How to Skip and Tips!

If you have a 3 – 5 year old enrolled in ballet or creative movement for the first time, chances are they are learning how to skip. Why skipping? The reason many schools teach young students to skip is because it teaches so many things like coordination, opposition, traveling, and rhythm. The simple act of skipping is a bridge to teach students how to connect one dance step to another. With a simple transfer of weight, a hop, and pointed toes, your tiny dancer is on their way to perform on the big stage.

Simple Exercises to Prep for Skipping:

1. Marching with high knees and pointed toes

  • Stand up tall with hands on hips
  • Bend the right knee into your chest and point your toe
  • Place the right foot firm into the ground
  • Step forward and bring the left knee up into your chest with a pointed toe
  • Continue to march across the floor

Tip: Try practicing to a Madagascar’s “Move It.” It’s a great song to hear the beat and get kids marching!

2. Hopping With a Stuffed Animal

  • Place a stuffed animal in your hands in front of your belly button
  • Bring your right knee up with a pointed toe to “kiss” your stuffed animal
  • Repeat with the left
  • Now try to repeat again with the right knee, but this time hop into the air
  • Repeat with the left
Tip: Once you have the coordination of switching legs and hopping, try traveling the hop forward.

How to Skip:

1. Skipping

  • Stand up tall with hands on hips
  • Bend the right knee into your chest and point your toe and hop
  • Step forward to bring the left knee up with a pointed toe and hop
  • Continue to step and hop (skip!) across the floor
Tip: Say “step hop left, step hop right” in rhythm with the music to help your child learn their left and right legs.

 

2. Ballet Skips (Sauté Passé)

  • Stand up tall with hands on hips and feet in “V” (first position)
  • Slide the right knee into passé as you hop
  • Step forward to bring the left knee to passé as you hop
  • Continue to step and sauté passé for a perfect ballet skip.
Tip: Remember ballet skips must stay turned out. The knee points to the dancers side in passé.

 

Now that you have learned how to skip, want to try something more difficult? Try to skip backwards! Your dance teacher will be impressed!