Southwest Metro Classes for Babies
“Since anyone can learn to walk, any child can learn to dance,” says Gretchen Prater, owner and instructor at Artistry Dance Productions in Chanhassen, where she introduces babies to dance as young as 18 months. And apparently, babies can start learning to swim and make music before they’ve totally mastered walking. The southwest metro is full of new experiences for little ones – from dancing and singing to tumbling and swimming.
560 Market St., Chanhassen; 952.215.4877
Educator/owner: Kim Shiely
Kindermusik is a music and movement program that encourages cognitive and social development in children, from language and listening skills to problem solving, self-esteem, and musicality. Babies will play with scarves, various instruments, and enjoy a little massage and cuddle time too. Village: ages newborn–18 months., $230; Our Time: ages 18 months.–3½ years, $220 (prices include take-home packet). 45-min classes, 15-week sessions. Enrolling now for Winter/Spring semester beginning January 30. Schedules available online.
Classes held at the Chaska Community Center: 1661 Park Ridge Dr., Chaska; 952.448.5656
Educator/owner: Leslie Rieser Hercules
Director Leslie Rieser Hercules delivers the Kindermusik curriculum to Chaska, making music a joyful and natural part of children’s lives while fostering creativity and learning. She offers Our Time (18 months–3½ years) for $115 for members of the Chaska Community Center, and $135 for non-members. A $50 (plus tax and shipping) home packet provides extra materials. Classes start January 31.
Classes held at National Karate in Eden Prairie: 8423 Joiner Way, Eden Prairie; 763.529.2240
Director/owner: Angela Barberg
Music Together is a program for families interested in sharing music as a whole family. In the Mixed-aged Classes (infant–preschool), children benefit from relationships with children of different ages and the triangular relationship between parent, child and teacher is fostered. Classes offer lap songs, large movement, instruments such as jingle bells, and lullaby time. 45-min classes, 10-week sessions. See website for tuition (sibling discounts offered). Winter session starts January 9; Spring session starts the first week in April.
421 Lake Drive, Chanhassen; 952.906.5942
Backfloat Baby Trainer: Lorrie Hammer
Backfloat Baby classes encourage babies (6 months–3 years) to be comfortable in the water, with the assistance of their parents. In these fun, half-hour long classes, little swimmers learn breath control, underwater submersion, back floating and kicking, as well as how to fall in and swim back to the wall. Winter session starts January 2 (registration closes January 22); Spring session starts March 18 (registration opens February 8). Classes range from 10-15 weeks and cost around $195, depending on the length of the session; the winter session classes, which are 11 weeks long, cost $198.
956 Prairie Center Dr., Eden Prairie; 952.906.0028
Co-owner/educator: Shelli Kargela
At My Gym Eden Prairie, children ages 6 months through 13 years old develop a relationship to movement and physical activity through music, dance, games, gymnastics, and more. Throughout the program, children gain strength, balance and coordination, along with social skills and confidence – all while having fun. Classes include: Tiny Tykes (6 months–14 months) and Waddlers (14 months–23 months). Baby Massage with Baby Yoga (3 weeks–6 months) aids in digestion while providing bonding time with mom or dad. $72 per month, plus $50 registration fee—first class is always free. Classes are ongoing, register anytime.
2885 Water Tower Place, Chanhassen; 952.368.1909
Programs director/coach: Aimee Simdorn
Super Tots (18 months–3 years) at Classic Gymnastics introduces little ones to gymnastics while parents guide them through each station. Through fun games, like kicking beanie babies off the bars and carrying puzzles across the beam, kids engage tummy muscles and develop balancing skills—and eventually complete a forward roll. $139 for an 8- or 10-week session (plus $35 annual registration fee per family). Register now for January 2–February 25 classes. Sibling discounts offered.
560 Market St., Chanhassen; 612.270.5917
Owner/instructor: Gretchen Prater
The Mommy/Daddy and Me class (18 months–3 years) provides babies with a chance to stretch, sing songs with hand motions, and learn mini dance series—all with mommy or daddy right there to help and serve as a role model. Highlights include sashaying and freestyle dancing, which encourages self-expression and creativity. Ongoing 45-min classes throughout the year, $35 per month.
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