Footscray Community Arts Centre’s 5Rhythms dance classes transform our instinctive love for rhythm into an amazing opportunity for parents and children to bond in a creative and active way.
Music and movement. To me, they go together like bread and cheese or bacon and eggs – they’re just better together.
Our moods can change completely according to what song is on the radio, and it seems kids are tuned into rhythm and melody before they are even born.
The classes – available by the term or drop-in – separate babies in arms and crawlers (or loosely kids under 2) from walkers up to 5 years.
As the name suggests, teacher Lucine Eusani guides participants through five distinct rhythms – flowing, staccato, chaos, lyrical and stillness. Each rhythm corresponds to a region of the body, with the class reaching its peak during the staccato and chaos rhythms before dipping into the serenity of stillness.
The classes run for half an hour – perfect for younger kids who might not have the longest attention spans yet.
Music selection is critical for a class like this and the songs were really easy to enjoy. The kids responded most readily to the staccato and chaos elements but also took notice of the calmer rhythms and seemed really engaged at different times throughout.
Lucine brought out the rhythms beautifully, moving between parents and children to help both get more out of the experience.
At times it felt like an exercise in mindfulness – there was a real connection between the body and the mind; the music and the corresponding movement.
El Guapo, 20 months, was a little clingy during our class, but came out of his shell with some TLC and gentle nurturing from Lucine and I.
5Rhythms Dance was something very new for us that offered a great alternative to a straight music class. I love the fact you can drop in rather than committing to a full term with FCAC classes – it makes it possible to move from music to 5Rhythms to circus and back again. If you want to shake up your week give this a go in term 2.
- Classes are available for a term or drop-in;
- New walkers will probably get most out of the class for kids aged 0-2;
- Free coffee for drop-ins at Happy River Cafe next door;
- Limited free parking on site, paid street parking nearby and walking distance from Footscray station.
Thanks to regular contributor Erika Jonsson for this review!