Back in October Bella and I were invited to go and see Disney’s Frozen on ice show in Manchester and it really couldn’t have been more of an exciting opportunity! Bella has been a huge Queen Elsa fan for as long as we both can remember; one of the first songs she learned to sing was ‘Do you Wanna Build a Snowman’ and since the song was released we’ve barely stopped playing both the DVD and the CD. It can get a little much sometimes, but I have to tell you that she’s not the only one more than a little bit in love with the film! Along with attending the amazing show, we were also asked to take a look at Disney’s Fit to Dance resources designed to help bring the fun to life, and to encourage kids to get active and start moving at home and school. This is our Fit to Dance with Disney story!
First of all, I need to let you know just how exciting this opportunity has been. This is Bella’s face when we first arrived at Disneyland in Paris last Christmas. As we walked through the gates, from her vantage position on Daddy’s shoulders, Bella immediately spotted Anna and Elsa in their ice carriage and she was. blown. away. I mean, look at that face!
So you can imagine the excitement at being able to go and watch Anna and Elsa again, on ice! We made it a Bella and Mummy day, which was actually much needed- and hugely appreciated.
Of course, the Disney Frozen on ice show was amazing- fantastic music, amazing choreography and almost all of the Disney characters we know and love. Although we did miss Aurora! Bella and I left absolutely buzzing, and I was filled with anticipation for building on this enthusiasm with the learning resources at home…
What are the Fit to Dance resources?
Disney have gone to great lengths to create user friendly and easy to adapt resources that can be used both at home and in schools too. I had a quick look at the school resources and could see straight away how PE lessons could be given a boost of creativity with the lesson plans. Similarly the resources for home use are fantastic, and packed full of ideas on how to bring the magic alive after the live shows.
The aims of the resources are to encourage kids to re-create their own Disney on ice dance shows, and I probably don’t need to tell you that Bella needed very little convening to get her princess dresses out and her dancing shoes at the ready!
How we used the resources
The resources provided are fairly structured but with an element of flexibility that allows you to be more creative, differentiate for varying ages and pick and choose the parts that work for you. There are educational videos that you can watch for inspiration, and to help you explain the activities to the children. Now, I am not a natural dancer, but I have to say that Bella and I have had a ball with all of this! I felt that some elements of the lesson plans were a little advanced for her, and because she is quite an active child (read: unable to sit down with a pencil and paper for long) I decided that a more practical approach would work best for us.
The resources are split into sections that include story ideas, dance ideas, dance steps and various sheets to help with creating your Disney on ice dance show. As previously mentioned, I didn’t feel the sheets would benefit Bella much, but from a teacher’s point of view I have to say they are very focused and well prepared indeed. For an older child (Bella is four) and for those who are more able to sit still for longer and concentrate, they are a very valuable resource indeed. And within the resources there are plenty of other activities that Bella can do- mask making, simple puzzles, opportunities to draw characters etc.
I decided to use the resources as inspiration, and drew on both our visit to Disneyland Paris and the Disney on ice show to provide inspiration for our dance. First we looked at photos, such as this one of Bella in Kristof’s sled:
and we talked about the sing along show we saw, with the different ways that the characters danced and the costumes they wore. We also looked at photos of the scenery and talked about how cold it was, and how we could show that in our movements.
When it came to actually dancing, Bella and I had to use our imaginations! We practised moving between trees, hiding behind mountains and having a snowball fight. Bella was, of course, Queen Elsa and even Elsie got into the act as Olaf!
Bella decided that her magical wand from the Disney on ice show would make a good prop, and this led to a discussion on lighting and the different effects that has too.
As she settles into school more, I can see that the Fit to Dance resources are likely to become more accessible for her, and I’m confident that this is something we’ll go back to again and again.
What we thought of the Fit to Dance resources
Bella is such an active child that I knew this would be right up her street, especially seeing as she loves Disney (and Frozen!) so much. I wasn’t disappointed! The resources are so well thought out and have so much room for creativity. I’m not a fan of worksheets to be honest, but they are a good starting point for activities and useful for quiet activities that Bella can do by herself. Mainly though, I love that the activities feed into her interests and help her to stay active doing something she loves!
I’ve noticed that Bella’s ballet classes often use Frozen songs to inspire and encourage the girls get moving, and she’s told me lots about the moves they do in those classes, using them at home for our own dance shows too. Find out more and have a try for yourself here.
Huge thanks to Disney for inviting us to take part in this project. We cannot wait to expand and explore the resources even further!
We were sent tickets to the show and financial compensation for completing this review. All opinions are my own.