. They didn’t suit my style and the type of class I wanted to teach. I began creating entirely new games, and feeding off of the children’s interests. I was able to put my love of poetry to use by creating songs and rhymes that could go along with our exercises. I infused imagination, imagery, play acting, and real life situations into class to make dance more accessible to my students. I wrote everything that worked down in detail.
Fellow teachers started asking me for games to play with little ones. Parents would watch class and want to know what I was doing that had their children totally absorbed, paying attention, and having tons of fun. My students’ flexibility, musicality, balance, posture, strength, coordination, and overall enjoyment visibly increased. I decided I wanted and needed to share this with everyone. I wanted children, parents, and teachers to have all this joy at their fingertips. I created a character for children to identify with – ‘Prima’.
Prima is an expressive young girl, with a wonderful imagination, a curious nature, and a big heart. She finds the dance in every movement, the games in everyday activities, and the joy that comes with self expression. She plays the games I teach on her own, with her friends, her family, or her ballet teacher. She dances at her house, in the ballet studio, on the beach, and eventually in other cities and countries. I’ve already written 5 books, and we’re currently working on the visual components for them. The upcoming books take us to Prima’s kitchen, her first ballet class, and even her first Nutcracker. She’ll discover other forms of dance, make new friends, and learn valuable life lessons. Furthermore, each book has a moral. The first book teaches her about appreciating the individuality in everybody no matter the size, shape, or color. Later she learns the value of patience with herself and others, next she discovers courage and overcomes her fears.
My husband Ethan White sculpted the character. Prima is made out of clay with fully articulating joints that allow her to have the same range of motion as a real dancer. She demonstrates functional alignment and ideal ballet positions. We took photos of her, and separate background shots before meticulously piecing them together. This first book has characters which are handmade, drawn, or computer-generated giving it many layers. We hope this will encourage children to create their own clay Prima dolls, sock puppet snakes, or draw their own characters.
My goal is to reach children all over the world with these books. They will teach the foundations of ballet, creative movement, and many other forms of dance through creativity and joy. I hope to encourage parents to dance and express themselves with their children, as well as relive any time in their lives when they may have started to dance but stopped for one reason or another. And of course, the books can serve as a teachers’ guide for dance classes.
Every page can be turned into a game that captivates children, gets their bodies moving, and their imaginations going. I hope it does the same for you. Happy Dancing!
Prima finds the dance in every movement, the games in everyday activities, and the joy that comes with self expression. This book encourages children and parents to share the gift of dance with each other, and teachers to incorporate it into their classes.
Books are available at wholesale price! Buy 10 or more and receive a 40% discount. Buy 28 and get a 50% discount. If interested, please e-mail email@example.com for details.
The Prima CD coincides perfectly with the book. Composer Lucy Hudson fully captures the personalities of each animal Prima interacts with, and the inside cover gives detailed instructions on how to play each activity. It also offers suggestions on how to extend or enhance the exercises suggested in the book.
CD’s are available at wholesale price! Buy 10 or more and receive a 40% discount. Buy 28 and get a 50% discount. If interested, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Downloadable version of the Prima’s Backyard Audio CD. All instructional files included.
Enjoy Prima and her animal friends everywhere you go! The E-book is a fast, easy way to read the book on any screen. If you are a teacher, you can even pull it up to demonstrate dance exercises during class. Enjoy!